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

Maple Ridge movie industry almost back to “normal”

City of Maple Ridge film production liaison “swamped with productions”

Ridge Meadows RCMP announce detachment’s biggest drug, weapons and cash bust

Five month investigation resulted in large fentanyl seizure

Pitt Meadows woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Residents treated for smoke inhalation after fire in Maple Ridge building

Fire took place in the 11800 block of Laity Street

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

BCSPCA partners with Crime Stoppers

Many call in to the SPCA, but want to remain anonymous: Eccles

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read