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Letter: You have made an egregious assumption


Re: Commentary "Too much social distancing", p. 32, June 2 Albertan

As a resident of Olds for over six years now I have enjoyed reading The Albertan newspaper on a weekly basis. As such, it is with a great deal of disappointment that I take exception to the commentary.

You and your partner observed an individual maintaining a larger than required gap between himself and the people in front of him and immediately jump to an outrageous conclusion. Your apparent conclusion: the reason for the perceived extra distance must be based in stereotyping and racial profiling.

As your commentary notes, and I quote: “We’ll never know the reason(s) for this man’s unusual distancing because no one asked him”. Brilliant. So, you jump to a conclusion that the reason must be based in prejudice and bigotry because of your perception.

As you further noted “We likely should have (asked him),” but obviously you didn’t.

So you, a journalist, choose not to investigate but rather to speculate. He could have had a number of reasons for standing the way he did, but you assumed the worst and in doing so you created news through your commentary.

You have made an egregious assumption here that is unsupportable and just plain wrong in the inclusive, supportive and open society of Canada and Olds. You should be ashamed. 

Mike Ryan,