'It disgusts me': Outrage after racist letter sent to Asian realtor in B.C.
Real estate agents in British Columbia say they’re worried about their safety after an Asian realtor received an extremely racist letter with a vague threat.
The “open letter to all Asian realtors” was sent to Winnie Wu’s realty office in Coquitlam, B.C. Wu called the piece of mail “appalling” in a now-deleted Facebook post.
Amidst a series of racial slurs, the anonymous writer blames Asians for Metro Vancouver’s housing crisis.
“You have invaded, infested and defaced Vancouver with your presence,” the letter reads. “There is hatred beneath the surface. Believe it. We are merely being ‘politically correct.’”
The letter also appears to threaten vandalism on homes left unoccupied in the area.
"It's scary for realtors,” Phil Moore, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, told CTV Vancouver. “We are just members of the community trying to do our job."
Tina Mak has worked in realty for 26 years and says while she has never experienced racism, she knows others who have.
“My gut reaction is very disappointed in (the) human race,” she said. “This is not what Canada and (the) majority of citizens stand for.”
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart was quick to denounce the sentiment in the letter.
“I disagree vehemently with the writer of that and I think our community does,” he said. “It disgusts me to think that someone in our community feels that way.”
Recently, some realtors in Vancouver have been targeted with racist messages. A bus stop billboard was defaced with racist graffiti and pamphlets have been sent around blaming Chinese immigrants for housing problems in the region.
Lisa Descary, founding member of Stand Up to Racism, said these acts should not be taken lightly.
“Hate speech leads to hate crimes,” she said. “I think we can't just…blow it off and say: ‘Oh, it's just one crazy person.’”
Officers with Coquitlam RCMP are investigating the incident and say charges are possible.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro