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

Incumbent B.C. Liberal Dan Ashton watching results come in on election night. (Contributed)
B.C. Votes 2020: Incumbent Dan Ashton heading towards third term in Penticton

Ashton was first elected to the legislature in 2013

Penticton Vees forward Ryan Upson (pictured) scored his fourth goal of the Okanagan Cup Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 at the Shaw Centre against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in what would prove to be the Vees’ first loss of the tournament. (Contributed)
Penticton Vees split pair of weekend games with Salmon Arm

Salmon Arm handed the Vees their first loss of the Okanagan Cup Saturday night

Roly Russell, the predicted MLA for the Boundary Similkameen, and his wife Christine Carlson celebrate on election night. (Contributed)
B.C. Votes 2020: Russell leads as election heads to mail-in counting

Russell is likely to replace incumbent BC Liberal Linda Larson

Students across B.C. vote in a BC NDP majority government. (Student Vote B.C.)
Local students elect a BC NDP majority government

Penticton students elect NDP Toni Boot, with Green’s Ted Shumaker close behind

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

(Google Maps)
Collision closes Highway 97A in North Okanagan

The highway has been closed since early this morning

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Most Read