Summerland mayor Toni Boot hopes the community of Summerland will have a community conversation about racism following a recent incident where graffiti, including images of swastikas, was left at the home of an Indo-Canadian family. (Summerland Review file photo)

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Summerland mayor Toni Boot hopes the community will be able to have conversations about racism after graffiti containing racist symbols was spray painted on a local residence.

The vandalism, left at the home of an Indo-Canadian family on the evening of July 13, included swastikas. Racist graffiti was also left at the bandshell in Memorial Park.

“It will forever be a fact that this family had to endure this violation and this vandalism,” she said.

READ ALSO: Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Summerland home

READ ALSO: RCMP to investigate hate-motivated vandalism in Summerland

Boot, Summerland’s first Black mayor, said the incident is a hate crime and is being treated as such by the Summerland RCMP.

While the graffiti was left on the home of one family, Boot said its message goes much farther.

“It was also targeting all Indo-Canadians and all people of colour. It has impacted everyone in our town.”

This is not the first-time expressions of racism have occurred in Summerland.

In October 2014, when Boot was running for a seat on Summerland’s municipal council, her business sign was defaced with racist and sexist slurs.

There have also been comments targeting visible minorities, as well as other incidents of racist symbols. One of the most recent was that of a vehicle sporting a Confederate battle flag. The flag is often associated with anti-Black racism.

“We need to stop feeling shocked every time it happens,” Boot said of expressions of racism and hate.

“Summerland, just like every other town, has underlying racism. We all have biases. Let’s all do a self-check. We are part of the solution in this not happening again.”

She is asking for a community conversation, not led by the municipal council, to address racism and hate within the community.

At the same time, many in the community have offered to help the family repaint their home following the incident.

Boot, who has been in contact with the family, said they appreciate the gesture.

However, they, their family and members of the Indo-Canadian community in Summerland have chosen to repair the damage and paint over the graffiti themselves.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Hate crimesracism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Pretivm Resources reports fatality at Brucejack mine

The isolated incident occurred last Friday, and the employee passed away on Sunday in hospital

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Smoke seen over northern B.C. from wildfires in the U.S. and Siberia

Smoke was seen over Vanderhoof, Fort St. James and Prince George on Friday, July 31.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read