Mayor Cumming responds to local act of racism

Victor Cumming 2

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. 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.

Thank you to the parents and school district staff who found the notes and took swift action to clean up and dispose of them, stifling the spread of their messaging. My gratitude runs deep for your immediate response to a despicable act that has had far reaching impacts.

Yesterday (September 30) was Orange Shirt Day – a day meant to bring pause and commemoration to the residential school experience, allowing us to witness and honour the healing journey of Indigenous survivors and their families, and encouraging us to recommit to the ongoing process of Truth and Reconciliation. 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.

Hate of any kind has no place in our community and will not be tolerated.

We as a community need to talk about racism and what it means to be anti-racist and an ally. We must be willing to confront discrimination, hate and racism in all its forms. I encourage you to speak with your children and loved ones about these things so we can learn from our past, as well as from each other’s personal lived experiences. Through this, may we gain a greater appreciation for our diversity and how it helps us become better together.

Today, let us take a step forward and let us lead through example, through compassion, and through an understanding that we are all equal.

Victor Cumming
Mayor, City of Vernon