LETTER: Blaming victims of racism

From reader Bobbie Ogletree...

I was very disheartened to read the letters in response to the article on racism in Nelson. The authors of these letters not only do not acknowledge the very real pain that the people at the forum bravely revealed, but there is also a sense of blaming and belittling the victims in the letter from Mr. Fry.

It is true that Nelson appears to be a tolerant community and that we do not regularly have the extreme racist events that occur in the United States. There is no KKK marching down our streets. However, subtle and overt discrimination that the people in the forum describe is eroding and a real cause of suffering. To dismiss this is to be intolerant.

I am a white woman who is the mother of biracial children. I raised them in small-town British Columbia. While on the surface my children were accepted, it was not uncommon for them to experience racism.

In fact, one of their worst experiences occurred right here in Nelson at a high school basketball game. Moreover, while visiting me, my adult son and his biracial wife were taunted with a racial slur while walking in downtown Nelson.

The quantity and type of racism is immaterial to the people who have to bear it. I urge us to continue delving into this issue and to respect the word of people of colour who are willing to share their experiences. And thank you to the Nelson Star for your illuminating article.

Bobbie Ogletree, Nelson

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