Police investigating racist flyer about interracial marriage in Kitchener-Waterloo
Residents of Kitchener-Waterloo have been disturbed to find flyers about the so-called "negative consequences" of interracial marriage in their mailboxes in recent days, and Waterloo Regional Police are now investigating to determine who's responsible.
The flyers, photos of which have been posted to Twitter by (understandably) angry residents, include a picture of an interracial couple and several unsubstantiated claims about the consequences of interracial marriage and children.
This racist stuff is being put in the mail boxes of people who live in Kitchener-Waterloo, which is the community I spent most of my time in while I got my PhD at the University of Waterloo. Canada. pic.twitter.com/HrJpKO8QBE— #JusticeforBreonna Prescod-Weinstein 🙅🏽♀️ (@IBJIYONGI) June 24, 2020
"The rate of domestic violence amongst mixed-race partners is higher," the flyer claims. "Further, their children drink and smoke at higher rates. Their children also tend to live with low self-esteem in social isolation. They have no identity."
The document goes on to list several other unfounded "consequences" of interracial families, though none of the claims are supported by any kind of factual evidence.
It falsely claims that IQ is connected to race somehow, and it states that "by ignoring race, we may condemn our children to mediocrity."
After hearing about the flyers, Mayor of Kitchener Berry Vrbanovic posted a statement online this morning in which he called them "repulsive" and "disgusting."
I learned this AM of these flyers being distributed last night in KW. They are repulsive & disgusting & serve as a reminder that anti-Black racism exists in our community & that we need to speak out & take action. I have raised this with @WRPSToday & asked for an investigation. pic.twitter.com/j7n5ASNGFQ— Berry Vrbanovic (@berryonline) June 24, 2020
Residents of Kitchener and beyond, meanwhile, have taken to social media to express their outrage that these flyers are circulating, and they're also using the opportunity to highlight other issues of racism and intolerance within the community.
"I am finishing up my PhD at UW and I've had more racist experiences in KW than anywhere else I've lived. They've got some serious work ahead of them," wrote one Twitter user.
The individual who posted the original photo of the flyer also took the opportunity to share a long list of racist encounters she experienced while completing her PhD at the University of Waterloo.
"In [sic] folks think I am surprised by this, the answer is no," she wrote. "I heard racial slurs in KW that even Americans don't use anymore and I only knew from literature. I was called a mulatto regularly and when trying to find a hair salon 'can I put a comb through *that*?'"
My PhD advisor said I was trying to persecute the guy when I asked him — as one of the most distinguished men in the field — to speak to the man who made those comments to me.— #JusticeforBreonna Prescod-Weinstein 🙅🏽♀️ (@IBJIYONGI) June 24, 2020
"I grew up in and around Waterloo and UWaterloo campus. This thread, frankly, is the Waterloo I recognize. The racism always bubbling just below the surface, the misogyny, the homophobia - for all of Waterloo's pride in being an enlightened university town, this is (a) daily reality," added one Waterloo-native.
"@WRPSToday are investigating with their General Detectives/Hate Crime units to determine the circumstances surrounding this incident, including identifying those responsible for disseminating the flyers," they wrote.
"They ask that anyone with info contact them or @WaterlooCrime."
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