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Bill Cosby: Innocent until proven guilty.

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I remember being a kid, excited to get home from school to watch television with my older sisters and brother. We all sat around the TV, some on the floor, some on chairs waiting for our mom to come in the room with the biscuits to go with the hot pot of tea my oldest sister just bought into the room. It was Friday afternoon, The Cosby show was coming on. This was a time for our family to sit down and watch the Huxtables. An upper middle class African-American family that lived in Brooklyn, New York.

The main characters are the funny and charismatic Dr. Cliff Huxtable played by Bill Cosby and his wife Attorney Claire Huxtable played by Phylicia Rashad. They played the parts so naturally, it actually felt like they were married on and off the set. The characters, successful parents living busy lives with 5 kids, the show bought together all the warmth you need for an All-American family. It was a hit.

The Cosby Show was a hit with the story about the Huxtable Family from Brooklyn, New York.

The Cosby Show was a hit with the story about the Huxtable Family from Brooklyn, New York.

It was a show that made our family laugh, smile and made us feel good to be in each others company. I mean everyone at school could totally relate to Theo Huxtable and his high school adventures. One of my favourite parts of the show was when Vanessa and Rudy, Cosby`s younger daughters would clean up their room only to finish and have it checked by a father (Bill COSBY) who was more in the spirit of a drill army sergeant inspecting the top of the shelves for any dust.

What a great show. So warm and real. I loved the interactions between Mr and Mrs Huxtable. Their loving smooches, when they would slow dance and even as professionals coming home from a long day at work was right on. I remember the priceless look on Dr. Huxtable’s face when Olivia who was played by Raven Symone would say the cutest and most darnest things. The show overall was entertaining, warm and family focused all while defeating stereotypes of poverty and something that was rare to see on TV during the mid 80s essentially shining a light on the successes of an upper middle class black family in America.

Bill Cosby with his co-star Phylicia Rashad, they both played Cliff and Claire Huxtable on the Cosby Show.

Bill Cosby with his co-star Phylicia Rashad, they both played Cliff and Claire Huxtable on the Cosby Show.

Fast forward 30 years, Bill Cosby, former star and creator of the Cosby show, Jell-O Pudding Spokesman, Fat Albert Creator, Host of Kids say the Darnest things, Stand Up comedian and Actor is being accused by 23 different women that he had taken advantage of them sexually, some with eerily similar stories saying that he had drugged them. How could this be? The women are mostly models and actresses who admittedly were hoping to get a boost in their careers. Think about it, Bill Cosby an actor that could bring families together at the same time opening the door for other Black casted comedies like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, In Living Color and a spin-off from the Cosby Show, A Different World. A man that himself experienced racism and was emotionally beaten in the predominantly white entertainment world who changed the stereo type of a Black family in American. An innovator. An activist. A philanthropist. How could this be true? Not Bill Cosby?

Bill Cosby on the front page of Time Magazine in September 1987.

Bill Cosby on the front page of Time Magazine in September 1987.

When I read the accusations some even dating back 50 years it certainly and at times admittedly seemed as if a lot of the accusers were hoping to gain from a relationship with the actor who was a Mega Hollywood sitcom star at the time. I’m sure Bill Cosby isn’t perfect and I’m sure he’s had his share of sexual encounters. I mean think about it, some of these allegations come from events happening at the Playboy mansion. Cosby known to party with his close friend Hugh Heffner never had a shortage of women around. Cosby was known to have played the saxophone many times at the mansion, serenading the women and playboy models that partied there. Bill and Hugh even founded the Playboy Jazz festival together.

Bill Cosby, center, is recognized as an honorary Chief Petty Officer flanked by Master Chief Petty Officer Rick West (R) and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus (L) on February 2011.

Bill Cosby, center, is recognized as an honorary Chief Petty Officer flanked by Rick West (R) Master Chief Petty Officer and Ray Mabus (L) Secretary of the Navy on February 2011.

Some Canadians in Ontario who seem to have been possibly motivated by the most recent sexual allegations prominent in the media such as the revelations and charges against the former CBC radio Host Jian Ghomeshi, sexual accusations between MPs in Ottawa, and some high profile cases have started a protest against Bill Cosby who will be doing shows in Kitchener, London and Hamilton. Despite protests being organized in and outside the venue and the Premier and Mayors of two cities publically boycotting it, everyone seems to be missing one very important point. Bill Cosby is not charged with any crime, as of yet. And if he does get charhed he is still innocent. Until, he is proven in a court of Law to be guilty of charges if there will be any, the man that played the beloved husband of Claire Huxtable, Dr. Cliff Huxtable, is innocent.

