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

(Photo courtesy of David Ogilvie)
Update: No injuries after van fire in West Kelowna

Two fire engines raced to the scene, on Dobbin Road near Scotiabank

Hiawatha RV Park will be demolished starting in February, to make room for a new condo development. Residents have four months to leave. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘I don’t know what to do’; Another Hiawatha resident pleas for eviction extension

Hiawatha RV Park residents have four months to leave the neighbourhood

Kalamalka Lake which connects Lake Country to Vernon and feeds into Okanagan Lake. (File photo)
Response sought to Okanagan Lake level management shortfalls

Water board adds support to Peachland council’s call to change how lake level is managed

In record numbers, Central Okanagan parents were turning to remote learning for their kids this school year. (File photo)
COVID-19 fuels Central Okanagan remote learning expansion

Enrolment for K-9 in eSchool program climbs from 40-50 to 700

(DiStefano Jaud Architecture)
Kelowna city staff wave down proposed Byrns Road development

Developer proposes gas station, car wash, liquor store, commercial buildings, in agricultural area

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

A rock slide is blocking one lane off the Trans-Canada Highway west of Sicamous. (Cindy Schedlosky/Facebook)
Rock slide closes one lane of Trans-Canada Highway near Sicamous

Single-lane alternating traffic is in effect.

Vernon-North Okanagan police responded to a property dispute in the 11000 block of Westside Road Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. (Google Maps)
Property dispute leads to police presence near Vernon

An altercation between two individuals prompted a police response to the Westside Road area

Titled “Dutch Underground - Laren 1944,” Mineke Spencer’s parents Johanna and Albert Jan Koeslag (centre) sit with their 13 children, who ranged in age from seven (Minike) to 28. Mineke is the little girl with the big white bow in the front, left, beside sister Marie, also with a white bow. (Contributed)
Fearless allies: Shuswap woman reflects on childhood in Dutch Resistance

Mineke Spencer was three-years-old when Germany invaded her home in the Netherlands

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Several police vehicles were seen at the Sagmoen farm on Salmon River Road in Silver Creek on Thursday night, Oct. 29, 2020. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
UPDATE: One person arrested, released following police presence at Sagmoen farm

RCMP were at Silver Creek property where remains of Vernon woman were found in 2017

Most Read