A number of posters carrying a message of hate appeared Monday afternoon on the University of Alberta campus. The poster depicts a Sikh man in a turban with a derogatory comment about the traditional head wrap. The poster goes on to suggest immigrants who wear the turban return home before splashing a web link to Immigration Watch Canada.
Arundeep Singh Sandhu is Spokesperson for the World Sikh Organization. He says his initial reaction was shock and hurt, but he hopes to parlay this into a chance to continue the dialogue about racism.
“We hope that this is an opportunity for the community of Edmonton and the community of greater Canada to stand together and demonstrate that we don’t agree with these sorts of views.”
U of A Provost Wendy Rodgers says it’s a little disturbing.
“We like to have the University be a place where we encourage diversity and open thinking and tolerance and so to see something just so blatantly intolerant is a little bit concerning for us.”
Rodgers says campus protection services are trying to determine who put up the offending posters. She says if it’s a student the consequences could range from adding a disciplinary letter to the student’s file all the way to expulsion, thought she says expulsion is unlikely, and would prevent the University from working to change a young attitude.
At the bottom of the racist poster is a link to a website for Immigration Watch Canada. We reached out to the IWC to find out if this poster was officially sanctioned. Spokesperson Dan Murray says it absolutely is not.
“I can say we definitely do not like it, and that’s putting it mildly. We’d never put out something like that.”
Murray says his group wants to see Canadian immigration quotas slashed down to 25000 new arrivals a year. Why? To safeguard Canadian jobs for Canadians. He says his organization is not racist in nature and agrees that this poster should be denounced. Murray says he will be speaking with a lawyer to discuss recourse.