SUMMERLAND (NEWS 1130) — A recent UBC graduate says he’s trying to raise awareness that racism can exist here in Canada, after discovering hate-filled graffiti spraypainted on his family home in the usually quiet town of Summerland.
Abhishek Lekhi says a few windows were also broken when rocks were thrown through them on Monday night.
His parents were awake at the time, and could hear the crashing of the glass.
“My mom’s still shaking, she’s still crying, she’s still trying to comprehend,” he says.
Lekhi and his siblings live in Vancouver, but they drove up to Summerland almost as soon as their parents told them what happened.
He says they were hit with emotion as they pulled into the driveway.
“Entering and pulling onto our road was definitely emotional, knowing that, as you pull into a driveway, we’re going to see hate and crime and violation of our space,” he says. “As I pulled up to the driveway, my sister like immediately broke down into tears … this childhood home, you know we built this home 30 years ago. I grew up here,” he says.
Three siblings from Vancouver are heartbroken after their family home in Summerland was hit with racist graffiti and their windows were last night. Abishek Lekhi says his parents are shaken, and they've never experienced anything like this before. @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/XnOAkf7KRh
— Tarnjit Parmar (@Tarnjitkparmar) July 15, 2020
Lekhi believes this was a targeted hate crime, pointing out his parent’s home is not situated in a busy or accessible area.
Mounties say the RCMP’s hate crime team has been notified.
Lekhi says he’s come across forms of racism in Summerland before, but this is very different.
“Growing up we’ve all experienced verbal racism, passive aggressive racism, just everyday racism that we would ignore,” says Lekhi. “But, this is completely different…Somebody came here to make a statement.”
He hopes others understand that racism still exists in this country.
“This isn’t something that’s happening somewhere else like in a foreign world. We’re local were friends or family we’re neighbours. Address the problem. Understand that there’s a problem; don’t be blind to racism. Be apart of the solution.”
Lekhi says he and his siblings will be staying in Summerland for the next few weeks to help their parents repair the damage and feel safe.