Surrey…Its Time To Clean Up Your Shit

Okay so this weekend I kinda just hung around the house and listened to the universe talk and decided to check out on all news but its Monday morning, and I decided to check the news.

On Sunday local reporter Bhinder Sajan posted this article about a Grandmother who was out with her grandchildren and their friends, and a few other grandmothers, when a couple, presumably white – although the article doesn’t mention their race, started throwing garbage at them.

Are you f……..naw Im not even going to ask, because I know that this is not a joke, it’s a disgusting act of racism designed to belittle and demean little children and grandmothers.

It’s cruel and it’s evil, and I remember exactly what it feels like. When I was about thirteen or fourteen, myself and a group of friends gathered around a “friend” who had broken the imaginary rules of teenagers and made that person feel like crap. We called her names, we laughed at her, we pointed at her and honestly? I am not very proud of that version of myself.

Especially because it was my turn the following week. All my “friends” gathered around me and started calling me names, the N word was used, as well as nappy, gross, fat, and a bunch of other terrible names.

It was the way that we handled shit back then, you know the difference between then and now? We were children, these were grown ass adults who decided to destroy a beautiful family’s day by throwing garbage at them because they happened to be Indian.

And instead of helping, instead of doing his job, the cop that attended the scene of the crime made the victims clean up the mess, and honestly that’s just par for the course in Surrey, BC.

Cops in Surrey used to actually care about the people of this city. They used to come to community events, and they used to go schools and talk to kids, they used to actually give a fuck when something bad happened, but now it’s like that has all changed, and largely it’s because the city is divided about the question of Cops vs RCMP.

The RCMP were founded on the idea of racism, they were designed to destroy the lives of indigenous people, and their job was to insure that indigenous folk “stayed in line,” it’s a tradition that has been carried down through the generations.

The RCMP has never cared about colored folk and if you don’t believe me ask yourself why not a single one of my rapists, more than thirty of them, have NEVER faced jail time for what they did to me, even though I reported what happened to me several times.

It’s not just me. The reason that women don’t go for walks alone in this city at night is because they know that they are not safe from the men in this town, the cops won’t protect us either, just ask Rena Virk, or Maple Batalia.

There are hundreds of stories of colored folk in this city being ignored and punished in the name of protecting the white folk in this city, and it’s no different than any other city on this planet, but it could be.

Surrey could take a huge step toward community change by inspiring the idea that everyone deserves to live here, everyone deserves to play, and have fun and make memories without being traumatized by racism.

Progressio per Diversitatem

Do you know what that means? It means Progress Through Diversity, it’s the city motto, and it’s a load of bullshit, because if that were true hate crimes wouldn’t be happening under the eyes of the RCMP without them going punished.

What happened to me throughout my life living and being raped in North Delta BC was nothing short of a hate crime, it happened because I was raped and abused by white supremacists, what happened to those people in that park was a hate crime, it happened because they, like myself, were and are Brown.

There are very few places for people of color to hide from a world that hates us, yesterday I saw this video on Twitter, and I couldn’t agree more with every word that was said:

Ama Ata said that in 1981! That was thirty-four years ago. The ancestors of our white neighbors, cousins, and counterparts came to our ancestors countries and then stole our grandmothers, grandfathers, and cousins, and brought them to these countries around the world, and now their descendants are making our lives hell for what purpose?

No matter where we are in this world, colored folk are not safe, and as much as we try to integrate our children with theirs, we are constantly at risk of facing racist, homophonic, abusive, traumatizing behavior, because “Karen is white.”

I don’t know about the rest of my community, but I am tired, I know that most people know me and my face enough to keep their mouths shut when it comes to me, because I won’t back down from a fight if I have to and they all know it, but not everyone in this city has the protection of being the Loud Mouth Brown Girl.

I feel like I need to express this a lot more, I am not the Loud Mouth Brown Girl by choice, I am the LMBG by necessity. It’s like my Superhero alter-ego, and honestly? As a superhero, I am a little bit resentful of the RCMP in this city who should be picking up the slack and proving they deserve to be here, instead of proving Doug correct as he tries to replace them with a city Police force.

Ever since the day that Doug said he was replacing the RCMP with the Police force, people in this town have been totally divided between yes and no when it comes to whether or not this is something this city wants, or even needs, and my question is why?

What has the RCMP done for you, that you actually want them around? If the cops that show up are telling the victims of a hate crime “you better pick up the mess of your attackers or YOU are going to get fined,” how is that doing their job?

If the RCMP in this city are proving over and over and over again as they have been for a century or more, that they don’t actually give a fuck about the people who live here, REGARDLESS of race, creed, or color, then why the fuck should we fight for them?!

