Summerland mayor Toni Boot has received some unpleasant, hate-filled emails and even what she describes as “a really horrible racist voicemail message” following an incident where she destroyed some bandanas with the Confederate flag.
Boot, Summerland’s first Black mayor, destroyed the bandanas on Saturday, July 18, in front of Your Dollar Store With More.
A Confederate flag bandana, purchased at the store, had been displayed along the route of an anti-racism parade in Summerland earlier in the month. The bandana had been purchased at the store in Summerland.
After Boot confronted the store owner, she said she has received 12 to 15 email messages in opposition, including five which she describes as hateful messages.
Some in the community have suggested Boot should resign from her position as mayor as a result of the confrontation at the dollar store.
However, Boot said the support she has received far outweighs the negative messages.
She said she has received between 100 and 130 emails of support, not just from Summerland. She has also been asked to have a meeting with the mayor of Vancouver about racism.
While some have said the July 18 confrontation at the dollar store was not about racism, Boot disagrees.
“This is exactly what it is,” she said.
The bandana sold at the store had been displayed at an anti-racism rally. The rally had been held because the home of an Indo-Canadian family in Summerland had been vandalized with racist graffiti on July 13.
“The story is about racism that occurred and about unearthing the racism here in Summerland,” Boot said.
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