'You’ve got to stop looking at people as races, religions or creeds': Winnipeg man speaks out after receiving racist letter
Published Friday, December 1, 2017 7:24PM CST
A St. James man is sharing his experience of racism, after receiving a page full of derogatory comments in his mailbox.
Tashie McKay had barely moved into his home, when he got an unwelcome surprise.
On Thursday, McKay saw someone enter his yard.
“A suspicious character walked up to the mailbox and put the letter in. I thought nothing of it,” said McKay.
But when he opened the letter, it was full of racist remarks about Indigenous people; the letter was directed to his landlord about tenants in the house.
“That being the place where I’m trying to spend more time with my son, it’s just disappointing,” said McKay.
“Disappointed in humanity I guess.”
Having experienced racism for most of his life, McKay told CTV News he wished it would stop, and people would learn to move beyond such behaviour,
“You’ve got to stop looking at people as races or religion or creeds. You’ve got to see people as people, and respect them regardless,” said McKay.
Jacqueline Romanow, department chair of Indigenous Studies at the University of Winnipeg, explained that McKay’s experience isn’t uncommon.
While working on a research project, Romanow said she has recorded testimony after testimony from Indigenous students, about the racism they face every day.
Romanow said the issue is widespread across Winnipeg and Manitoba.
“As a society we recognize that racism is a bad thing in every case, except for Indigenous people,” said Romanow.
Calling it pervasive and systemic racism, Romanow detailed how damaging it can be.
“Once that starts happening to you, it’s hard not to be a little afraid. It’s hard not to be a little anxious,” said Romanow.
Upon learning of the letter, Mayor Brian Bowman released a statement, writing:
“It is clear there are some with racist attitudes and the best way we can fight racist attitudes is to shine a light on them. It is sickening to see someone go out of their way to express hate in this way but it will not deter our ongoing efforts toward strengthening reconciliation and inclusiveness.”