Thursday, May 10, 2018

This Should Make Us Cringe

Yes, unfortunately this is the face of Canada too.

The woman identified by Lethbridge News Now as Kelly Pocha from Cranbrook, B.C., told the news site the men “were kind of talking to each other in their own language and then they all started laughing at me.”

“We were speaking in our own language,” Omerzai tells me. “Talking about ... playing video games. And some parts were funny, so we were laughing. This lady looked at us two or three times. My friend was sitting across from me. I did not see him glare at her. She thought we were talking about her and that’s how the whole thing exploded.”
Lethbridge News reports:
On his personal Facebook page, Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman writes, “I am embarrassed to learn that this incident happened in Lethbridge. We are working hard to address racism and bigotry but can not prevent ignorance and the hostile behaviour of individuals. Most Lethbridge citizens are proud of our reputation as a city that welcomes immigrants and refugees."

Dodge Chrysler in Cranbrook, B.C. has now posted a message to its site, indicating that Pocha is no longer employed there. Here is the statement in full:

"We have recently become aware of a disturbing video that involves one of our employees. We are deeply concerned about the content of this video and want all of our friends, families, colleagues, and customers to know that this behaviour does not reflect the values of Cranbrook Dodge in any way. We strive to be a welcoming and inclusive company with no room for hate or intolerance.

The employee in question has been terminated and we deeply apologize for her actions.
It is chastening but probably ultimately good to be periodically reminded that we, as Canadians, shouldn't be so smug when we decry racism to the south of us, eh?


  1. .. I find it regrettable she was fired.. she has 3 children.. She probably has a case for wrongful dismissal.. Should she have been smarter ? Or calmer ? It was a stupid episode.. and she was crude.. What the hey.. she did not speak that language.. and misinterpreted.. and plunged off the cliff into viral territory..

    Her unapologetic apology.. was interesting.. but again.. she got lost in her moment.. and went full metal shriek.. Its Darwin's Law.. she's not a victim, she's a volunteer..

    I see this stuff almost daily on TTC.. if I get outspoken or engage I can and will bring the full load & I step on toes or drop my pack on toes.. or I sit on backpacks parked in the blue seats.. I hate to have to do so.. but in baseball we called it a 'purpose pitch' .. There are times you just need to step up.. and pitch chin high way inside

    I board with seniors tickets cuz I can.. legit.. but don't ever confront me wrongly.. it will not end well.. I wield my paint brushes and paint sticks all day.. & my shortie hallway stick can appear from nowhere.. and its kneecap time.. that's my preferred target.. whack whack.. down she go.. uh oh

    But I keep the dark Black Irish beast buried deep
    serious chains on that creature
    I want my paint sticks to stay in my bag

    But never go after the weak or infirm or aged
    never ever come nowhere near my family or friends

    I thought the dudes managed her tantrum well..
    They were probably astonished..
    But that's life.. sometimes folks like her
    just go off.. spontaneous combustion
    and all of us are aghast..
    at the wonder of it all

    1. I have to say, Sal, that I have never personally witnessed a racist rant in my life, though when I taught general-level English, sometimes some students came pretty close.

      We always hear what a tolerant and diverse city Toronto is. Your comments suggest we are only getting part of the picture.

  2. She's from the pipeline loving side of British Columbia and she's not alone. Back in the 80s my CBC buddy, Paul Workman, came to visit for a couple of days. He told me about a story he was working on about the KKK in Canada. Paul surprised me a bit when he said that the greatest concentration of Klansmen was in south-central and southeast British Columbia from Princeton to the Alberta border. I had no idea. Subsequently I've found that's quite true.

    I was struck by this woman's speech. She sounded just like a 22Minutes character from Canmore.

    1. As I said in my post, Mound, we need to understand that this is also a Canadian reality. I must confess that I have shared a certain smugness with other Canadians when looking at events in the U.S., but given our own treatment of aboriginals as well as those who come from afar, such incidents provide a needed reality check.

  3. .. well Lorne.. I try to be an observant fellow.. As a 20 year old I was paying my way thru University working nights as a bouncer in Guelph.. as were many fellow athletes..

    the years pass.. I still pay attention to those who make my antenna straighten up.. Now that includes politicians, bad drivers, and other thugs of many sorts.. but my motto as a farm boy growed up is 'if you try to take me out - you comin with me' .. and as I am certain you are aware.. go after the Canadian Environment, habitat and species.. you don't have a friend in me.. quite the opposite.. you have a wicked ass verbal paint stick thrashing your knees.

    Red light runners, rascists, rabid partisans, car dooring expert asshats.. they have to get up real early ((4:30 AM) to be ahead of me.. I see em coming before they are coming.. antenae twitch.. my head is always on a swivel.. 'the warrior sees everything' is another life directive..

    Nobody on this planet has been as fortunate as me.. Better said 'as lucky as me' .. as my son sometimes says.. thanks for raising me to be alert n stay alive pops.. Whew ! He got the message.. I stole all the black irish luck

    1. Indeed, in these times, Sal, it is good to have a finely-attuned 'Spidey sense.'

  4. The video has been edited - portions have been cut out. We aren't getting the whole story. Interesting this is coming out just at the time politicians are getting heat about all the illegals crossing the border. And according to one politician (who has since deleted the tweet) the men apparently said (and this was from the video, a video which has now been edited) that Kelly Pocha didn't have permission to speak, or something along those lines. They also apparently made some comment about her mother.

    Everyone is being told that racism is rampant, but how many of us have every really witnessed racism?

    Convenient that this is a massive national / international story JUST at the time that Trudeau is facing heat about all the illegals coming across the border.

    1. Anon, please provide pertinent detail of what you allege here. Who is the politician? What was actually said? How do you know the video was edited? And does any of it really excuse this woman's rant?