COLUMN: Is racism on the rise in our community?

The recent events that have happened with the KKK flyer distribution and the shocking racial altercation video ...

  • Nov. 12, 2016 11:00 a.m.

On the Spot by Ken Herar

The recent events that have happened with the KKK flyer distribution and the shocking racial altercation video from a parking incident in Abbotsford has got people talking on social media and around town.

So I asked the question to my Facebook friends: Do you feel racism is on the rise in our communities or are these just isolated incidents?

The vast majority of respondents felt these are isolated incidents and these kinds of behaviors are not welcomed. Yes, respondents were very disturbed and had lots to say, and so they should. These kinds of actions are not warranted in our communities and when we take a closer look around you’ll find diversity is what makes our community unique as we have proven time and time again, and we are better because of it.

Our family received a KKK flyer on our driveway a few short weeks ago. As being a pioneer South Asian family of Mission, and very proud of it, this form of recruitment by this group is not what we need to further our discussion on diversity for future generations. Many have commented that the KKK flyer was unorganized, being tossed in the middle of the night and at people’s driveways, or possibly by teens. I say, think again.

Watching a few Youtube videos, it’s a old Klan tradition to throw flyers out at night at driveways for recruitment purposes, calling it” Night Ride.” The Klan has had activity in the past in Mission and this action by this group should not be taken lightly. Whether they exist or not, we just don’t know, but the divisive message can have long-term effects on people who may be vulnerable and who may gain an interest in other white supremacy groups which are active in the Lower Mainland.

The racial video that surfaced from Abbotsford which went viral is something as a collective community we are not proud of. Abbotsford/Mission being one of the most diverse regions in the country is something we can truly brag about. Diversity is a fragile concept and things can change quickly. Remaining calm and not encouraging further violence is essential in this matter. Good for the person doing the videoing to have the higher ground in this horrifying ordeal. I just can’t imagine what he went through. No one deserves this kind of treatment.

What can be learned through these two incidents is for the most part our communities are united when it comes to diversity, and this has brought people together like never before. And for those who want to challenge it, the masses will continue to rise with the assistance of social media that keeps everyone honest.

Gugan Kaur Sidhu from the Fraser Valley Human Dignity Coalition said: “I want to emphasize the importance of reporting these incidences to the police and or the FV Human Dignity Coalition. Having a record of the discriminatory incidences taking place in the Fraser Valley helps secure funding for anti-oppression work and advocate appropriately.”

The Coalition encourages those that were negatively affected by this incident or any other discriminatory incident to contact the Fraser Valley Human Dignity Coalition. 604.859.7681 ext. 270 diversityeducation@abbotsfordcommunityservices.com

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