A Vernon resident was shocked to find someone had spray-painted a racial slur and a swastika on a rock outside her house Tuesday, Oct. 6.
“I keep staring at it in disbelief,” said the resident, who wished not to be named for fear of becoming a target.
The resident has since reported the act of vandalism to police.
Meanwhile, more leaflets complete with links to websites promoting white supremacy and extreme ideology have been found and cleaned up around the Vernon area.
A Foothills resident reported cleaning up a stack of the hate-fuelled flyers Tuesday. The flyers have been found as far as Armstrong this past weekend, on Eagle Rock Road, Larkin Cross Road, Landsdowne Road and beyond.
Another estimated 500 slips of paper were reportedly cleaned up around Coldstream.
The flyers were first reported on Sept. 30, which coincides with Orange Shirt Day — a day that recognizes the harm caused by the residential school system on Canada’s Indigenous population.
Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming condemned the act of hate and racism, especially as the individual or individuals involved targeted school grounds.
“I am disheartened and deeply sorry about the events that took place in our community (Sept. 30), with the distribution of hundreds of notes linked to racist propaganda and a white supremacist website,” Cumming said.
Several businesses in the Vernon community were quick to denounce the incident.
“School grounds must be considered a safe environment for all students, families and staff,” the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce said in a statement.
Turning Points Collaborative Society also condemned the attempt to “spew hate speech throughout our community.”
“This attempt is another unfortunate reminder that racism, bigotry and hate still remain in the hearts of cowards in our community,” TPCS said in a social media post.
The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP continue to investigate the matter.
“We appreciate the information that is coming from the public about the matter,” RCMP media relations Const. Chris Terleski said. “At this point, we have not identified a suspect.”