White supremacist poster spotted in Surrey, RCMP investigating
Posted August 20, 2021 11:20 pm.
Last Updated August 20, 2021 11:29 pm.
SURREY (CityNews) — A racist poster touting “White Wellbeing” spotted in Surrey Friday has drawn community outrage, and been reported to the RCMP.
Coun. Jack Hundial saysHE called the police himself after being alerted to the posters which claim that there is “anti-white hatred in the Lower Mainland” and accusing some companies of having “anti-white hiring practices.”
“It is one of the things that you just have to call out when you see it, and challenge people on this really just ridiculous behaviour,” he tells CityNews, adding when he called the Mounties they told him they were already investigating.
“You have to call out people on their behaviour, and their hate. I really don’t know of any politician running here in Surrey, at any level of government that would find this acceptable — certainly not citizens of Surrey.”
Hundial also says putting posters like this on city property is “unacceptable.” The targeting of low-paid, customer service workers is another thing Hundial finds reprehensible.
“We know a lot of these individuals working in some of these entry-level jobs are either international students, they’re people that maybe have come from another country. I commend all those individuals for stepping up and actually working.”
RELATED: ‘It’s just not right’: Kelowna security guard subjected to racist tirade at COVID-19 clinic speaks out
Rachna Singh, A Surrey MLA and the parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives, also condemned the posters.
“Let’s be clear, anti-racism strengthens everyone’s human rights. This is not ‘us’ versus “them.” It’s human rights versus hate and we must always speak out against hate,” she wrote on Twitter.
Last week, a Mission city councillor also took to social media to draw attention to posters in his community that had racist and xenophobic undertones.
“Clearly and with malicious racist intent, this sign was strategically placed in a high traffic view area. Hatzic Prairie is a growing diverse community,” Ken Herar wrote.
“There is no room for this type of mean-spirited behaviour in our community. This type of bigotry needs to stop, I’m very upset by this and am in contact with the local community who are as equally as upset.”
Herar pointed out the poster was put up near Khalsa Centre at Miracle Valley, a Sikh organization that hosts camps for youth and families. The gymnasium there was burned down in a suspicious fire last summer.
“The South Asian community members of Hatzic Prairie feel targeted as there is a growing East Indian population in the area.”
A poster touting “White Wellbeing” spotted in #SurreyBC today has drawn community outrage. A similar rhetoric was spotted on a poster in #Mission last week. ????: @sach_bc@CityNewsVAN @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/QKLFmzT9vN
— Ashley Burr (@AshleyBurr_) August 21, 2021
Stephanie Allen, with Hogan’s Alley Society, says right now is a time of societal upheaval with rises locally, nationally, and internationally.
“It’s disappointing, but I think it’s a signal that we’re in a very fearful time. People are facing — all of us — the COVID fourth wave, the situation in Afghanistan, the forest fires in our province, the uncertainty about employment, housing — people are very fearful. Some of us are picking a path of community and love and coming together, and some folks are reaching for fear and reaching for things that make them feel stronger, which unfortunately oftentimes is violence,” she explains.
“What you see on that poster is someone trying to pull people into more hatred, more, more fear — and violence — as the answer to that fear.”
The first public inquiry from British Columbia’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner was announced Thursday. It will examine white supremacy and the “disturbing surge of hate” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The commissioner’s office said in a news release there has been a significant rise in reported hate-related incidents in B.C. since 2020, which highlights an urgent need for a “trauma-informed” investigation.
“It is critical for all of us to be better prepared to prevent and respond to hate during global health, economic and social crises to protect our human rights during turbulent times,” Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender said when announcing the inquiry.
“Many of us are uncomfortable acknowledging hate because we want to think of our country as a peaceful, respectful place. The truth is that hate is here, and it is growing.”
With files from Claire Fenton and The Canadian Press