Canadians Denounce Anti-Asian Violence in North America

*Warning: This story contains graphic content

Anti-Asian sentiment and racist attacks have shot up by a whopping 700% in cities across Canada

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hate crimes against the Asian community have been skyrocketing at an alarming rate. Anti-Asian sentiment and racist attacks have shot up by a whopping 700% in cities across Canada according to the Vancouver Police Department. Many are reeling after a sharp rise in anti-Asian racism and violence since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. While we may think that the heightened discrimination and persecution that the Asian community is battling right now is something new because of COVID-19, sadly that is not the case. Since the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885, which included the creation of a head tax and other policies, discrimination towards the Asian community has continued to this day.

Below is an account of an Asian woman’s experience growing up in Canada and dealing with racism.

Michelle's Story

My first experience with racism was when I came to Canada as an international student from Hong Kong. High school was not easy for me. As a 14-year-old international student who barely spoke any English, I was not received warmly when I arrived at my school and heavily ignored by my peers. Being a grade 9 student in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, I was once told by a classmate with a disgusted look on her face too, “Stop smiling at me!” From that point in time, I realized others didn’t want to be associated with me. For the next four years, I was invisible to my classmates with the exception of the other international students.

“Go back to your own country; you Chinese (people) stink; chink!”

I was excited about my new future in Canada. Even though I was only a teenager, I quickly realized that I was not welcome because of my Asian heritage. Phrases like, “Go back to your own country; you Chinese (people) stink; chink!” were hurtful comments I could not escape from, even to this day. Having been born in Hong Kong and growing up in Canada I feel that people did not accept me because of my Asian features. Although, when I’m with the Asian community, they think I’m too westernized.

Current Situation

Not belonging, and a lack of acceptance is sadly nothing new for the Asian community. Asian advocacy groups are reporting surges in violence and harassment all across North America. Almost a thousand incidents of Asian hate crimes across Canada have been reported since the coronavirus pandemic struck according to Fight Covid Racism.

The Chinese Canadian National Council has taken action to raise awareness through their #FaceRace campaign in response to hate and violence since COVID-19.

Michelle’s final thoughts

I don't speak about my experiences of racism often, but I’ve carried that hurt with me. The recent senseless killing in Atlanta is a sign that our persecution has intensified, which is why I felt I had to share my story. By coming together and raising our voices we can all #StopAsianHate.

Anti-Asian Violence Resources

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2 – World Autism Awareness Day
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12 – Ramadan begins
14 – International Day of Pink

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This blog post is designed to give you tips, strategies, and current information that will help transform workplace culture with the goal to create greater diversity, inclusion, belonging, and equity. Here at Strasity, we celebrate cultural and community awareness, sharing events and resources to drive the conversation forward about diversity and inclusion

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