If we have to be raped, kidnapped, murdered, and abused in order to bring attention to the uselessness of the RCMP, then what in the hell is the point of them being here? We may as well do away with a policing system all together and put that money into getting council high every weekend.

This isn’t Gotham, there is no Batman to save us from the Riddler, there’s just a bunch of racists and gangsters who think they run these streets, and then there are the RCMP who prove them right every single day by punishing the victims and ignoring the crimes.

I don’t know about you, but it takes a special kind of person to survive this city and I’m fucking tired. Even the most famous blogger in the city (not me) doesn’t talk about what’s happening here, because there’s nothing to say.

Monday: Violence

Tuesday: Fire that kills a child “no risk to the public”

Wednesday: Another fire “no risk to the public”

Thursday: Gang shooting “no risk to the public”

Friday: Woman dies because man shoots her, his name is not released “no risk to the public.”

Saturday: Family of grandmothers and children get garbage thrown at them

Sunday: Car accident caused by gang shooting: “no risk to the public”

And rinse and fucking repeat. Search “Surrey BC” “News” on Google and you’ll find the same news that’s been up on that page for the last two weeks, and do you know why? because we’re not talking about all the wonderful beautiful things that happen here.

There is a whole community of amazing men and women who are working to make this city a better and safer happier place, and then there is Surrey City Council who is now completely divided about how to run this city, who are mostly not doing a God damned thing about all the shit we all have to face while living here.

If we pay rent here, if we work here, if we live here, if we spend our money in this city, if we exist inside the confines of the city borders, we should be treated with the respect that comes with being human, and too many times that’s not the case.

I am proud that I was raised in this province, but I am not proud to be from Surrey, from where I am sitting, there isn’t much to be proud of.

If you live in this city, ask yourself when the last time was that you saw a couple holding hands as they walk down the street, regardless of their race, creed, or nationality? When was the last time you looked around and saw love? I can tell you exactly when, it was at Gay Pride, about 2 years ago, a year before the pandemic started.

That was a day that people from all over the province came together to celebrate Pride. The rainbow flags flew high, and people of all races, creeds, nationalities, sizes, and colors, came together to celebrate love. The sun was out, and people were laughing and having a good time, and yes there was that guy telling us that we were all going to hell, and you know what happened?

Couples kissed. OPENLY. They kissed, and they hugged, and they shook their butts, and they danced, and they had a fucking amazing time telling him that they would happily end up in Hell if it meant being their true selves and it was absolutely delicious.

And this weekend during the first ever National Day of Emancipation Weekend, garbage was thrown on a grandmother and her grandchildren and their friends, because of the color of their skin. Way to go Surrey, really showing your Canadian pride.

This entire country was built on the backs of indigenous folk, Black folk, Indian folk, and instead of respecting our rich history of culture and diversity we’re watching as white folk especially try to do everything in their power to stamp out anything that is different or unknown.

I remember when I first came to BC, on my first day of school I was told not to hang out with the Brown kids, because they are different, and because “they smell,” they smelled of curry and rich spices, and frankly I LOVE the scent.

I happened to mention to the school brat that I was also Brown, and was informed that “you are the right kind of Brown, because you know….2Pac,” insert eye roll here.

This shit is bred into the citizens of the people who live here and you know what’s worse? We’re home to the fucking Fusion Festival. It’s a giant festival that brings people from all over the world together to share food, art, creativity, music, dance, and love, and every year (normally) we gather to watch the parade of nations as we munch on food from one of a hundred food stalls.

And then the festival goes away and life goes back to as it normally is, people being miserable and afraid to be themselves because Surrey will try to stamp every bit of difference out of you if you let it.

The RCMP are here to protect, in fact their motto is:

Safer. Stronger. Together.

That only works if each of us decide together as a community that we are going to hold the RCMP accountable for their actions or in this case, their lack of action when it comes to hate crimes in this town.

We have to do better, because our daughters deserve it, our grandmothers deserve it, we deserve to live in a city that we are proud to claim. We deserve to live in a city that we are proud to represent, and if the RCMP don’t want to be a part of that, then maybe we should get a police force.

I don’t really give a fuck who is representing the badge of law, so long as they are doing the jobs they are hired to do.

But then who am I?

Sending all my love

Devon J Hall

P.S Here’s the video if you want it

Author: Devon J Hall

Devon J Hall is a thirty-eight-year-old Writer and Author from Surrey, British Columbia by way of Calgary Alberta. She lives with three cats, one mother, and is addicted to coffee, cigarettes, and weed, not necessarily in that order.

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