REDCLIFF, AB — Several racist comments have been heard throughout the town of Redcliff and the community is fighting back.
It started on Friday at the Husky gas station on Broadway Avenue.
“We had a regular customer come in and ask if he could take a litre of oil because his bank card wasn’t working and he just really needed it for his car,” Jasveen Brar said, who’s mother owns the store.
Brar said she and the man had made an agreement, that he would come back later that day to pay for it.
He still hadn’t returned by Sunday. Brar called the number he’d left behind but no one answered.
She tried again on Monday.
She said someone else answered the phone. She confirmed the number belonged to the man who she’d spoken to a few days earlier and when she explained where she was calling from, the person on the other end hung up.
She called back and said she was verbally assaulted by the same person who answered the first time.
“There were some words that were said which I obviously don’t want to repeat, but it was basically along the lines of calling me an immigrant to other derogatory terms,” she said. “In that moment, I was very shocked, ‘cause no one had ever been that aggressive and full of hate towards me.”
The person on the other end of the phone had told her to go back to Pakistan and made reference to being Muslim.
“I’m not Muslim,” she said. “I’m actually born in Vancouver. So are my siblings.”
Her mother made the next call and heard similar words, including ‘You f***ing Muslim b****’ and ‘Go back to Pakistan you Muslim w****’.
The two shared their experience on Facebook, not knowing it would catch the eye of the RCMP.
“We only became alerted to it just through the Everything Redcliff Facebook page,” said Staff Sergeant Sean Maxwell. “I actually found it myself and started reading through what had happened.”
Maxwell sent one of his officers to investigate what had happened, hoping there was something they could do to help.
In the meantime, apologies were pouring in over social media.
Brar’s mother posted again, saying the family was overwhelmed with the support they’d seen. She also thanked ‘the kind gentleman’, an anonymous man, who came down and paid for the oil.
“We’d said that he really, really didn’t need to,” Brar said. “We weren’t looking to get that money back but he insisted.”
The family said they’re overwhelmed with the amount of support the community has shown over the last few days, saying along with messages on Facebook, residents have called and even dropped by to express sympathy.
“This was definitely an opportunity for us to see that hate, such as that, won’t be tolerated anymore and just showed what the Redcliff community is truly about and it’s about being united and being kind to one another.”
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