Racism: Canadian berates Indian-origin couple

By PTI Published on Jul 31, 2018 03:17 PM IST

Toronto: An Indian-origin couple has been harassed in Canada by a 'racist' white man who yelled "go back to your country" and threatened to 'kill' their children, prompting police to investigate it as a hate crime, according to media reports.

The incident happened on Sunday when the Indian and the 47-year-old Dale Robertson got into a scuffle over a parking lot at the Walmart Supercentre in Hamilton, Ontario. The argument started after the couple, who were not identified, tried to back into a parking spot and apparently got in the way of the Robertson, CBC reported.

A video capturing the whole incident has been uploaded on YouTube and Facebook. "What kind of example are you setting for your children?" the Indian man apparently asks the other, and within a matter of moments the heated argument escalates and the Indian man's wife appears to get hit by the truck as Robertson quickly accelerates before hitting the brakes, the report said.

The Indian man walks alongside the truck as it slowly drives away and says, "You want me to go to my own country? I'm a Canadian citizen." To which Robertson responds by saying "Show me. Prove it. I don't believe you." Then, he crudely attempts to copy the other man's accent saying "You don't talk like a Canadian."

"I'm racist. I don't like you, I don't like her," he adds. "I would kill your children first," Robertson was quoted as saying by the report. The couple are originally from India, but are Canadian citizens who have been living here for the past seven or eight years, it said.

Hamilton police are investigating the incident as a hate crime, the report added. The man and woman who were targeted were traumatised by what happened, Detective Paul Corrigan said. "It hit them really hard," he said. "They were extremely shocked by it, they had not experienced (something like this) before."

Meanwhile, Robertson has been arrested and also charged with with threatening death, dangerous driving and failing to remain at the scene of an accident, it added.

Hamilton has the the second-highest rate of police-reported hate crimes in the country, according to Corrigan. So far, 58 hate or bias incidents have been recorded this year, equal to the number reported by this point in 2017, so Corrigan said rate of reports seems to be plateauing.