Man spews sexist, racist rant on bus in Burnaby
When Scarlett MacPherson heard a man spewing offensive remarks on a public bus she decided to discreetly capture it on her cell phone.
"It was loud, racist and sexist comments, specifically to the women on the bus and some of the men, too," MacPherson told CTV News.
She said the tirade happened on the 95 B-line bus to SFU around 2:20 p.m. Thursday.
"He said many harmful stereotypes about people of Asian descent, many of which are very disgusting and gross," she explained. "Many of the women ignored him or got off the bus, but they shouldn’t have to do that. They shouldn't have to deal with this."
In the video, the man can be heard counting the number of white people on the bus. At one point, he directed his comments at MacPherson, calling her fat and telling her to have sex with the woman sitting next to her.
"This is a systemic problem because if someone believes they are allowed to do this in public and they can get away with it, I think that shows more than, perhaps, a problem with one individual," she said.
She said the bus driver appeared apathetic and did not take any action.
"It shouldn't have any one person's job -- it should've been everyone's job on the bus. If one person stands up, then other people should come to that person's aid. But I do think the bus driver should've done something," she said.
In an e-mail statement to CTV News, TransLink wrote: "The safety of our customers and employees is always our top priority. As this is an active police investigation, we cannot comment further at this time."
Burnaby RCMP said when the suspect got off the bus, he allegedly "racially abused" a stranger and then assaulted the victim near Parker Street and Alpha Avenue.
The suspect is also accused of stealing alcohol from a nearby liquor store before being arrested.
Authorities believe the same suspect is responsible for all three incidents.
Raul Miguel Rubio-Alabau, 45, is charged with assault, mischief, theft under $5,000 and uttering threats.
Is it a good idea to record hate-filled rants?
This latest incident is just one of a series of offensive outbursts that have been captured on camera.
Jesse Miller, a social media educator with Mediated Reality, said recording a volatile situation can be a double-edged sword.
"It does come down to: are you in a place where you're safely able to record an event?" he said.
He said if someone is in the position to record a situation without putting themselves in jeopardy, it would be helpful to share that recording with authorities.
"The more we meet hate head-on, the more we can knock it down," he said.
But, Miller warned, there could be consequences that the recorder may not realize at the time.
He said in the past, there has been retaliation from the person being recorded or that person's family.
He is also concerned that the recorder is more focused on sharing the situation as it is happening without having all the information, instead of sharing it with authorities.
"We've seen these incidents where individuals have had the intent to make the world aware of someone's behaviour, but then that's backfired because we have a mental health assessment, and you understand now that that person is dealing with their own issues," he explained.
In MacPherson's case, she did not share the video on social media and instead called police and shared it with them.