LETTER: Mayor’s actions won’t effectively address racism in Summerland

The situation could’ve been resolved without blame and degradation

Dear Editor:

The Summerland community came together with an amazing show of support in an anti-racist car parade for the Lekhi family, whose home had been vandalized and sprayed with racist graffiti.

During the parade, a visitor to Summerland had carelessly displayed the Confederate flag, which is often associated with slavery and racism. The visitor later apologized to Mayor Toni Boot for any harm his actions during the parade, had caused the community.

Mayor Boot later visited Your Dollar Store and More where the visitor indicated he had bought the Confederate flag.

However, instead of amicably discussing the sale of the Confederate flag with the owner of the store, Allan Carter, Mayor Boot accused Carter of “perpetuating racism in our town.” (Summerland Review July 23, 2020)

Perhaps it was just misjudgment on Mayor Boot’s part that she didn’t first seek to understand why the bandanas with the Confederate emblem printed on them were in the store in the first place.

A few months back Allan Carter explained, he had requested hundreds of bandanas with a variety of designs from his supplier, when the public was in need of face coverings.

It was Carter’s own admission that he had made a “poor decision” by leaving the Confederate bandanas for sale in his store, along with the hundreds of other bandanas.

It must be obvious that Allen Carter, a well-respected business owner and supporter of organizations in this community, would not purposefully “perpetuate racism in our town.”

This situation could have been resolved without blame and degradation.

Let not the filmed display of Mayor Boot cutting up the remaining Confederate bandanas in front of Carter’s store, overshadow the spirit of unity and goodwill this community extended to the Lekhi family.

The province-wide media attention sought by Mayor Boot to film the cutting up of the Confederate bandanas will do absolutely nothing to effectively address racism in this community.

This error in judgment will only deepen the divide. It is evident that the people of Summerland have the courage and willingness to address racism in constructive ways.

Let us continually strive for unity in these most difficult times.

Sandra and John Nicholson

Summerland

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

Just Posted

ICBC stats reveal where most vehicle collisions are occurring in Salmon Arm

Statistics for property damage only and casualty crashes span four year period

Morning Start: Water can freeze and boil at the same time

Your morning start for Thursday, August 6, 2020

Hunting cabins were built west of Summerland

Area around Darke Lake was once known as the Piggeries

Father recounts narrow escape from Shuswap houseboat fire

Saskatchewan group overwhelmed by kindness of Sicamous, Salmon Arm communities

Salmon Arm RCMP’s busy long weekend punctuated by motorcycle collisions

Air ambulance brought in for Friday afternoon crash in Tappen

VIDEO: B.C. conservation officers free not-so-wily coyote with head stuck in jar

Poor pup was found with a glass jar stuck on its head in Maple Ridge

‘Do our lives count for less?’: COVID-19 exposes cracks in disability aid

In July, Parliament approved a $600 payment for people with disabilities facing additional expenses during COVID-19

Agreement between province, BC Hydro, First Nation, ends legal fight over Site C

B.C. will work to improve land management and restore traditional place names in areas of cultural significance

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Merritt man arrested after allegedly touching children inappropriately

Skylar Mcleod, 24, is facing six charges, including one for sexual interference

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

Most Read