Letters

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What's on your mind?

The Hub would love to hear from you. Email your letters, articles, photos, drawings, cartoons, YouTube or Vimeo links to owensound[email protected].

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deareditor

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express some concern about the nature of the hate speech post on April 10th. I do not believe that even the "scrubbed" version of the photo should be circulated. I think that we as a community need to be made aware of this act of racism, however posting the photo replicates the violence. We should be outraged by this colonial violence and we should be creating discussion, however I am very worried about the implications of posting the photo of this home with the violent words still legible.

I have read many comments of people saying that the photo should be posted in order to let the community know what has happened. White folks are not in a position to decide whether it is appropriate to post this photo. These words were originally used by white folks to enact violence against people of colour, and it is problematic for us to give those words exposure, even with the intention of speaking up against racism. It is not up to white folks, as we do not fully understand the impact of being exposed to instances of blatant and subtle racism on a regular basis.

Highlighting the words on media and social media re-victimizes the people living in this home, and now other people impacted by the words. Posting the photo online widens the audience of the hate-crime, and this publication expands the damage of the hurtful words to more people. For example, people of colour who are scrolling through their Facebook feed and will see the slur and suffer the harmful impact intended by the perpetrator.

Instead of replicating the violence intended by the perpetrator of this crime, it is more productive to acknowledge the racist hate crime that has occurred and create solutions for how to improve as a community, including listening to how the people impacted wish to move forward.

I recognize that the photo has been removed, however I decided to send in this letter as the discussion has been about censorship and laws around freedom of speech, not about our responsibility as a community to prevent echoing the violence experienced by these victims.

Anne-Marie Hay

Owen Sound

 


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