I was saddened yesterday to witness a display of crowd shaming that frankly has left me disturbed.
I entered a drugstore and as I wandered in, I observed a mother of three trying her best to settle her three young children, two of whom were in the throes of a meltdown. As hard as she tried, she was outnumbered and losing the battle, but not for lack of effort.
I have been in that position with my own children and am sure most, if not all Moms and Dads have a similar story to relate. I could see that she was embarrassed and frantically trying to choose something from the shelf that contained Advil, Tylenol, etc. Someone was not well, perhaps one or more of the children, someone at home, or Mom herself.
The disturbing part of this scenario was the fact that at least a half dozen people (including a cashier) took it upon themselves to stop, stare, judge and loudly criticize her, talking amongst themselves, shaking their heads and openly discussing her failings. One elderly man even stopped and began screaming back at the children. Imagine that.
As she was leaving, Mom took a call on her phone. The cashier spat out “maybe if she got off the phone she could control her kids.” It obviously was not a social call. I hope by now readers are wondering why people would take time out of their day to treat a stranger so cruelly. I am firmly of the opinion it was because this was an Indo-Canadian family.
I stood up for her as best l could. As a recipient of racism myself, I know too well what it looks and sounds like….and feels like. I also know racism is alive and well in Chilliwack. For those aware and honest enough to aknowledge this fact and are are saddened by it, please use this letter as a starting point.
Be the change. Choose kindness. Teach your children well. Stand up to racism. Do not deny its existence. It’s time.
I only hope she has a supportive family so she doesn’t feel alone.