After receiving racist remark while shopping for hand sanitizer, Okanagan man wants community to ‘do better’ - InfoNews

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After receiving racist remark while shopping for hand sanitizer, Okanagan man wants community to ‘do better’

Brent Carmichael wants Kelowna to band together, not focus on individual differences.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Brent Carmichael
April 18, 2020 - 12:00 PM

After a racist comment was made towards Brent Carmichael in a store a few weeks ago, he wants people to know that this is a time to band together and not focus on individual differences.

The Okanagan resident was shopping for hand sanitizer when a woman made a racist comment towards him, telling him to go back to his own country. He was born in Victoria and lives in Kelowna. He made a Facebook video about his experience, which has been shared more than 800 times.

“Comments like that have no place in general and no place in a society that is going through a stressful situation like this right now,” he said in the video.

This isn't the first time racist comments have been made towards him in Kelowna. When he was taking his dog for a walk, someone scratched the N-word in the side of his vehicle.

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“It’s not to condemn this city. I love this city, I love the country, but we need to do better,” he said in the video.

People shouldn't be concerned about each other's race, or who you love, or what you look like, especially during the pandemic, he said.

By sharing the video, he wants to make the community better for everyone, so people can be proud of Kelowna and people will want to move here, he said.

“The education level here and the collective feeling is less than other places that I’ve lived,” he said. While playing baseball in America he never had the same experiences to the extent that someone actually keyed his car, he said. He wants to bring the issue to light, so it can be addressed so other minority groups can feel welcome.

“I would hope through releasing the video and the message that people in this city (become more accepting),” he said.

Since his video was published, he’s received hundreds of positive messages. He appreciates that people are sending him these messages, but wishes he could share them with his friends that have had similar experiences.

“I wish I could give everyone a hug,” he said.

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