Canada Shree Paradkar: Woman yelling at group of men in Alberta Denny’s shows racism is part of Canada’s character

08:06  10 may  2018
08:06  10 may  2018 Source:   thestar.com

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This is Canada . Racism isn’t the whole of who we are, but it is definitely part of our character both systemically and individually, Shree Paradkar writes. Alberta NDP MLA Stephanie McLean tweeted in response to a viral video of a woman yelling at a group of men at a Lethbridge Denny ' s that they

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Screenshots taken from a video posted to Facebook late Tuesday that allegedly show a verbal confrontation between two groups of customers at a Lethbridge, Alta. restaurant by a user named Monir Omerzai.© Provided by Toronto Star Screenshots taken from a video posted to Facebook late Tuesday that allegedly show a verbal confrontation between two groups of customers at a Lethbridge, Alta. restaurant by a user named Monir Omerzai. (Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.)

Oh boy, not again.

Another overtly racist incident, another restaurant, another video. This time at Denny’s in Lethbridge, Alberta.

And worse, a reaction that appears to justify the racism, this one from an NDP MLA.

Read more:

Video of woman telling group of men they’re ‘not Canadian’ at an Alberta Denny’s goes viral

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A Denny ' s in Alberta is exactly where I expected someone like that to be. Send that racist twat to Afghanistan, we'll take another one of those guys, they seem pretty chill. Why does this shown it's part of Canada ' s character rather than the woman 's?

In a video posted Tuesday night to Facebook by Calgary resident Monir Omerzai, a white woman is seen turning in her seat in her booth, unleashing an abusive tirade at what appear to be four men in a conversation that gets increasingly heated.

“You’re dealing with a Canadian woman right now and I will leap across this table and punch you in the f-ing mouth,” she says. “Ignorant p---k.”

Then the inevitable: “Go back to your own f-ing country. We don’t need you here.”

“You’re not Canadian,” she tells them. “No, you’re not Canadian,”

“Yes, we’re all Canadian,” says a male voice. “You’re a human being, I’m a human being. There’s nothing special about you.”

“No you’re not Canadian,” she keeps saying as he speaks, as if saying it often enough would make it true.

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  Racist tirade in Lethbridge caught on video Racist tirade in Lethbridge caught on videoLETHBRIDGE, Alta. - Monir Omerzai was still stewing weeks after a fellow diner at a Denny's spewed a racist tirade at him and his friends.

It’ s not like Canada is immune to racism . There are ignorant idiots everywhere. It is in no way the norm or part of the character of the country. They bounced the guys because in any conflict between a man and women the vast majority of the time the man is asked to leave. I’m not sure if that’ s really a

You running around saying Racism is not part of Canada ' s character is a total slap in the face and insult to First Nations folk who have suffered and continue to suffer from the racist actions of our " Canadian Character ".

“Do you pay taxes here, my friend?” she asks.

“F-ing of course I pay taxes,” says the same male voice, presumably the person taking the video.

“Really?” she says. “You pay our taxes?”

At one point she hauls herself up on her knees. “You’re not dealing with one of your Syrian bitches right now. You’re dealing with a Canadian woman, and I’m not going to be talked down to like that.”

It’s not clear whether the men are Syrian. Omerzai is more typically an Afghan last name.

What started this racist tirade?

When a Denny’s staffer comes to find out what’s wrong, we get a clue.

“I didn’t do anything,” she says. “He’s eyeing me up. I turned around and he glared at me.”

Then one of the men says something that completely sets her off.

“Why are you being so racist?” he asks.

“Ooh, all of a sudden I’m being racist,” she says, her hands in the air and clapping. “I am Canadian so I am racist.

“You guys need to go back to where you came from.”

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Kenney and the UCP are gonna show Alberta ' s true colours when they ape the Trump path to victory and puppet his rhetoric in the name of owning libs. No Racism is not part of Canada ’ s character .

Racism is a major problem everywhere, even in Canada . The fact this happened in Alberta does not surprise me. A Denny ' s in Alberta is exactly where I expected someone like that to be. Send that racist twat to Afghanistan, we'll take another one of those guys, they seem pretty chill.

Then a man says, “OK we gonna call the cops I think.”

Lethbridge Police confirmed that police were called to Denny’s at the time. “To my understanding customers were gone prior to police arrival,” said Sgt. Cam Van Roon, executive officer for the Lethbridge Police Service, internal communications and community representation.

But that isn’t confirmed yet. “We’re trying to hold off until we figure everything out,” he said.

At Denny’s in Lethbridge, Alta., a man who came to the phone after I asked to speak to the manager confirmed an incident happened a month ago. When asked to elaborate, he said, “You can see from the video.” He would not give any more details. He would not say whom in the head office I could call. Our call which lasted 3 minutes ended with him saying he would call the police if I continued to ask him questions.

Whatever else we may say after watching the video, please let’s not say “This is not Canada. Or this isn’t the real Canada.”

This is Canada. Racism isn’t the whole of who we are, but it is definitely part of our character both systemically and individually. It’s past time to be surprised by it.

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And Alberta has one of the highest percentage of hate crimes to population in Canada . Only regions such as areas around Thunder Bay as example have higher - and that speaks to my point about Rural Ontario. Racism is in every corners of the planet. It sucks, but what are you going to do?

Opinion | Shree Paradkar : Woman yelling at group of men in Alberta Denny ’ s shows racism is part of Canada ’ s character . A Facebook member posted this video of a woman repeatedly shouting at a group of men in a Lethbridge, Alta., restaurant that they are “not Canadian ."

Witness this victim-blaming response from an MLA, an NDP MLA no less — the party that is supposed to be on the side of the marginalized.

“She was definitely not right and was saying horrible bigoted things,” tweeted Stephanie McLean. “That being said — (am) I hearing right? At the beginning of the video does the man on the left say to her “you ask to speak”. Then says something about her mother? ...”

First, nothing is said about anybody’s mother. A man says something like,“it doesn’t matter.”

Second, does any kind of argument warrant a racist attack? The shouting woman herself says it began because she thought the man eyed her, glared at her.

“I am embarrassed to learn that this incident happened in Lethbridge,” Chris Spearman, Mayor of Lethbridge, said in a statement. “We are working hard to address racism and bigotry but can not prevent ignorance and the hostile behaviour of individuals.”

Shree Paradkar writes about discrimination and identity. You can follow her @shreeparadkar

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