Now, finally we hear from Keshia Knight Pulliam who played Rudy, Cosby’s youngest daughter on the show. After recently being fired by Donald Trump as a project manager on the new season of Celebrity Apprentice for not calling her childhood on-set father Bill Cosby to ask for a donation to a charity (a show that was filmed in March 2013 before the allegations), she came out on the Today Show and the Wendy Williams show and shared her thoughts on Bill Cosby, who she considered a father figure growing up. Now keep in mind the reason Knight didn’t contact Cosby was because they just hadn’t spoken in 5 years, remember it’s been a long time since they were on the show together.

When asked by Wendy Williams how she feels about Cosby being accused this is what she had to say,

“You know, honestly that’s not the man I know, them man I know has done a tremendous amount for colleges, for endowments, has given money so, so many people can go to school. And even what he did, the revolution he created with Television. The Cosbys, we were the first family that no matter what race, religion, you saw yourself in, we saw how much alike we were than different..I don’t have that story to tell of him. the man I know and love is who I just described…there are two sides to a story and we are in American, so it’s innocent until proven guilty in a court of law….but once the dust settles people will recognize how he’s given to society with all of his work and you can not take that away.”

She told the Today show, “All I can speak to is the man I know and I love the fact that he has been such an example [and] you can’t take away from the great that he has done, the millions and millions of dollars he has given back to colleges and education, and just what he did with The Cosby Show and how ground breaking that was.”

Well there you have it, another perspective. Now until I hear differently from some of his other co-stars and the people who spent 8 years with him on set like Phylicia Rashad, or any of the others that played his children like Sabrina Le Beauf, Lisa Michelle Bonet, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tempestt Bledsoe. I will not be satisfied with the organized protests to Cosby’s performance in Canada.

Today, he just released a press release warning his fans to stay away and “not confront the person making the disruption.” Cosby promised his fans “the show of their life.” I mean, he’s 77 years old and he really doesn’t need to be doing shows but he loves it, he loves the people, he loves show business. His character assassination from sexual encounters that took place years ago is There are probably many other women out there who have had sex with Cosby but never came out publicly because they got what they wanted or they were there for the experience. Now, women are not a sexual object in any way. But men can be if you want them to be right? I mean, Bill Cosby is this big American star making millions, playing the saxophone serenating the women with his big humor and quick wits.

Cosby frequently gave speeches to Temple commencement audiences filling football stadiums.

Cosby frequently gave speeches to Temple commencement audiences filling football stadiums.

Maybe the Premier and the Mayors of those cities should find out and tell their citizens how many convicted rapists and child molesters live within 50 miles of these cities where the shows will take place. Maybe all this organized energy and verbal assault should be placed on those dirty, filthy and demented citizens that live in our communities. Now, I’m not here standing up for Cosby or here to say he’s an angel. But I what I will say is before you go judging, and believing the accusations are true keep in mind, 30 years ago the excitement of having sex with an A-list celebrity in his prime was exhilarating as it would be today if you`re into that sort of thing.

Bill Cosby served for four years with the US Navy and was enlisted at the age of 19.

Bill Cosby served for four years with the US Navy and was enlisted at the age of 19.

Now when that A-list celebrity is enlisting the thought of winding down his/her career or maybe is 77 years of age and worth in excess of $400 million like Cosby, all of a sudden that thrilling sexual encounter with the celebrity seems to be losing value and you may feel like you’re owned something and you never really gave him permission to begin with or did you. May be some victims will be able to make a deal with Cosby outside of court to save the years of court if any charges are filed. So folks, the shows in Canada will go on…and Bill Cosby said it will be the show of a lifetime.

Some protests being staged on the nights of the shows will be by organiztions representing sexual assault victims and will be there hopefully not to make Bill Cosby look like a monster but to shine light on an issue that has been in the dark for so long. It’s great to see groups come together to fight for the cause of sexual violence but how do we know someone’s not telling the truth or pushing an agenda, maybe payday. Yes, we have to support the victims by believing them but how can we so quickly 20 or 30 years later..Maybe this is coordinated.

