Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Resident outraged by `racist' incident
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 14 Jul 2006, p. 6

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Resident outraged by `racist' incident

Dear editor, This is an open letter to all in our community. My loving partner, and best friend, is Spanish. She has been a Canadian citizen for more than 16 years. As she was born in Central America, her skin is not pure "white". She is stunningly beautiful and has an intellectually creative mind that would stimulate anyone in any conversation. As an artist, she has been honoured to have her paintings chosen for exhibition during Georgetown's Arts Week. She has also had her photography chosen for Georgetown exhibits by The Halton Hills Camera Club. I share this with you to demonstate that she is a proud and enthusiastic member of our community. Recently my partner and her sister were shopping with our 22-month old daughter and her sister's two kids. During lunch she made her way to the restaurant's self-serve drink station. While facing the drink dispenser, she heard a male voice behind her say, "Excuse me!" After moving to the side to allow whomever had asked to proceed through, the same adult male who said "excuse me" pushed her from behind with his elbow. As she turned in obvious dismay, the man yelled for all to hear. "Welcome to Canada. I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Canada. Go back to where you came from!" These words were repeated a number of times. His statements and actions were nothing less than a direct racist reaction to the pigmentation of her skin. This was an exhibition of hate. Whomever you are, be aware that your actions were nothing short of assault. To verbally and physically assault a lone woman due to the colour of her skin makes you a coward of the highest (lowest?) order. I am told that one individual who witnessed this event, stood and made his physical presence known without uttering a word. To you, sir, I say thank you for being near when another was threatened. It is felt that your mere presence aided in tempering the stupidity. Dare I ask what might have happened had my partner been in a much less public space? When I asked her what she wished to do about this, my partner said she would, "rather just forget about it". I do not speak for her. I write this letter not only as a form of public catharsis for me and my family, but more in the hope that by shedding some light against this kind of darkness, that it may be exposed for all in our community to see. Let this be notice that this will not be tolerated in MY Georgetown. I dare guess this does not belong in your Georgetown, either! Stephen Cochrane, Georgetown

Cochrane, Stephen
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14 Jul 2006
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Cochrane, Stephen
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Halton Hills Camera Club ; Arts Week
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Resident outraged by `racist' incident