An incident like this can sometimes divide a community along colour lines. The incident prompted one racist person to post on Facebook these comments: “Time to start deporting these people that are not born in Canada & strip them of Canadian citizenship or send them to jail for 99 years if born here!” I responded with this: That’s a pretty racist remark to make. Sorry to say. Not everyone of color is always an immigrant or a criminal. Think about it.”
By Ken Herar
When a crime of sexual assault occurs and when different races are involved it can potentially divide a community. Last week on Thursday, Feb 2nd a 19 year old woman was sexually assaulted by two men in Abbotsford.
The 19-year-old victim was walking along the sidewalk at about 7 p.m. when she saw a newer-model white pickup truck pass her twice as she headed east toward a bus stop. Two South Asian men were inside the vehicle.
As the woman approached the intersection, the male passenger exited the truck, grabbed the victim and pushed her into the rear seat of the truck. The driver parked the vehicle a short distance away and both men sexually assaulted her. She was then pushed out of the truck and onto the ground in a parking lot in the area of Gladys Avenue.
Cst. Ian MacDonald, from the Abbotsford Police Department said the victim, who was severely traumatized, made her way home and did not disclose the incident until the next day. He said she has been offered specialized victim assistance through Abbotsford Community Services.
A very unfortunate situation such as what has happened to this woman, has to be closely monitored by the entire community. There is simply no excuse for this. Praying on innocent people on our public streets is disgraceful. As a South Asian man, my heart goes out to this woman, her family and friends. I’m terribly sorry this has happened to you. I want you to know that I, as well as the rest of the South Asian community stand behind you and support you during this most difficult time. These two individuals don’t represent our community and we’ll make every effort to make sure these people are put behind bars.
Devious acts shouldn’t taint a specific community. I’ve been hearing various comments over this past week regarding this incident. Many have been very supportive regarding what this woman has endured, however, others people’s comments have the potential to divide the community. Here is what one person said on Facebook: “Time to start deporting these people that are not born in Canada & strip them of Canadian citizenship or send them to jail for 99 years if born here!” I responded with this: That’s a pretty racist remark to make. Sorry to say. Not everyone of color is always an immigrant or a criminal. Think about it.”
At the end of the day, there are good and bad in all races. When we speak about diversity, the one thing we have in common is that we all stand up against people who commit criminal acts and believe in public safety.
Diversity is also about reaching out together and trying to help one another at a time where someone or some family may need it. There may be set backs at times, however, it’s moments such as these where we can come to the realization that we’re all really one people living under one big umbrella.
Anyone with information or the knowledge of the whereabouts of these two individuals, please contact your local police authorities.
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 [email protected] or view his blog at http://www.kenherar.blogspot.com