The city of Vernon and local groups are spreading love in reaction to a recent act of hate.
Hundreds of racist-supporting flyers were strewn around local schools on Wednesday, Sept. 30, which happened to be Orange Shirt Day.
“I am disheartened and deeply sorry about the events that took place in our community yesterday, with the distribution of hundreds of notes linked to racist propaganda and a white supremacist website,” Vernon mayor Victor Cumming said. “Even more concerning is that these notes were strewn about near schools – a place where children and families are meant to feel safe and supported.”
The incident coincided with Orange Shirt Day – a day meant to bring pause and commemoration to the residential school experience.
“Orange Shirt Day may be a one day event, but we must stand today – and every day – as allies with the Indigenous peoples of these lands, and together, firmly reject all acts of hate, racism and discrimination,” said Cumming. “Hate of any kind has no place in our community and will not be tolerated.”
The mayor encourages families to speak with children and loved ones about these subjects, “so we can learn from our past, as well as from each other’s personal lived experiences.
“Today, let us take a step forward and let us lead through example, through compassion, and through an understanding that we are all equal.”
Donned in their orange shirts to remember that all children matter, Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce general manager Dan Proulx and communications coordinator Richard Rolke also condemned the recent act.
“We also want to point out that schools and school grounds must be considered a safe environment for all students, families and staff,” the chamber staff said.
“We know greater Vernon to be a caring, open and compassionate community, and we are confident these actions do not represent the majority of residents. That said, we must all reflect on what has occurred today and be clear that such actions are not acceptable. Racism will not be tolerated in workplaces, schools, sports fields or anywhere.
“Our community, our economy and our lives are enriched by the diversity that exists. We are stronger together.”
The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is saddened to learn of racist material being circulated at local schools today,…
Turning Points Collaborative Society also spoke out against the recent attempt to spew hate speech throughout the community.
“This attempt is another unfortunate reminder that racism, bigotry and hate still remain in the hearts of cowards in our community,” the society said. “This is an issue we must condemn as a community and publicly denounce all its forms. There is no room in this community for racism, bigotry or hate.”
Turning Points vehemently condemns the recent attempt to spew hate speech throughout our community.
This attempt is…
READ MORE: Vernon schools, mounties wear orange