South Asian teacher confronts an allegedly rude white woman who turns out to be Delta Police Chief’s wife

TALK about white privilege – and the arrogance that goes with it!

Richmond school district teacher Kiran Sidhu, a Surrey resident, says she experienced not only a verbal attack, but also an alleged physical assault.

According to the Delta Optimist newspaper, several weeks ago, Sidhu left a socially-distanced picnic at Centennial Beach early. She wasn’t familiar with the beach area and was forced to climb onto some rocks to get to where her car was because the tide was coming in.

The rocks were along the residential property line of Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord’s home and soon she had his wife, Lorraine, reportedly yelling at her to get down.

Sidhu told the newspaper that she couldn’t comply with that demand because of the tides that she was later told by a police officer were 10 to 12 feet high.

She tried explaining her predicament to Lorraine, but the latter allegedly rudely told her: “If I was as fat as you, I wouldn’t be at the beach.”

Sidhu told the newspaper: “I kept going, and I called her a ‘Karen’ [according to Urban Dictionary, Karen is “the stereotypical name associated with rude, obnoxious and insufferable middle aged white women”] and asked whether she was going to call the police. She started it and I’m not one to be a victim of abuse from anyone. I almost slipped at one point, and she said it would be so funny if you fell. I swore at her again and she said she would spray me with her hose.”

Lorraine actually followed up on her threat, spraying Sidhu with a garden hose.

Sidhu told the Delta Optimist: “She is an adult woman, I’m an adult woman. I was made to feel so unwelcome in these white spaces, which is something I’m aware of being a racialized woman in these white spaces as a teacher, as an active member of my union and I work on changing that.”

Sidhu filed a complaint with the Delta Police Department that was handed over to Surrey RCMP to investigate.

Lorraine emailed the Delta Optimist on Thursday afternoon: “I would like to apologize to the individual involved in the way the situation was handled at Centennial Beach three weeks ago. Everyone should feel welcomed and supported in our community.”

Delta Mayor George Harvie, who is also chair of the Delta Police Board, told the newspaper: “I have recently made statements along with Delta council and the Delta Police Board absolutely and unequivocally condemning racism in our city. Without question there is systemic racism in our society. I fully recognize that as leaders we need to do more to combat racism, hatred and discrimination in our community.”

The Delta Optimist deserves praise for this piece of excellent reporting.