 He was University of Temple"s most famous Alumni and former Board member.

He was University of Temple”s most famous Alumni and former Board member.

Maybe it’s smart to shine a light on the cause through the attention of someone like Cosby and the accusations against him. But let’s be fair. Heckling Cosby LIVE on stage is just brutally mean spirited and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Now if this was 5 months after him being found guilty in a court of law then I would accept the organized protests. However to use Cosby`s bruised will and character assassination for the gain of a social cause is sacrificial. Right now, he does not face any criminal charges. It`s a mean world. When the accusations and allegations come out, everybody turns their back on you. Even the US Navy which Cosby served in his younger years took their honorary award away.

Bill and Hugh's friendship goes almost 50 years.

Bill Cosby/high heffner Their friendship goes back almost 50 years

Here is a release to the press from the US Navy on December 4, 2014.

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens today said the Navy is revoking Bill Cosby’s title of honorary Chief Petty Officer, originally presented in 2011. The Navy is taking this action because allegations against Mr. Cosby are very serious and are in conflict with the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment.

Cosby enlisted in the Navy in 1956 and served for four years as a hospital corpsman before being honorably discharged in 1960 as a 3rd Class Petty Officer.

Its sad that noble organizations and people look at this situation are so quick to separate themselves and their brand and are willing to pass judgement burying and even taking back their honorary awards and staining his accomplishments which include social victories and contributing to academia, culture and the civil rights movement. Hopefully he never took advantage of his sexual situations like these women are accusing him of… A part of me thinks I know Cosby, or maybe I think he”s Dr. Huxtable. I know Cliff Huxtable. He’s a great Doctor and Husband. He would never so anything like that.

Anyways, being raised in a house full of older women, I know what girl power is all about meaning I know the power of organized sisterhood. But let`s not drag Bill Cosby`s face in the mud in the process of doing it. Use Bill Cosby`s celebrity to raise money for sexual assault victims, OK, Yes. Screaming, taunting and yelling profusely at the legend while he is trying to serve and perform for his once beloved audience as he`s done for years, No. He doesn’t even face any charges yet. So I will close with this final line; William J. Cosby AKA Bill Cosby: Innocent until proven guilty.


With a background in sales, security and real estate development, Sukh is a political strategist excelling in community organizing, fundraising and civic affairs. He enjoys performing and has appeared as a background performer in Hollywood productions. Sukh grew up on the tough streets of Dunoon, Scotland before moving to Canada at age 10 and brings a unique perspective to Surrey604. He speaks his mind, and believes social media can be a force for good. Sukh has been a control agent for President Obama’s Inaugural Celebration team in Washington DC and spoke on interfaith affairs at the White House. A member of the Surrey Board of Trade’s International Trade Team and Vancouver Board of Trade’s Company of Young Professionals, Sukh is also past President and current VP Public Relations of Surrey Civic Speechmeisters Toastmasters Club at City Hall and VP of the Multifaith Action Society of BC, an interfaith organization promoting grassroots diplomacy, cooperation and goodwill.

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Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers’ Top 10 “Least-Wanted Valentines” For 2021

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ACTUALLY, IT’S NOT SO GREAT BEING “WANTED” ON VALENTINE’S DAY

HERE ARE METRO VANCOUVER CRIME STOPPERS’ TOP 10 “LEAST-WANTED VALENTINES” FOR 2021

Rewards up to $100,000 are offered for some of BC’s most wanted fugitives

VANCOUVER, B.C.: From the files at Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, here’s our annual list of the top 10 “most wanted” criminals and suspects who remain on the lam this Valentine’s Day. They could be far away, or in your neighbourhood.

(See below list of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers’ 10 Least Wanted Valentines. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of these individuals is asked to please contact Crime Stoppers anonymously. Your anonymity is guaranteed by the Supreme Court of Canada. You’ll never be questioned or called to testify.)

Tips to Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and charge of any wanted criminal can lead to a reward of up to $5,000. For three of this year’s most wanted, Crime Stoppers has partnered with the national BOLO (Be On the Look Out) Program to make available extra large rewards of $50,000 to $100,000.

