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

Caribou panel hears from critical public

About 250 people turned out Wednesday evening to give feedback on the provincial government’s caribou recovery plans.

Seven West Kootenay projects receive over $1.7 million in provincial funding

The RDCK, Civic Theatre and Touchstones Museum are among the recipients

LETTER: Backyard hens an eggcellent idea

From readers Abby Wilson and Andrew Woodward

Stephanie Fischer awarded the Medal of Good Citizenship

Fischer was recognized for her volunteer work in Nelson

VIDEO: Robot rumble at Selkirk College

Kids from all around the Kootenays competed in the 7th annual RobotGames Saturday

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

B.C. trucker pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal Manitoba crash

Gurjant Singh was fined $3,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition.

Study links preschool screen time to behavioural and attention problems

The research looked at more than 2,400 families

Most Read