Mondays are usually groggy and tiresome as is, but when this letter dropped onto my facebook feed, well, it made my Monday a bit more tiresome:
In case my name didn’t tip you off, I am uh, how do the politicians say it - of Chinese descent. Racism doesn't generally shock me, but there was one line that changed my mood - “including Coquitlam and beyond”.
This type of thinking resides in Coquitlam?
The same Coquitlam that customer support agents laugh at as they spell it out on the phone?
The same Coquitlam where you can find the one of the most deliciously fried chickens (as long as you wait 20 minutes) at a place appropriately named Austin Fish and Chips?
The same Coquitlam with more dental offices than any other city I've ever seen?
I was raised in Coquitlam. Smack in the middle of Como Lake and Linton. I went to Hillcrest Elementary (it became a middle school later), followed by Port Moody Secondary, and then I lived in Port Coquitlam for a decade. After that, I moved back to Coquitlam with my wife and dog. I’m more Tri-Cities than anyone I know. This is home. This is all the home I know. And this is shocking because for anyone that actually grew up in Coquitlam, they’d know this - walk in any high school in SD43 at any given time, and Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Punjabi fill the halls. We're not buying empty houses, we been here a long time. Diversity isn’t a tagline in Coquitlam, it’s a statistic. And statistics show 21% of Coquitlam as Chinese and 50% as ethnic. The teachers did a good job - they taught us to respect one another, period. If you went through our school system, you’d have to work real hard to only like your own ethnicity, because having a multicultural class is guaranteed, and everyone I know here has friends of different colours.
But hey, it’s Monday, and I’m tired. I lost my basketball game last night and my out-of-shape behind is sore. I’m tired of whining...