“Some of these fugitives have been missing a year or even longer, and with four million pairs of eyes around the province, someone should eventually spot one of them,” says Linda Annis, Executive Director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers.

“Tips work. We received more than 5,000 anonymous tips in 2020 leading to 72 arrests and 135 charges laid. 21 off those arrests came from tips specifically about gang or illegal gun activity.”

Conor D’MONTE | WANTED FOR MURDER

$100,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 43 , Height: 6’1” (185cm) , Weight: 201lbs (91kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Marks: Asian characters tattoo on right shoulder, “Conrock” tattoo on left shoulder, tiger & dragon tattoo on left upper back, left eye piercing

John Norman MACKENZIE | WANTED FOR BEING UNLAWFULLY AT LARGE

$50,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 60 , Height: 5’9” (175cm) , Weight: 196lbs (89kg) , Hair: Gray/Brown , Eyes: Blue

Cong DINH | WANTED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

$50,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 34 , Height: 5’6” (168cm) , Weight: 132lbs (60kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Ryan EASTON | WANTED FOR ASSAULT, POSSESSION OF A WEAPON FOR DANGEROUS PURPOSE, BREACH OF RELEASE ORDER

AGE: 44 , Height: 5’44” (180cm) , Weight: 175lbs (79kg) , Hair: Brown-Gray , Eyes: Brown

Naseem MOHAMMED | WANTED FOR BEING UNLAWFULLY AT LARGE, RESISTING/OBSTRUCTING POLICE/BREACH OF RELEASE ORDER, DRIVING WHILE PROHIBITED

AGE: 22 , Height: 5’5” (165cm) , Weight: 122lbs (55kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Jeremy David MORGAN | WANTED FOR ROBBERY, USE OF AN IMITATION FIREARM TO COMMIT A CRIME, POSSESSION OF A LOADED RESTRICTED FIREARM, BREACH OF PROBATION.

AGE: 33 , Height: 6’1” (185cm) , Weight: 170lbs (77kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Blue

Roderick MUCHIKEKWANAPE | WANTED FOR FIRST DEGREE MURDER

AGE: 42 , Height: 6’0” (182cm) , Weight: 217lbs (98kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Skyrose JAWBONE | WANTED FOR ROBBERY, UTTER THREAT TO CAUSE DEATH/HARM, FAIL TO COMPLY WITH PROBATION ORDER.

AGE: 39 , Height: 5’11” (180cm) , Weight: 230lbs (104kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Brown

Tattoos: Upper back – middle: lotus flower and left leg: rose

Trevor SMITHEN | WANTED FOR FORCIBLE  CONFINEMENT AND ASSAULT CAUSING BODILY HARM

AGE: 37 , Height: 5’11” (180cm) , Weight: 181lbs (82kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Tattoos: Right Forearm – T.R.U.M (truly real unique man), Left Forearm – 4 1 5, Right Upper Arm – Drama faces, M.O.B – Hated by Many, Loved by Few

Jordan WEIBE | WANTED FOR BREAK AND ENTER, COMMIT INDICTABLE OFFENCE AND FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH PROBATION.

AGE: 32 , Height: 5’10” (177cm) , Weight: 150lbs (68kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Hazel

About Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is a non-profit society and registered charity that offers rewards for anonymous tip information about criminal activity and provides it to investigators in the communities of Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Anonymous tips may be provided though Crime Stoppers’ downloadable “P3” app for Apple and Android phones, calling Crime Stoppers at 1-855-448-8477 (new number) or 1-800-222- 8477, online at solvecrime.ca, or by following the link on the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Facebook page.

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers accepts tips in 115 different languages and will pay a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a criminal, recovery of stolen property, seizure of illegal drugs or guns or denial of a fraudulent insurance claim.

Tipsters stay anonymous by using code numbers to check back later and collect their rewards. Find MVCS on Twitter: @solvecrime.

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La Niña Could Mean A Dangerous Winter For Drivers, Here’s How To Reduce The Risk

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Plan ahead for safe driving in winter conditions

In many parts of the province, drivers are beginning to experience winter conditions and snowfall on the roads. With the forecast of La Niña, a climate phenomenon that results in abnormally cooler temperatures, B.C. is set to experience a colder and wetter winter than previous years.

The Winter Driving Safety Alliance is urging motorists, workers and employers to prepare for winter driving conditions with its annual Shift into Winter campaign.

All B.C. drivers—and employers with workers who drive for business purposes – need to prepare for the winter months ahead. Winter driving conditions can be dangerous across the province – from rain and fog, to snow and ice. Even the most experienced drivers are challenged by cold temperatures, slippery roads, and reduced visibility.

In B.C., the average number of crashes where someone is killed or injured due to ‘driving too fast for the conditions’ more than doubles from fall to early winter—on average from 99 in September to 220 in December. Further, 28 percent of all work-related crashes resulting in injury and time-loss claims occur in November, December, and January.

The Shift into Winter website provides information for drivers on how best to prepare for winter driving as well as information for employers around planning, implementing, and monitoring a winter driving safety program. Employers and supervisors can access an online course and use resources provided in the employer toolkit – which includes a sample winter driving safety policy, recommended procedures, and customizable templates. In addition, an online quiz tests drivers’ and employers’ knowledge.

The Alliance encourages drivers and employers to adhere to these tips to stay safe on the road this winter:

  • Plan ahead and check the current road and weather conditions on DriveBC.ca.
  • Install a set of four matched winter tires with the 3-peaked mountain/snowflake symbol.
  • Give your vehicle a pre-season maintenance check-up.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.
  • Slow down – the posted speed limit is the maximum speed under ideal driving conditions. Reduce your speed below the speed limit and drive with extra care.
  • Maintain a safe following distance – look ahead and keep at least four seconds of distance between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Invest in winter driving training – learn how to brake safely, get out of a skid, and become familiar with how your vehicle handles in winter weather.
  • Register and attend a free webinar to learn about practical B.C. driving tips.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees who drive for work, regardless of whether they drive a company-owned or personal vehicle. ShiftIntoWinter.ca provides information and resources that can help reduce the risks employees face when driving during winter.

Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services, WorkSafeBC | “Most employers in B.C. have workers that drive for work—whether full time like truck or taxi drivers, or as part of their job like sales people, community health nurses, or trades workers. Employers should start preparing now by accessing resources through the Shift into Winter website to ensure their workers have the information and tools they need to drive safely this winter.”

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Crime Stoppers “MOST WANTED – MUGSHOTS”

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Crime Stoppers “MOST WANTED” is a weekly fan out service based on information provided by police investigators who need public assistance in making our communities safer by identifying individuals involved in committing crimes.

If you have any information regarding the individuals listed here, please contact Crime Stoppers anonymously. You could be eligible for a reward of up to $2000 upon arrest and charge. You will never be asked your name or have to appear in court.

Subject: 1

Name: JOHNSTON, Brock Daniel
Age: 40
Height: 5’10” (170 cm)
Weight: 160lbs (72 kg)
Hair: Bald
Eyes: Blue
Wanted: *Canada Wide * Bank Robbery and Sex Assault .
Tattoos: *Right upper arm “cat”,* Chest “Death before “Dishonor”
Warrant in Effect: June 17th, 2020
Jurisdiction: Vancouver Parole

Subject: 2

Name: MACLEOD, Christopher
Age: 34
Height: 5’10″ (177 cm)
Weight: 1681bs (76 kg)
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel
Wanted: *Canada Wide* Break Enter and Commit – Theft Under (x17), Break Enter with Intent (x3), and Mischief in Relation to Property
Tattoos: *Left Hand – “FUCK IT WERE 10, CM”, On fingers, Cross, Diamond, Chest – RT Side – Devils Head, LT Side – “MOM” Right Upper Arm – Grim Reaper/Skulls
Warrant in Effect: June 17, 2020
Jurisdiction: Vancouver Parole

Subject: 3

Name: SERSON, Stuart
Age: 39
Height: 5’6” (170 cm)
Weight: 176lbs (80 kg)
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Wanted: *Canada Wide*.Robbery – Use Firearm All Others, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime – Under, Fail To Comply with Probation Order, Mischief in Relation to Other Property,
Tattoos: *RIGHTER UPPER ARM “Warrier” Tribal art, LEFT SHOULDER- “Scarface” ,- NECK- Chinese symbol “81”, LEFT FOREARM- Dragan
Warrant in Effect: June 17th, 2020
Jurisdiction: New West Parole

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Surrey: The Most Colourful City In BC

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Entering Surrey has always been emotionally interesting to me, it always felt like Surrey was in between everything and lasted forever. You couldn’t get anywhere “cool” in BC without crossing through Surrey. I guess that makes sense, after all Surrey is spread out having the largest land area in BC with over 300 km² and a population over 500,000 2nd only to Vancouver.

Truly one could say in a way that it’s the most central of all cities in British Columbia. It touches the whole of Fraser Valley and forms an umbrella for the lower mainland. When you think of Surrey you think of Bridges such as the beautiful Alex Fraser bridge or the iconic Pattullo bridge. It’s not a hop skip and a jump.

In high school Surrey received honourably the brunt of many jokes perpetuated by stereotypes and the crassness of teenagers. Yes, sadly on occasion I’d find myself snickering with said jokes, sorry…peer pressure is a thing. Living in Vancouver there was a stigma attached to Surrey, not really sure why. If you were ever to date a girl from Surrey, well, you were sure to hear a joke about “Surrey girls”.

Go figure that the first love in my life lived in Surrey. For that matter that thus far the coolest team I work with as a creative happens to be in Surrey (note to the editor remember this when considering bonuses *kisses*:) it’s only recently seen in the last decade that one can say they know someone that lives in Abbotsford or Chilliwack, that’s still kind of novel to hear while living in Vancouver but it’s old news to see you live in Surrey, because doesn’t everybody?

Anyway I think you get the point. But something that has been known for a while is rising above all reasons for why you should as a British Columbian get to know Surrey is that 60% of the population is non-white. It is The ethnic diversity capital of BC, truly beautiful the most colourful city. If you live in Surrey, these facts should fill you with pride.

That said it perhaps should also bring you a moment of pause and reflection on how you view people, persons, different from you whether by to colour of skin, religious background and belief or sexual orientation and so on and so forth. Really it should motivate us to consider how we view our fellow humans and even more importantly how we treat each other.

This last Friday, June 5th 2020, nearly 8000 attended the black lives matter protests in Vancouver BC. Surrey604.com was there to document the event. As I panned my cameras around and took pictures I saw many Caucasians more so than black people, but I also saw a large gathering of black people and I felt for parts of the protests like I was back home in West Africa, Cote D’ivoire, Ghana and Togo (areas which saw much export of slavery to the Americas).

When reflecting back on the stats articulated here I can’t help wonder how many had attended from Surrey. Now as I drive through Surrey I think about the unrest across the world, and through the United States, how it has affected each brother and sister of colour and how perhaps it’s affected many of my caucasian brothers and sisters.

During the protest many speakers took the platform near the water at Canada Place, starting and finishing each speech with a resounding “No Justice No Peace!” Or “Black Lives Matter” for which the crowd would echo back, hands clenched in fists raised high above their head. Some speakers were children, some teenagers, amongst many activists and artists, Black, South Asian, Indigenous, Mixed Ethnicities and White.

Some discussed the abuse and pain they suffered and crowd either cheered in comforting support or chanted “Shame!” after each injustice was described. Some of these young speakers, broke down in tears and could not carry on to speak, some cried out in pain. The masks covering the mouths of so many left only peoples eyes and tears to be observed.

When an experience particularly painful would be spoken out loud, you might have caught the look of a white person towards you (if you were black or a visible minority). All eyes wanted to say something. At one point I needed to get myself up onto a high step to gain a better vantage point in order to capture better footage. A young white man offered to help me up with all my gear.

It wasn’t something that had never happened, that would be an exaggeration…but it was a gesture I knew he sincerely meant as a way to honour me. I was humbled by his kind action. I had been taught with these same values through my parents and in my faith. I had been blessed to associate with folks who strived everyday to show such genuine fellow feeling towards all.

Yet over the years, more so lately than previously, I have noticed begrudging, not genuine, acts of kindness. It’s hard to believe but it feels like now more than ever, the present reality is that the motivation to love our neighbor and to treat others as we wish to be treated has been the exception and not really the rule. Diversity and impartiality is dictated more by corporate risk assessment and political majority votes, than moral obligations.

