SHERRING: Welcome to real life, where it’s not always an open smile on a friendly shore.

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“There are times – sometimes days – when hate seems to dominate. I just don’t get it.”

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COVID, terrible as it is, has brought us many sweet moments during this horrific and excruciating time.

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We are all in there. We have faced many of the same challenges: isolation, loneliness, worry and fear.

And many of us have come together, supporting each other – supporting each other – helping when we can.

Just an example?

Former Sun reporter Chris Hofley offered to shave his head on social media if he could raise $ 1,000 for CHEO. A few weeks later, with many bald heads and crazy colored hair, the community gathered to raise around $ 235,000.

Truly remarkable.

So heartwarming to be part of a community effort. Very Ottawa. And this is just one example of the tenderness that the people of this great community have shown.

Others offer to drive the elderly to their appointments, just as many are on duty to deliver groceries to their neighbors.

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These are not small things.

But sadly, it looks like COVID has also revealed a level of ugliness – real hatred – that is only growing and impossible to ignore.

And as I can try, there are times – sometimes days – when hate seems to dominate. I do not understand it.

What makes some people think that their skin color, religion, or sexual preferences make them better than others?

I’m glad I didn’t “get it”, but it clearly exists, so we all need to tackle it.

I would love to bury my head in the sand, but it is not useful, reasonable or responsible.

In March, the police department’s hate crimes unit was called in to investigate after a neighbor reported anti-gay graffiti near Mayor Jim Watson’s home.

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It was Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly who announced the investigation on Twitter, adding that such incidents should always be reported to police so they can be investigated and of prosecutions.

Unfortunately, this type of hate is nothing new.

Years ago, when I was writing stories about Ottawa Councilor Alex Munter, I would receive some of the ugliest phone messages ever.

The messages were full of derogatory references and insults. To this day, I cannot forget them.

More recently, police opened an investigation into a hate-motivated assault that occurred in the city center in late May. A couple were sitting on a bench and speaking Arabic when a woman approached behind them and hit the woman on the side of the head with a handbag. The suspect then walked away shouting racial slurs at the couple in English.

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Seriously? What the hell?

In June, the Ottawa Police Service’s Hate Crimes and Bias unit released its semi-annual statistics showing a 32.9% increase in hate crime reports in 2021 – from 79 cases to 105 cases – compared to the same period last year.

Additionally, the unit had statistics that 73 incidents reported this year were motivated by hate, a 25.9% increase from 2020.

A hate crime is a criminal offense committed against a person or property that is motivated by hatred / prejudice or prejudice based on race, national or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation or any other similar factor. .

More and more hatred.

This is not the Love Boat. And love is not all around us.

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