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Letters: Racist encounter troubling

Come on Ladner, let’s do better
anti-racism graphic

Editor:

I wanted to share an experience that my husband and I had.

In early April my husband and I were taking a walk with our nine-month-old daughter down 48th Ave. in Ladner. Up ahead there was an elderly woman and man crossing the street and I heard the word “abomination.” At first I thought that I had imagined it, however, she grabbed her husband’s sleeve and pointed directly at us and said “look at that abomination.”

Shocked, appalled, angry and hurt, I was thinking is this some kind of joke? Was she speaking about the fact that I am in a biracial marriage or was she referencing the product of it…my beautiful daughter with her dark curly hair and her chubby brown cheeks?

 I wanted to confront this woman who so brazenly voiced her disgust, however my husband (who is African) told me with a somber look on his face to drop it; that they were old and I should leave them be.

On some level when we walk together disapproval or disgust are displayed passively, some people do not return our greetings and avert their gaze, some even cross the street to avoid us completely. However, when I walk without my husband, I am greeted warmly as usual. Somehow, I cannot seem to get used to this racism. Sadly, my husband experiences racism almost daily on some level and still manages to deal with it with patience and grace.

In a country where we brag about multiculturalism and acceptance, this behaviour is the opposite. When we say multiculturalism are we only speaking about people from different countries whose skin happens to be the same colour as ours? Seems that way. I hope that there can be some change. I hope that by the time my daughter is grown enough to understand, she will not be judged by the colour of her skin.

Come on Ladner, let’s do better.

Jaime Gusto

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