As I walked through the crowd that day, I slipped through the respectful gathering following black person after black person, and I smiled. People cheered blocks away from the speeches who couldn’t even hear what was being said. They cheered nonetheless. For a moment many I’m sure felt unity in a way not often felt these days, and certainly they rejoiced briefly to be amongst fellow human beings in such a crowd, still during a worldwide pandemic. A historic moment among many in 2020.

So now what? What has been learned so far? We know it’s not over, that’s for sure, but in the year of what’s next…what’s next?

Without directing any opinion towards political and legal reforms which are most likely to come, whether you participate in active protest and vocalizing calls for change through public activism or not, each of us can take some clear responsible steps within ourselves and in the circle of our own families in order to better love and respect our neighbor impartial of the colour of their skin.

Although there are many, for the most part, good suggestions on how you can do this, such as embracing an others culture by trying their traditional food (my favourite thing to do! Especially in Surrey) or engulfing yourself in another’s music or learning a little or a lot of their language, or trying out their fashion, (that’s so much fun when I can find something my size), we can all work on just one to begin with, that can have a lasting impact on our home, our neighborhood, our community our country and indeed the planet earth.

Treat other people, the way you would like to be treated.

And all the people said: “No Justice, No Peace!”

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WAYS TO REPORT RACISM AND OTHER HATE CRIMES IN B.C.

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The anti-racism protests seen in the U.S. and other countries, and recent news reports of violent anti-Asian crimes in Vancouver, have renewed our awareness about the hurtful effects, and the unlawful nature, of racism as a hate crime.

Any member of the public with information about racist activity or any hate crime, or who might be a witness, can:

  • Directly call the local police department. They will investigate hate crimes including graffiti, vandalism and hate propaganda. For emergencies such as a racially-motivated assault, you can call 9-1-1-and state that you are reporting a hate crime.
  • If you wish to remain anonymous when reporting a hate crime, report the details to Crime Stoppers at either 1-800-222-TIPS, or 1-855-448-TIPS. Calls to Crime Stoppers are answered 24/7 and are accepted in 115 different languages. Anonymous information can also be provided through the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers website solvecrime.ca, or by using the downloadable “P3” Crime Stoppers reporting app.

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers’ latest statistics show almost one in every five anonymous tips it received in April relate to hate crimes.

“When people cross the line to racism and other hate crimes, that’s when we have a responsibility to report it rather than ignore it.” says Linda Annis, Executive Director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers. “There is no place for hate crime in Canada or anywhere else. If you’ve experienced it, or you’ve seen it happen, you can call Crime Stoppers. You will remain absolutely anonymous. All we need is the information to pass on to investigators who can do something about it.”

What's a Hate Crime?

A hate crime is defined as any criminal offense against a person or group or against property that is motivated by hatred or prejudice towards an identifiable group, as outlined in the Criminal Code of Canada:

RACE, COLOUR, ETHNICITY AND LANGUAGE

  • The BC Hate Crimes Team notes about half of reported hate crimes in Canada are motivated by race (social categories based on characteristics including colour of skin, shape of eyes, hair texture and facial features) and ethnicity (common culture, history, language or nationhood)

SEX OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION

  • Almost 20 per cent of hate crimes in Canada, often violent crimes, are motivated by sexual orientation and identity.

RELIGION

  • Hate crimes against religious communities or individuals, based on perceived or misinterpreted religious attire or affiliation. These are often mischief such as vandalism, graffiti or destruction of property.

AGE, MENTAL OR PHYSICAL DISABILITY

  • Offences against elderly individuals or those with mental or physical disabilities including developmental challenges, intelligence , physical and mental health disorders.

Victims who need support or have non-emergency questions about these kinds of hate crime can contact the BC Hate Crimes Team for resources, training, or education at hatecrimebc.ca.

About Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is a non-profit society and registered charity that offers rewards for anonymous tip information about criminal activity and provides it to investigators in the communities of Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Anonymous tips may be provided though Crime Stoppers’ downloadable “P3” app for Apple and Android phones, calling Crime Stoppers at 1-855-448-8477 (new number) or 1-800-222- 8477, online at solvecrime.ca, or by following the link on the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Facebook page.

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers accepts tips in 115 different languages and will pay a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a criminal, recovery of stolen property, seizure of illegal drugs or guns or denial of a fraudulent insurance claim. Tipsters stay anonymous by using code numbers to check back later and collect their rewards.

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