You had to know I’d bring this all back home, right? I’ve talked before about Canada’s issues with race, and more specifically Vancouver’s, and as I’ve pointed out these aren’t isolated incidents – the issues continue:
Two men were caught on camera writing racially inflammatory graffiti aimed at people of Chinese origin, as well as derogatory comments toward police, on the wall of the Empire Centre parkade in Richmond.
Those of you not from the area may not know that Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver, has a large Chinese population that has exploded in recent years. It is perhaps more famous for housing the Olympic speed skating oval. There has been historical tension in the region between white Canadians and Canadians of Chinese descent. It comes certainly as no surprise to me that incidents like this are happening.
Police were able to identify and arrest one of the vandals, and will likely have found the other by the time this makes its way up online. It’s good that the police are able to catch the perpetrators, but that’s not a solution to the underlying problem of racial tension. By no means am I suggesting that arresting criminals is futile, but it is not a method that approaches crime prevention.
Nor is beefing up security:
Two Jewish religious institutions in Vancouver that have been targets of hate crimes have been given federal money to increase security around their buildings. On Thursday Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said the Schara Tzedeck synagogue and the Ohel Ya’akov Community Kollel would receive $20,000 from the Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Pilot Program.
Again, far be it from me to suggest that it’s a waste of time or money to try and secure the safety and property of people who are being actively persecuted by hate groups. It’s every person’s right to be able to protect him/herself from violence. Hate-based violence affects the entire community, both those who are the targets of hate and those who are merely empathetic and humanistic people. We should do what we can to secure our safety, and punish those who break the law…
…but we shouldn’t for a second think that approach is sufficient.
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