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Man Battered For Racial Slur (Canada)


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EDMONTON, Alta. - For 15 years, since kindergarten, Manpreet Grewal had been teased and taunted about his turban. He kept his anger quiet, kept it inside. Tell the teachers and it would just get worse.

But at age 18, when angry soccer parent Dean Smith got in his face, threatened to grab his religious headgear and "shove it up his ***," he snapped. He and four teammates swarmed Smith and repeatedly kicked him in the head so violently his face fractured in five places.

On Monday, Grewal, now 20, was sentenced in Court of Queen's Bench to a year in jail for aggravated assault. Smith looked on from the front row; Grewal's family was right behind him, wiping away tears.

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"The victim's comments brought back memories of (Grewal's) previous experience with prejudice," said Justice Brian Burrows, who read from a pre-sentence report on Grewal.

"He does not blame the victim, but he said it was a triggering event for him."

Burrows said the attack was so vicious that jail was warranted. But he also suggested that the 45-year-old Smith had a part to play.

"It was a serious racial and religious slur by a man who is a generation older. He said a taunting thing that was far beyond foolish. It was contemptible."

Nobody, including Smith, deserves to be swarmed and attacked, Burrows said, but added in this case "it was not surprising."

Outside court, Smith said there was a lot of racist trash talk on both sides after a soccer game between Grewal's team and the team that Smith's son was playing for on June 5, 2008.

He said Burrows wasn't told at trial about the unrelenting taunts Smith endured that spurred him to respond.

"Parents only have so much patience," he said. "I'm a very patient man."

Of the sentence, he said: "I was quite pleased with the outcome (but) I still have a lot of recuperating to do."

Grewal's family did not comment.

The youth was found guilty after a trial six months ago, but had his sentencing delayed until Monday so he could finish his first year of a post-secondary business administration degree. He was also sentenced to a year's probation.

The pre-sentence report said Grewal was born in the mining town of Blairmore in the Crowsnest Pass in the Canadian Rockies. His dad was a miner. When Grewal was five, the mine shut down and the family moved to Edmonton. Grewal, a Sikh, wore his turban proudly. But starting in kindergarten, and from then on, year after year, he felt the sting of racist comments from classmates. He tried ignoring them, noted the report, because telling on them would only bring more trouble.

On the night of the attack, he was playing for a team from Mill Woods — a south Edmonton area home to a thriving East Indian community. Grewal was known as a student with good grades who was devoutly religious, a hard worker and a staunch community volunteer.

The game got ugly early. The teams, already divided by community and jersey colour, were also, as it happened, divided by race. The Mill Woods team was mainly East Indian; their opponents from the west end La Perle community mostly Caucasian. There were a lot of cheap shots, penalties and trash talk.

Grewal's team won the game, but the jawing didn't end. Court heard both sides, parents included, hurled four-letter words and racial and homophobic slurs.

Smith had had enough. "You guys won the game. Leave us alone," he recalled telling them.

Argument escalated into confrontation. The La Perle coach tried to intervene, calm things down.

The teens mocked Smith, calling the five-foot-two man with the bristly brush cut "little man" and "white faggot."

Smith retaliated, spying the orange patka — religious Sikh sport headgear — on Grewal. "I told him I was going to pull his admin cut do-rag off his head and shove it up his *** if he didn't shut up," he told court during the trial.

What followed, recalled the La Perle coach in court, was a split second of dreadful stunned silence. Then the fight was on.

The teens charged after Smith. He turned and bolted for the parking lot. Over the grass he ran, until he slipped, fell. They were on him in a heartbeat.

In 15 seconds of violence they used his head like a soccer ball. They delivered repeated kicks that effectively collapsed the right side of his face. He needed five metal plates inserted to rebuild it and had to have his jaw wired shut for two months. There were multiple plastic surgeries.

The teens broke his nasal passage and buggered up his right eye so badly it was blurry for more than a year. Parents saw the attack and came running over. Police were called. The teens fled. Smith was left on the ground, his face a meaty red pulp.

Witness reports finally allowed police to round up and charge five players. Grewal told police he threw one punch at Smith and fled. Smith later said Grewal was the ringleader. Charges were dropped against the other four, who were under 18 at the time.

At trial, Burrows said it was impossible to say who delivered what blow, but Grewal was part of it and knew that Smith was in considerable danger.

Grewal told court after his conviction that he was sorry and said he took responsibility.

On Monday, Smith said the apology didn't amount to much. "A true apology would be somebody looking you in the eyes when they apologize, would it not?"

He said prison might change that. "There may be some good thinking and some good remorse after he does come out, after he has more time to think about it."

Smith said he was never told why charges were dropped against the other four.

He said he's still paying for what happened. He lost his business after the attack and now has to drive a truck 12 to 15 hours a day to make ends meet. He effectively lost two years with his kids while he was in and out of hospital. One side of his face is still numb and swells from time to time.

Would he do things differently if he had it to do all over again?

"I guess I could've tried to walk away," he said. "That would have been the best. But that's hindsight, I guess."

