Letters: Richmond allies, please speak up

A Richmond News reader took issue with last week's front page

Dear Editor,

Re: “Richmond News reader challenges front page story,” Opinion, Jan. 28

Thank you, Eve Edmonds for using your platform in calling these people out. You are acting as an ally, and most importantly an active bystander and I wanted to thank you. We need more people to speak up against racism.

I am on the anti-racism committee at the Richmond School District and I am also a student pursing a degree in Social Justice, so I study and talk about critical race theory a lot. Over the last few months, I have witnessed several forms of racism towards several of my friends. Many times in person, online or more common now on Zoom calls.

I have witnessed, by many people, a range of defensive moves and silence, compliancy, denial and an inability to have a conversation.

When racist behaviour is called out, there are a lot of excuses and ever so common, just silence. Many of these people are well-intentioned but their silence is upholding white supremacy.

Being uncomfortable and unsure is a part of the process of doing daily anti-racism work. I am learning and unlearning everyday. I am calling on everyone to move past the uneasiness and please speak up. This is a journey for everyone to uncover our own implicit bias and work to end and dismantle systems of oppression and create an anti-racist society.

 Our school system has a painful colonial history built on white supremacy and the City of Richmond has refused to list any acknowledgement of Indigenous history on the city’s website.

So, what is that telling us? As poet and activist Amanda Gorman said, “It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.”

Self reflection is painful but necessary in order to build an equitable and anti-racist community and country.

Sometimes, social justice work is isolating, lonely and extremely draining, but when you see that your activism turns into action, it is really rewarding.

Karina Reid

RICHMOND

Editor’s note: The City of Richmond does not acknowledge the unceded territories of First Nations peoples at the beginning of meetings due to an ongoing court case.

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