Richmond woman shocked by racist email over bursary for Black woman

“Shocked and numb” that’s how a Richmond woman feels after receiving a racist email over the weekend. The email was sent to La Toya Barrington after she launched a bursary to help Black women. Ashley Burr reports.

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – A Richmond woman is shaken up by a racist email she received over the weekend after she tried to start a bursary for single Black moms.

The racist email reads, in part: “Hopefully it will wake more white people up as to how vile you creatures truly are.”

“I was shocked,” La Toya Barrington told CityNews, who adds her booking manager — who is white — also received the email, and she was also rattled by the message.

“It took a toll on my mental health, but I pulled through,” Barrington said.

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Last week, she decided to raise money for a bursary to help a Black woman in her community go back to school. The mother of three runs a successful cleaning service and knows firsthand how hard raising kids alone can be.

“I used to be a single mom. I know the struggle, it’s hard,” she said. “And to start my own business, there’s some education that I needed. I didn’t have the money for the education, so I kind of had to learn the hard way. I would just like to help somebody, give them a chance to not have life as hard as I did.”

The message, which Barrington received on Sunday, uses the N-word and calls her and other members of the Black community “vile” and “creatures.”

A racist email was sent to La Toya Barrington of Richmond, after she tried to set up a bursary for a Black woman. (Image: CityNews)While she initially felt overwhelmed, she says this incident won’t deter her from her mission.

“It clearly needs to be done because so many people will say that racism isn’t that bad in Vancouver or that it’s not here or it’s been solved. Well, this email proves that something as simple as one Black bursary has made so many people upset that they felt the need to send me an email about it,” she said.

In a statement, Cpl. Ian Henderson with Richmond RCMP writes, in part:

“Although the email doesn’t meet the threshold of a criminal offense at this point, the Richmond RCMP investigation into this matter continues. It is hoped that by identifying the email sender police will be able to more accurately assess the sender’s intent and help prevent this type of offensive communication from continuing.”

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For her part, Barrington says she’s a strong person, but worries that if the email had been sent to someone else, it could have been very damaging.

As far as the bursary goes, Barrington’s original goal was to raise $2,000. But with the overwhelming support she’s received from her community, she’s now planning to continue raising funds for a second bursary and give them both out by the end of the month.

“I was a single mom and I had some people in the community that helped me. This is just my way of giving back,” she said.

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