Vandals spray painted the words Make S.A. Straight Again on Salmon Arm’s rainbow crosswalk on Sunday, July 29. (Photo submitted)

EDITORIAL: Vandalism shows need for rainbow crosswalk

Hateful graffiti shows Salmon Arm’s need for a symbol of inclusion

Salmon Arm’s rainbow crosswalk appears to be bringing out the worst in our community.

What was meant to be a symbol of inclusion, a public display of tolerance and caring for individuals who, in many cases, have struggled with issues of identity and discrimination, has become a lightning rod for opposing views. This has been demonstrated through acts of vandalism and comments on social media ranging from dismissive to outright disgusting.

Related: Police call Salmon Arm rainbow crosswalk vandalism a hate crime

Most abhorrent was the graffiti scrawled over the three week-old rainbow crosswalk Sunday night, words that have police calling the act a hate crime. It’s rather telling that the words used in this hate crime borrow from an insular slogan made popular again by the current U.S. president.

Unfortunately, these public displays of intolerance were predictable.

In most cases where communities across B.C. have proceeded to paint a rainbow crosswalk, there has been controversy and division. And, subsequent to its painting, there has been vandalism.

Related: Salmon Arm’s rainbow crosswalk vandalized after one week

Related: Salmon Arm council approves rainbow crosswalk

Courtenay’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized one day after it was installed with burnout marks. The day after New Westminster’s rainbow crosswalk was unveiled, a 91-year-old man poured white paint on it. Fort Langley’s was quickly blemished with burnouts. In Nanaimo, a biblical verse was reportedly painted over one of their rainbow crosswalks. Smithers – burnouts again. And so on.

Precedent, however, is no excuse for continuity.

Flying a flag honouring First Nations territory or painting a rainbow crosswalk are more than political gestures. They symbolize an openness to learning and understanding more about the world and the people who share it – things that should benefit us all.

Related: First rainbow crosswalk on First Nation reserve in Canada unveiled

Editorial written by staff at the Salmon Arm Observer


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Car torched: $1,000 reward offered for return of stolen massage machine

Odette Baumgartner’s vehicle was stolen and then burned in Kelowna.

Dust advisory in affect for Kelowna

Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic

Big White firefighters camp on roof to raise money

The eighth annual Rooftop Camp Out, hosted by the Big White Fire Department, starts Friday

UPDATE: Gun allegedly drawn over garbage dispute in Kelowna

The public is asked to stay away from the Christleton Avenue area

Pedestrian hit by slow moving vehicle in Kelowna

Rose and Richter are closed due to pedestrian struck

Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash sentenced to eight years

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Fundraiser for South Okanagan “supermom” who died suddenly

Friends described the 40-year-old Penticton woman as a supermom.

B.C. conservation officers talk bear awareness

How to stay safe this spring in bear country

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Most Read