Sunday, Dec. 11 was a proud day for Richmond. In a community-led event, hundreds of people came out to say “No!” to racism and “Yes!” to a positive, inclusive society.
People from every walk of life, and all ages, crowded into the busy Brighouse Canada Line station to support our shared community and demonstrate with a clear voice that Richmond is stronger together and that united we can create a better tomorrow.
One of the speakers likened Canada’s enshrined multicultural values to a garden. In a diverse community, we have the opportunity to grow beautiful flowers of every colour, shape, and form. All of our citizens contribute to that garden, and we are all beneficiaries of its rich diversity.
There was an acknowledgment of the affordability issue that has become a crisis in Richmond, but this is the result of a very small, elite investor class and planning issues (provincial and municipal), not race. (O’Neil, Vancouver Sun, Nov. 30, 2016)
No matter the colour of a person’s skin, we are all facing the problems of affordability, adequate wages and a tax system that is fair for everyone.
Across Richmond, people of every culture are working hard to pay rent and mortgages, put food on the table, and give our children opportunities.
Racism is the kind of poison that needs a whole community to rally together to fight and it would have been nice to see participation from our elected representatives, of all political stripes and levels of government.
I am not alone in thinking that fighting racism and hatred goes beyond party lines and political orientation.
Our darkest moments in Canadian history include residential schools, the Chinese head tax, Komagata Maru, Japanese internment camps, and Ukrainian internment camps, to name but a few. Can we not learn from our mistakes?
When Pres. John F. Kennedy addressed the Canadian Parliament in 1961, he quoted Edmund Burke.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Today, in Richmond, hundreds of good people stood up for their friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers.
You have my gratitude. Thank you.