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/soccer/young-edmonton-man-jailed-for-breaking-soccer-dads-face-in-violent--swarming-93982289.html

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"There may be some good thinking and some good remorse after he does come out, after he has more time to think about it."

Yeah, and recovering from his injuries will give Smith time for some "good thinking and some good remorse" also. I'll wager he won't be so quick to disrespect someone's dastaar or patka next time.

K.

Edited by Kaljug
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Nice to see soccer (or football to use its proper name) still manages to bring out the worst yobbo hooligan in everyone all over the globe. lol

Sadly, from my own experiences of living in very racist areas, the kind of thing young Singh did is the best way to ensure that people don't openly disrespect the dastaar, joora, patka etc. It is just an ugly truth.

I know those teenage boys weren't exactly innocent but their reaction/actions only really took place because of the insult to religious sentiments. Had the insult not involved that, there was a very high chance that everyone would have gone home after solely verbally abusing each other.

I am glad the Canadian authorities delayed the sentencing so the boy could complete his first year. You know, he is only doing 1 year which isn't bad at all. He can easily use the time to hit the books and gym undistracted and come out stronger and more intelligent.

Regrettable incident. Good to read the 'brown' team won the match though.

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I can’t say I sympathise with Smith either. The “man” is a racist redneck and got what he deserved. In my opinion our young brother should have been rewarded and honoured by the Canadian government for thrashing that racist pig, instead he is punished. This is injustice!

I have seen these racist first hand and the only way to deal with them is how our young brother Grewal dealt with them. Grewal is a real hero in my opinion. Never be afraid of racist, if they can detect fear in you they will just get more bold and aggressive with their racist behaviour.

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I am sorry but calling someone little man or white faggot is racism too. In this case, both parties were racist to each other. Racism attitude does not only come from whites other groups too including punjabis. Main question is here, who was more racist? also who first started spewing racist slurs? I m no fan of rednecks arrogance attitude. But after reading this article we have to take unbias approach.

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I am sorry but calling someone little man or white faggot is racism too. In this case, both parties were racist to each other. Racism attitude does not only come from whites other groups too including punjabis. Main question is here, who was more racist? also who first started spewing racist slurs? I m no fan of rednecks arrogance attitude. But after reading this article we have to take unbias approach.

If you know football, it is a heavily racist sport compared to most others. So I doubt Singhs came into that environment and started the crap, although it isn't impossible. More likely, it was low class goray being typical football fans. The type of morons who throw bananas on the pitch when black players come on, or start making "ooh, ooh!" monkey noises. Or blatantly racist chants like "I'd rather be a paki than a jock". lol These things are not uncommon in the UK.

Plus racism only ever seems to respond well to physical violence.

If apnay had a track record of getting racist and obnoxious at sports events I might agree with you. But seeing as it is goray that act like zoo animals at football matches all over the globe, I don't think our boy is too much to blame myself. But I do respect your sentiment, if one of our boys was getting nasty and racist to a random gora not looking for trouble then I would condemn it myself.

Edited by dalsingh101
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A fight between racist rednecks and Punjabis, never have I seen or heard of the Punjabis starting it. I do not agree that Grewal is at fault. What must have happened is that: Smith like the usual arrogant racist redneck must have started off with racist taunts at Grewal and his team. Grewal and his friends in retaliation responded using similar racist taunts. But when Smith crossed the line with his comment on Grewal’s dastar, our young brother lost all control of his anger and gave Smith a well deserved thrashing. Grewal did nothing wrong because the only language racists understand is the language of the Chhittar. Grewal has done us proud and is an inspiration for the youth. If that site called “Sikh youth of the month” is still going on, Grewal should be featured on it.

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upsetting to read this. one mistake caused so many problems to what sounds like an otherwise very good life.

i kind of feel that if he had learned how to proactively deal with racism before, then he wouldn't have totally snapped in this instance. proactive means can include beating someone up :) but had he dealt with it effectively before, then it probably wouldn't have turned into a pent up frustration that exploded outwards with no control whatsoever. note that i'm not condemning him. i've been there myself, if you don't find a way to deal with that rage, that rage is going to control you. racists are horrible horrible people whose psychological attacks can cause untold damage; the law notwithstanding, they do deserve physical punishment/defence against these attacks. although in this case it went too far. not much sympathy for smith though.

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It's hard to say for certain who started it but as people say it is usually goray who start these things. Maybe I could understand a sullah starting it (though even that is relatively rare - they just fight back more) but not a Sikh. Plus if the Sikhs did hold a negative stereotype of whites one has to wonder what caused it.

Actually this reminds me of a case in the UK which involved multiple sullay who were tried and convicted of attacking a white boy with a hammer outside his school. The school was majority white/minority Asian. I immediately wondered whether the victim had done something to provoke it. It was claimed to be a race attack but one has to wonder why a bunch of 18-20 year olds would attack a 15 year old outside his school in front of 100 witnesses instead of picking a target in a back alley on a dark night if that was their motive.

