Calgary community members say video of an explosive outburst on a CTrain shows there’s a growing need to address racism and go beyond what the city is currently doing.
A Calgarian captured the video of a CTrain passenger cursing and spewing racism and posted it to Reddit on Wednesday.
The woman in the video is yelling at other train patrons saying: “Go back to Africa and China. Go home!”
Diversity groups are disgusted and disappointed more evidence of bigotry in Calgary is flaring up. Michael Embaie is the president of the African Community Association and said this type of behavior needs to be addressed.
“Racism is not going away tomorrow. But it’s not about this person on the CTrain. It’s about the bigger picture,” Embaie said. “We need to do better work in our neighborhoods. We need to do better work with police and law enforcement and our court systems.
“Our institutions need to do something about this; it has to be entrenched in curriculum from kindergarten all the way to university.”
Others who work to fight racism suggest the City of Calgary needs to go beyond the conversations and the public hearings.
President and CEO of the Centre For Newcomers, Anila Umar Lee Yuen, said all levels of government need to be involved and it starts at the municipal level.
“In my career this is the third iteration I’ve been a part of with anti-racism, clearly there’s a need to do something and maybe this is the powder keg with COVID and ‘Black Lives Matter,’” Lee Yuen said.
“I hope this is the time we start getting it right.”
Iman Bukhari founded the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation. She said the issues can’t be ignored and action needs to be taken.
“We know this is happening. How much more proof do you need? We hear politicians say: ‘Does it exist?’ We need to come away from the question of, ‘Is it a problem?’” Bukhari said.
“We don’t need anymore proof. You don’t need to re-traumatize people, it happens everywhere.”
“But what are the next steps? How are we going to change our systems? It’s about dismantling our systems and I just don’t mean police, look at the government as a whole.”
Bukhari, Lee Yuen and Embaie all agree more diverse representation within organizations will help give perspective to an issue that’s existed forever.
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