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Stand in Unity — A letter from Reetu Gupta
TORONTO — Reetu Gupta, president and CEO of both Easton’s Group of Hotels and The Gupta Group, shares some personal stories of how discrimination affected her father, herself and the origins of their companies.
As we were fighting a silent global war, another war came to light. One that we have been fighting for many, many years, and that is racism. That is judging someone based on colour, making or creating opinions based on someone’s race or background, making assumptions about people’s personalities.
I am going to tell you all a very personal story. Easton’s is here today because my father persevered through severe racism. When he bought the truck stop that started our business, his staff who pumped gas for the trucks quit, based on the fact that he was Indian and they said this very clearly. My Dad, stood strong, allowed them to leave and then pumped gas in his suit. When he did this, passing trucks stopped, saw him and one of those truck drivers, filled with love, went on his radio and told all the trucks to stop at what would be known as Easton’s.
My parents did not share any of these stories with us (the four kids) growing up. We grew up with only love. But racism still existed. When I went to grade school, I was the only coloured child, the only Indian. I did not understand why children gave me dirty looks, why no one would sit with me nor talk to me. When I was older, one hot summer day, my sister and I went to a Starbucks for iced coffees. We sipped on our drinks and drove out of the parking lot, our windows were open, when we suddenly two people yell, “ %$#$ ing Pakis!” My sister and I fell silent in shock and helplessness as we drove away….
Racism is what breaks humanity. I will not stand for it.
As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Darkness does not drive out darkness, only light does that. Hatred does not drive out hatred, only love does that.”
At Easton’s we proudly represent 72 countries. Racism, discrimination, and prejudice have no place at Easton’s and have no place within humanity. We proudly stand by Black Lives Matter and stand firmly in love with humanity.
As the sun does not discriminate with its light, we should also not discriminate with our love.
I ASK ALL HOTELIERS TODAY, TO UNITE AND BRING ABOUT WORLD CHANGE. I ASK ALL LEADERS ACROSS ALL INDUSTRIES, TO STAND UP AND BE A CHAMPION FOR THIS MATTER.
Stand with me, together we are stronger, together we can bring love back into humanity
— For the Love of Hotels,
Reetu Gupta is President and CEO of The Easton’s Group and The Gupta Group.