Initially the picture painted was that a gang of sullay kids at the school were bullying whites. This was substantiated by children, parents and teaching staff, who were all white. The prosecutor said that the sullay singled out the victim because of his distinctive appearance.

The victim of the attack was 15 year old 6ft 2in rugby player of stocky build. He had 'agreed' to have a 'fair' one-on-one fight with a 14 year old sullah boy described as "diminutive". The sullah then phoned the defendants for backup.

The defendants reckoned the rugby player was a bully. One said that he had previously approached the headmaster twice about the bullying of a young Muslim pupil by him, but was told that there was no racism at the school. Another said that their aim was to make a show of strength to "deter the bullies".

After the trial a the rugby player's family (who blamed "multiculturalism" for the whole mess) sued the school for damages. Here the head told the court that all race tensions stemmed from white antagonism towards Asian pupils. He said some Asians did congregate in a group of 10-15, but it was not a problem as far as he could see. He said they were pleasant to him and pointed out that white children formed groups as well. I wonder why none of the trial witnesses said any of this?

Hope you don't think this is off topic, I think it has some relevance in terms of racism and people collectively lying about stuff and feigning innocence.

Edited by Dharma
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I don't think your contribution was off topic Dharma

Thing with racism, and other organised, deeply rooted oppression like casteism, is that the people doing it usually have strength of numbers and can act in such a devious way as to play down its occurrence. What I hate is when we have to live in an environment when this stuff happens but because of what I mentioned we have to act like it isn't going on. This is that feigning innocence you talk of. What is even worse is when you get ethnics within such environments who either through ignorance of willful denial act like nothing is going on. The devil plays clever/funny tricks to keep his grip. One thing I noticed in MANY firms I've worked in over the years was that frequently whites got upset if you talked a lot with your own kind, but they were happy to just keep with whites themselves. This is another peculiar behaviour of some of them. They like to keep us isolated from each other.

The worst position to be in is when you know surreptitious oppression is going on but you are angled in a way that doesn't enable you to confront it. I was speaking to a employment lawyer last year and he told me that he deals with many, many cases of racial discrimination at the workplace, but most are extremely difficult to prove, as the doers are very clever to cover themselves. This may be going on a lot more than we think.

But I do prefer this open racism as typified in the incident above. At least you can fight it. Fighting the other type is like boxing a shadow. Seeing as whites give their own much leeway for racism and oppression I can't fault that kid. I respect him but it would have been better if he decked the guy on his own. But that being said, I know from past experience, these issues are extremely emotive for Sikhs, even monay. I know guys who have been out on the town (mixture of monay and a few keshdhari friends) and some idiot has disrespected the pagh and it has got seriously ugly. That dastaar is a symbol for all of us, even the lax. Seeing it get disrespected is an attack on all of us.

That being said, that goray in this case was probably a bewakoof out of his depth, overly emotional about sports like only goray phudhus can be (wtf is up with the abnormal obsession with football with these guys?). But Singhs reaction was right, and so what if he is doing a year, he should do his bird with his head up high. The truth is that we will never get full respect and be able to combat racism without guys and incidents like these. And yes, it does involve sacrifice sometimes. Of all the quoms in the world, we should know this more than anyone else.

Something we need to grasp as a quom too, is how these things are cyclic. So what happens is that oppression goes on, some brave people confront it and make it in the interests of the oppressors to calm the eff down. The people then live without the oppression for a few generations, then it starts again because that previously brave group has now got soft and the oppressors raise their heads again.

Edited by dalsingh101
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The guy definitely deserved a jhapad for disrespecting the pagh. Actually I was surprised the Canadian judge considered childhood trauma a mitigating factor. I couldn't see that happening here.

I have also noticed the gora trait of frothing at the mouth over games of football. It isn't just chavs, the entire crowd is belligerent. Even BMEs into the game don't have the same demeanour. Sports spectator crowds in places like China and India are way more layed back. I think football mimics tribal warfare more so than other competitive sports and this is why they go ape over it. It's their extreme warlike nature.

One thing I noticed in MANY firms I've worked in over the years was that frequently whites got upset if you talked a lot with your own kind, but they were happy to just keep with whites themselves. This is another peculiar behaviour of some of them. They like to keep us isolated from each other.

I've noticed this as well. Another thing is a phobia about ethnics speaking their native tongue. I've heard this complaint many times. I asked one guy what the big deal was and he said they will be badmouthing whites on the sly! I doubt he was unique in this belief. It is total nonsense of course, but it is exactly what many of them do so they assume that everyone else does the same.

I bet the employment lawyer you mention sees only the tip of the iceberg. Most victims won't even bother complaining since they can't prove it and they will only be accused of being race card-playing compensation-scrounging uppity troublemakers. My general observation is that a lot of racism is done using malicious complaints, disiplinary proceeedings, internal investigation, passive-aggressive hostility, etc rather than cross burning type stuff. These kinds of tactics are a recurrent theme in the police.

Edited by Dharma
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