Responses to ‘hate’ column

Responses to ‘hate’ column

Editor: Re: Return of racism imperils all of us, Aug. 25 column.

Editor:

Re: Return of racism imperils all of us, Aug. 25 column.

Indeed a timely opinion, but a difficult subject matter to deal with fully within the space of some three columns.

Ian Moore Wilson lost his life in an act of terror on foreign soil (White Rock man killed in terror attack, Aug. 23), but perhaps a comparison should be made, not with Charlottesville, Va., but with the summary execution of the other Canadian citizens while kneeling at prayer in their mosque. Both are criminal acts perpetrated by individuals who held extremist views.

There is little doubt that both events are related to the politics of the Middle East, which has given birth to widespread Islamophobia here in North America, a racist viewpoint admittedly held by the assassin in the Quebec mosque shootings.

Notwithstanding, I disagree with the contention that some forms of violence are somehow acceptable i.e. war, when one considers that literally millions of unarmed civilians across the Muslim world have perished. This is the direct consequence of modern warfare from the Second World War onward. The corollary of this is the discussion around just and unjust wars.

Many nation states have had to take up an armed struggle to liberate themselves from the yoke of colonialism. Slavery has been one of the most inhuman forms of bondage and historically this was institutionalized in the U.S. Its modern social equivalent is racism, as fully described in Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.

It is not necessarily a question of insanity versus criminal responsibility but who are the war criminals.

Dr. Brian McCombie, Surrey

• • •

Friday was my birthday. I am older and hopefully wiser.

On my birthday, I always think of my mother with love and awe. She was left a widow with five daughters during the Second World War. I thank her for raising us to respect everyone.

Her favourite quote: “Everyone is equal until they prove differently.”

It took me a very long time to learn the meaning of the quote.

Friday, as always, I read the ‘Opinion’ in Peace Arch News.

The headline – Return of racism imperils us all – seems like an oxymoron to me! Racism didn’t “return.” It has been here as long as I remember. It is quietly creeping along where people don’t expect it – or don’t want to acknowledge it.

I am writing this because the opinion piece touched a nerve that I thought had died.

We have lived all over Canada. An absolute joy, a privilege as new Canadians, to meet people from everywhere… until we bought a home in South Surrey.

Out of the neighbour’s mouth came racial slurs over and over: “Nazis, go back where you came from. You don’t belong here.”

Nobody cared: strata, other neighbours, police… A letter from a lawyer helped somewhat.

Last week, I met a gentleman in the park with his dog and his young daughter. As dog owners usually do, we spoke. He opened up and told me what racism and discrimination have done to his life, his wife’s and his daughter’s.

This gentleman was born in Hong Kong and came to Canada as a young child. His daughter and wife were born here and don’t speak the Chinese language – which in turn upsets people living here from Mainland China – and the discrimination starts, even in the schoolyard.

I left the park not only sad but also angry.

Here is a beautiful quote that fits so well:

You might be educated

But you missed education

For your heart and soul

The true essence of things

invisible to the eye!

Heidi Bumann, Surrey