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  • Writer's pictureTaylor McNallie

What Conditional Support Looks Like

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

The breaking news in Calgary today is that the charge against Wesam Khaled, an organizer for the pro-Palestine rallies, have been stayed. The charge was for “causing a disturbance” with “hate motivation” over his chanting of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free.” The charge was absolute non-sense and saw mass amounts of support across the country in an effort to have it dropped. Articles were written, posts were made, petitions were signed, and the calls were heard.

Another example of what support can do is when two teens in Calgary were charged earlier this year while protesting against transphobia and homophobia. Again, articles were written, posts were made, petitions were signed, and the calls were heard - charges dropped.

This is the result of people coming together to demand action.

This is what support looks like.

For 3 years I have been fighting charges between the RCMP and the Calgary Police Service. Since 2020, I have received 17 criminal charges, all related to my participation in protests and supporting other marginalized people, as well as two lawsuits against me by Calgary Police officers. Only a few months ago did a group come together to help bring awareness to my situation and that of Adora Nwofor - another Black woman now being targeted with charges by the Calgary Police Service. But, still, people just can’t find it in them to make the kind of noise they seemingly are able to make for non-Black people.

I know why. I just wish others would be real with themselves, too.

This is what anti-Blackness looks like in real time.

People from the left to the right always have something to say in how I conduct myself in the world. In my 33 years of life I’ve come to understand that it’s not the way I conduct myself that is the problem, it’s the fact policing Black people is second nature to most. It doesn’t matter if I say something or say nothing, if I defend myself or take a punch, if I react to abuse or ignore it. No matter how I act, my actions will be picked apart until there is no longer a person left to the story. My humanity has been completely stripped as the public continues to seek out the “perfect victim;” one that doesn’t talk back, defend themselves, or ask questions. But Black women are never even granted the opportunity to be “the perfect victim” because the world has been conditioned to see us as a threat while also expecting to handle the abuse and violence we receive on a regular basis.

“Black women are often stereotyped as aggressive, hypersexual, and unfeminine – the opposite of the ’perfect victim’. Therefore, they are rarely seen as vulnerable or deserving of protection. While non-Black women still face many of the same misconceptions about victimhood, Black women experience a specific form of misogyny rooted in racist stereotypes, making them most susceptible to injustice and disrespect.” - Isabel Dorn

I need to make it clear that I’m not upset ridiculous charges against marginalized people have been dropped. I’m upset by the way support is very much conditional and transactional, because it’s clear people have the time and energy to do what is needed, yet choose not to when it comes to Black women. I’m upset from having to convince people that I’m worthy of that same support. I’m upset I’m forced to beg for people to see my humanity every day. Some days I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this. But I guess that's what the world wants; for us to give up.


"Taylor McNallie dedicates her time to seeking racial justice and collective liberation through education and hands-on work with both marginalized communities and allies alike. As the co-creator of Inclusive Canada, she provides education on anti-racism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness. She is also a member of the Walls Down Collective which provides access to no-barrier resources and care such as Harm Reduction, free food programs and an alternative to local policing."

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