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

Colwood man to ride 400 kilometres to fight kids cancer

Man riding for a beloved family member who died from leukemia at 13-years-old

Saanich woman completes 10 marathons, raises double her initial goal amount

Over $20,000 raised for Victoria Hospitals Foundation

UPDATED: Missing 25-year-old Saanich woman found Saturday

Yuhan Jin thought to be travelling by foot or bus, carrying two suitcases

Victoria program helps businesses shift swiftly in wake of COVID-19

Bring Back Victoria helps businesses open patios, create welcoming, safe spaces for customers

Peninsula businesses launch amidst COVID-19

New music school, martial arts studio, pet food store, welcomed with warm community response

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Most Read