After watching the video of a BC woman unleashing all sorts of racial insults at a group of men in a Lethbridge restaurant I understood fully why her employer was reported to have fired her. Whether their decision will stand remains to be seen, but I too would feel compelled to do something. If firing or a leave of absence (with an expectation of counselling to deal with her issues) is within my power then one or the other is going to happen.
I don’t care that she wasn’t at her place of work when she decided to be verbally abusive to these men. I also don’t care if she felt provoked or justified. It matters little to me that she may have been under the influence of alcohol or not. The fact is it’s unacceptable behaviour.
This woman needs help. She is consumed by fear which is the foundation for her racist rants, defensiveness and judgements. Her narrow view of people – who in her mind “aren’t Canadian” – is now played out for all the world to see.
When she rises up to declare, “I’m a Canadian woman who won’t be talked down to by you”, we are privy to another layer of her anger. In her mind all their women ( Syrian women) are mistreated, disrespected and without a voice and she’s not going allow them to do that to her. This may be her own experiences with being disempowered coming to light.
If there was any honor she thought she was defending it was not found in her rant. If at the core she doesn’t believe immigrants respect our country, traditions, values or even other people she has also not demonstrated RESPECT. She has become what she hates and looks outside of herself to find blame. All of this is not only self-destructive but has escalated to triggers experienced in public. She is fortunate that nobody responded with physical violence.
It is for all of these reasons that I go back to my point that until she receives assistance I would not want her at my place of work. We don’t live or work in a cultural bubble. We are both challenged and fortunate to live with diversity in this country.
I’m trying to see her through the lens of pain instead of a racist, verbally abusive person spewing profanity at other human beings. I’m also aware she was not the only one involved in this confrontation. So, to guide me towards that end I turned to a quote by Marshall B. Rosenberg,
When we listen for feelings and needs, we no longer see people as monsters.