Chinese Canadian organizations demand immediate action from all levels of governments to support our communities against rising waves of anti-Asian racism
Chinese Canadian National Council – Toronto Chapter
A group of community organizations from across Canada are calling for urgent and immediate change following a year of racist attacks against Asian Canadians.
Details of these attacks have been compiled into a report, entitled A Year of Racist Attacks: Anti-Asian Racism Across Canada One Year into the Pandemic. It includes more than 1,150 incidents of racism reported online from across Canada, at www.covidracism.ca and partner site www.elimin8hate.org.
The release comes one week after a deadly shooting that claimed the lives of six Asian women in Atlanta, Georgia, along with two others. It is also happening in the midst of a surge in anti-Asian racism across North America, tied to COVID-19.
According to the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter:
From March 10th, 2020 to February 28th, 2021 there were 1150 cases of racist attacks from across Canada reported on our web platforms with 835 cases reported on covidracism.ca and 315 cases reported to elimin8hate.org.
In the short time frame between: January 1st, 2021 and March 30th, 2021 there were 507 cases reported.
11% of all reported attacks and incidents contained a violent physical assault and/or unwanted physical contact.
10% of all attacks and incidents included a form of assault through being coughed at and/or being spat on.
Children and adolescents/youth (under 18) and Older Adults/seniors (55+) were much more likely to report being physically assaulted (42% and 57% more likely respectively) and more likely to report being coughed at and spat on (233% and 250%, respectively) than those who are young adults (ages 19-35)
Individuals who reported an incident in Chinese were much more likely to report suffering from emotional distress (34% more likely) and experiencing physical assault (100% more likely) than those who reported an incident in English.
Spaces in the food sector (grocery stores, restaurants etc.) is the most frequent site of racist attacks after public spaces, accounting for almost 1/5th of all racist attacks/incidents.
Per capita accounts and reports on our platforms continue to outpace our American counterparts who reported 3795 across the entire United States during roughly the same time period. This continues to suggest that anti-Asian racism is not just a problem in the USA, but a serious problem in Canada that requires our immediate attention.
Speaking to the reported incidents Avvy Go, Clinic Director of the Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic said:
“We must remember that behind every number is a human being whose life, and the lives of those around them, have been changed forever by the gross violation of their rights. Collectively and individually, these racist incidents have resulted in deep and long-lasting impacts on the Asian Canadian community as a whole. We need the Prime Minister and all Parliamentarians to take a stand against Anti-Asian racism. Instead of empty rhetoric, we demand concrete actions.”
In regards to the report, Marie Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, said:
“Over the past year, we have seen a disturbing rise in anti-Asian hate and COVID-driven racism. My hope is that today’s report, and the powerful data it presents, can be used as a tool to confirm and confront this growing problem in Canada. It is at a crisis point.”
Speaking to the urgency of the situation and the need for immediate action, Amy Go, President, Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice said:
“Asian Canadian communities cannot afford to wait. We need further government support for people who experienced hate incidents. Survivors need to provided with culturally appropriate support and resources to recover from these racist attacks and encounters The government must carry out more education to combat stereotypes, and support our communities to tell our stories about our identity and our lived experiences”.
Speaking on the demands of the report, Justin Kong, Executive Director at Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter said:
“In addition to deepening our commitments to anti-racist education and support for survivors, we need to support those hit hardest in the community. And so fighting anti-Asian racism means supporting Chinese and Asian workers and small businesses such as those in the food sector, which we know are major sites of employment for our communities which have been devastated both by the lockdowns and racist stigmatizations. It means supporting Asian and other frontline and essential workers who have been on the frontlines by ensuring they are treated fairly, ensuring they have access to legislated paid sick days and that all migrant workers have access to permanent status. Fighting against anti-Asian racism is also about fighting for all of these things and we need urgent action from all levels of governments.”
Reiterating our organizations shared belief that we must continue to build with other communities to fight racism, Kennes Lin, co-Chair at Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter said:
“We must remember this is only a snapshot of the anti-Asian racism happening in Canada, and across the world right this moment. We must contextualize anti-Asian violence with the histories and on-going erasure, marginalization and exclusion experienced by Indigenous, Black and people of colour communities. That despite our struggles feeling different, these struggles are intertwined and connected through the violence from white supremacy.”