Lessons From Vancouver: The Wall of Love
Here's the thing about being an Angeleno born in Vancouver playing host to relatives visiting from Vancouver the week the Canucks lost the NHL Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins and a bunch of trashy losers rioted in the streets of one of the world's most beautiful cities: It's upsetting. Really upsetting. Today's video lunch is an attempt to counter the ugliness with something inspiring.
Here in L.A., jokes were plentiful in conversation and on sites like Facebook and Twitter. "Canadians riot? But they're so polite!" and "At least in L.A. we riot when our team wins."
It's not funny. It's appalling.
Rioting is dangerous and destructive and is a bold way to make a cause be known. Rioting in the name of a sports team--win or lose--is shameful. It shows lack of character, sportsmanship, respect, and dignity. The destruction of property, looting, vandalism, violence, arson, and aggression in downtown Vancouver after Wednesday's game has broken my heart, and the hearts of my family who live there.
The faces in the many horrific images captured of the events in Vancouver are different than those we see here in L.A. when the Lakers get the big win, the destruction is the same. But more pointedly, and--what I hope can help remind the world who has been watching--the reaction of Vancouverites after the riots is what Vancouver is really about.
A group of volunteers organized themselves to take part in the massive cleanup effort. The boards that covered the smashed-up windows soon became crowded with messages of love and positivity. People stood around the scarred part of the city smiling, offering hugs, wearing Canucks jerseys and performing acts of kindness. That is Vancouver. That is how a city should counter riots. While hopefully sports-related riots become passe, considering it's not likely anytime soon, Los Angeles, should our Lakers or any other team take a big win or loss, let's let the goodness of Angelenos shine through in the aftermath and take a lesson from Vancouver.