This happened in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada... In case people think racism doesn't happen in Canada pic.twitter.com/havZSB7UXE— Beelawl (@BilalSpeaks) October 24, 2016
For many, getting a parking ticket is a nuisance, but usually doesn’t incite outrage. However, last week in Canada near Greater Vancouver, a dispute over a minor parking violation triggered a xenophobic verbal explosion from a white trucker.
A cell phone video of a man being berated with racial slurs was obtained by the Abbotsford, British Columbia police last Friday. CBC News reported that police are currently investigating the racist incident as a hate crime.
According to Global News, police are not releasing the identity of the perpetrator, but the victim, Ravi Duhra, has come forward publicly. Duhra reportedly said, "This isn't my first bout of racism, and it probably won't be the last either."
The nasty exchange occurred in a parking lot of the city’s downtown area, between a white passenger of a large gray truck and an unseen passerby, Duhra, who captured the attack on his phone. The video went viral online.
The truck’s passenger can be heard repeatedly calling Duhra a “sh*t-skinned Indian.” The trucker proceeded to go on a ferocious tirade screaming, “You f*****g Paki, go back to f*****g India, you f*****g Hindu, you camel-rider m*****f****r. White power!”
After the man’s outburst, he began filming with his own phone as well. He asked Duhra where he was born to which he calmly responded, “Canada.”
A Toronto resident tweeted the video of the argument with the caption, “This happened in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada… In case people think racism doesn’t happen in Canada."
Even though ppl are freaked out by this, Canada is still better with racism than the US I think. This stuff isn't as common as it is there— Beelawl (@BilalSpeaks) October 25, 2016
Abbotsford Sgt. Judy Bird told CBC News that the incident became racially embroiled when the passerby expressed concern after the two men in the truck were fighting with a traffic enforcement officer over a disputed parking violation. Bird said, “[The hate crime] actually originated with a traffic enforcement officer writing a violation ticket for the person in the truck.”
She continued, “A passerby was concerned about the comments and altercation between the people in the truck and the traffic violation enforcement person.” Unfortunately, instead of the bystander being able to deescalate the tense situation between the traffic officer and the truck’s passengers, the aggression turned towards him.
Bird said this type of behavior doesn’t belong anywhere in Canada. She said, “These types of comments and this retaliation to our community are very concerning to us,” she said. “It’s a bit shocking when we see that on the streets.”
The fact that the incident is “shocking” to Canadian police enforcement may be an indicator that these types of crimes aren’t necessarily as customary in Abbotsford as they have become in the United States. But, the video also suggests that even Canada isn’t resistant to the disgraceful xenophobia which plagues much of the world.
Banner photo: YouTube screengrab, The Surrey Experience