A family physician in Burnaby became the victim of online racial slurs this week after appearing on a local newscast.
On Twitter, Dr. Birinder Narang shared a collection of comments that were posted, following an interview he did with the CBC’s Anita Bathe and Mike Killeen that was shared on the broadcaster’s YouTube channel.
1/ What does it mean to be Canadian in 2021?
I truly appreciate the position of privilege I have in the community today & the responsibility that comes with every patient encounter & interview I give. If is not one that is taken lightly. pic.twitter.com/1PwJgT1Eyg
— Dr. Birinder Narang MBBS (Hons), CCFP (@DrBirinderSingh) March 2, 2021
“My initial response was, ‘here we go again,'” Narang told Daily Hive.
He explained he initially took the screenshots of the comments to show some friends and family members to seek their counsel.
“I did not want to react before processing,” he furthered. “It is easy to have emotional responses, but that isn’t enough. I realized that it is easy to get comfortable and complacent observing the current realities, also that isn’t enough.”
Narang said many people don’t realize the level of hate that can be seen in comments like these, and he saw the incident as “an opportunity to bring light to the situation.”
His decision to share the screenshots online was “made to reflect this and present it as an educational opportunity.”
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His tweet received numerous responses of support, including from CBC Vancouver, BC Premier John Horgan, and Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
CBC Vancouver condemns the hateful and racist social media comments on Dr. Narang’s segment from last night’s 6 p.m. newscast. We stand with and support @DrBirinderSingh and urge everyone to act with kindness and respect. https://t.co/9HF9Yxm6XF
— CBC Vancouver (@CBCVancouver) March 3, 2021
Disgusted by these hateful and racist comments. They have no place in our province.
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) March 4, 2021
.@DrBirinderSingh has shown incredible leadership during this pandemic
Like many frontline workers, he has put his own safety at risk to help others
Now on top of fighting a pandemic, he has to deal w/ racism
To everyone that has spoken out, thank you
Hate is not welcome here https://t.co/s0Itdl7fP1
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) March 4, 2021
“The level of outreach and support has been heartening, but my message to everyone would be, we must find a way to implement anti-racist practices into our own lives, and hold those around us accountable for their actions,” said Narang.
“We can not let the status quo remain the status quo.”