Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.

LETTER: Confederate flag is a potent symbol of hate

We cannot erase history and what it symbolizes — but we can deem it as unacceptable in our community

Dear Editor:

It would have been a powerful and positive statement if we all united and voiced our support in tearing up confederate flags from our community. It would have given everyone a sign of hope, inclusiveness, racial equality, and love.

However, we often divert from this message, so consider the following: Imagine that your local store is selling merchandise with a swastika. As a community member, how do you feel that this merchandise is being sold and displayed in your community?

Would it appropriate or acceptable to use a Nazi bandana/face mask during COVID-19?

Would you oppose or support tearing up these items?

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Summerland mayor destroys bandanas with Confederate symbol

READ ALSO: Summerland mayor receives messages of opposition following Confederate flag confrontation

As with the swastika, the Confederate flag is a potent symbol and display of hate, racism and white supremacy in Canada. We cannot erase history and what it symbolizes — but we can deem it as unacceptable in our community.

We can only do this if we properly acknowledge that it was unacceptable.

This means we need to tell our fellow community members when they are in the wrong, particularly if we care about them.

I have reviewed all correspondence from Allan Carter (including his letter, store Facebook page, interviews/podcasts, online comments), and I have not once found an apology.

While it is clear that he is demanding a formal apology from Mayor Toni Boot, Allan has not once stated “I apologize” or “I’m sorry” for displaying and selling Confederate flags, nor for the hurt it caused.

Allan has received anonymous complaints in the past for carrying confederate flags, but still decided to allow these items to be sold on his shelves. Allan states that he now regrets carrying this merchandise only because it “caused controversy in our town”. An appropriate answer would have been that it is racist, offensive, and unacceptable – notably in Summerland’s antiracism parade.

If Allan’s response (or lack thereof) is deemed sufficient by our community, we are opening doors to further racism and ignorance (from other community members) in our future.

We would progress by learning and discussing racism, discrimination, and additional issues people of colour face in our predominately white community. We would be less likely to steer away from these uncomfortable conversations and more likely to support public antiracism statements to create discussion and lead change.

And we, especially white people, would not only listen but realize that it’s our own problem to fix.

Tina Holtjer

Summerland

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Letter to the Editorracism

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

Just Posted

Ryga Arts Festival to include live events

Arts festival in Summerland will feature live and online performances

South Okanagan sees increase in real estate activity

More single family homes sold at higher prices when compared with a year ago

Penticton Peach Fest headliners moved to 2021

Artists include Glass Tiger, Simply Queen, Jess Moskaluke and Honeymoon Suite

UPDATE: Wildfire between Summerland and Penticton now ‘under control’

Emergency vehicles are at the scene near Sage Mesa, evacuation centre set up in Penticton

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

Your morning start for Thursday, August 6, 2020

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

VIDEO: A B.C business used robots to bring down concrete walls

Walco Industries is the only firm on Vancouver Island to use specialized robots for hydro-demolition

As CERB winds down, labour group asks Liberals to rethink EI

The government estimates four million people will be moved onto EI after CERB ends

Highway 3 closed south of Princeton after vehicle incident

There is currently no detour, Drive BC stated, but crews are on scene

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

Search crews en route to vehicle over Coquihalla Highway embankment

Incident on northbound side of highway near Great Bear Snowshed: SAR

Fire causes significant damage to West Kelowna home

The fire was first reported at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 6.

North Okanagan police search for owner of lost iPhone

Concerned citizen turns phone into RCMP

Most Read