Racist Dillon Mazzei Should Be Ashamed Of Himself For Hurling Racial Slurs At Punjabi Man Who Died Tragically

By Ken Herar

The recent Facebook post of a Mission man mocking the death of a Sikh man falling off of a pickup truck and ran over by the Indo Canadian Seniors Society trailer on Canada Day was met with a harsh decision by his employer. First of all, are thoughts are with the family of Sohan Singh Sidhu, who was visiting from India and we as Canadians don’t share in this inappropriate message that was posted by Dillon Mazzei.

I have participated in the parade on Canada Day in Abbotsford with our Cycling4Diversity team and it’s a lot of fun with large cheering crowds, who take enormous pride in being Canadian and the volunteers do a fabulous job each year. This year, happened to be one of the first years our team didn’t ride in the parade.

What Mazzei, said in his post was inexcusable without getting into the graphic details. He has since taken his Facebook page down and hasn’t issued an public apology as of yet. He was later fired by his employer, TerraLink Horticulture and president and CEO Stan Loewen issued a strong statement, which many on Facebook applauded.

Celebrating 23 years as a columnist, this month, I have heard much and learned far more.  The one thing that comes to mind is combating hate with hate, just leads to more unnecessary tragedies with no clear winners in this fight against racism. The hate just spreads and the divisions just run deeper and our entire community suffers.

What is clear here is the amount of people who cared and rose up and shared on various social media sites how wrong this hateful was. This what stands out clearly in all of the responses.  Our compassion and love for diversity and our common humanity definitely outnumbered any racist remarks that entered our thoughts. Still doesn’t make it right by any stretch of the imagination.  But, Mazzei remarks just brought our diversity closer together, not father apart for those that may side with this kind of mindset. We’ve had some high profile racist incidents in the area over the past few years, but our togetherness in our local diversity always prevails.

Our politicians at all levels need to be more vocal on such issues. It baffles me that we hardly hear from any of them when the community needs support in challenging times. This needs to change and our public representatives need to be more engaged as divisions creep into our communities from time to time.  I am extending an public invitation to meet with Mazzei privately to discuss and help him make this right and move forward. If he is reading this, he can reach me at the email below and everything will be confidential.

“Allaying fears, community education/participation, and cultural competence,” are key to preventing public acts of prejudice and discrimination, said Rick Rake, coordinator of Mission’s Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) based at Mission Community Services Society.

The LIP launched its #AllAreWelcomeHere bumper sticker campaign earlier this year at its immigration forum featuring keynote speaker Baltej Dhillon who spoke on Tolerance is Not Enough.  Positive actions speak louder than words, said Rake.

“The incident relating to the Abbotsford death was terrible, and the message of ending discrimination based on race and religion must continue to be strong,” said Rake.

Prospera Credit Union, thanks to support from Mission branch manager Sean Melia, is sponsoring the next  #AllAreWelcomeHere banner campaign in Mission, and this kind of support shows the keen interest in maintaining a healthy community,” said Rake.

Ken “Kulwinder” Herar is a Mission-based writer and a winner of the champions of diversity award for his columns in the LINK newspaper and other Fraser Valley newspapers. Herar can be reached at kenherar@gmail.com or view his blog at http://www.kenherar.blogspot.com




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