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

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Birds were saved but the buildings on Castleman Road were destroyed by fire

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

VIDEO: Chilliwack chicken barn destroyed by fire

Chickens saved from blaze as firefighters work to control large fire

50-year-old time capsule unsealed at Abbotsford International Airport

Capsule sealed by former PM Pierre E. Trudeau in 1970, when event became ‘Canada’s National Airshow’

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

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

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

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

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Fraser Valley heritage house

Chilliwack heritage house makes 1.7-kilometre journey to new location

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for Aug. 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read