Chinese in Canada a target of increased hate during pandemic
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by David Ball
Vancouver resident Trixie Ling recalls her disgust and anger after a passing stranger taunted her with racial and sexual slurs in early May. Then he spat on her face.
“I was feeling a mixture of shock, disgust and sadness that it happened to me,” Ling said in an interview with AFP near the scene.
“But I knew I’m not the only one this has happened to.”
Ling is indeed not alone. From spitting and violent attacks, to verbal assaults and vandalism of Chinese cultural sites, Chinese residents of Canada’s third largest city — who make up 26 percent of its population, according to the last census in 2016 — say they feel increasingly unsafe and unwelcome.
A new survey obtained by AFP suggests the problem is deeply rooted: one in four British Columbians of Asian descent (70 percent of whom are Chinese) said someone in their household had been targeted with “racial slurs or insults” since March, according to the ResearchCo poll of 1,600 adults.
Vancouver police are also investigating 29 anti-Asian incidents over the past two months, seven times more than the same period last year, the police chief revealed.
Another Vancouverite who experienced racism during the pandemic helped launch an online reporting form for others to share their experiences anonymously.
Ellen, who asked to be identified by first name only, said the database will guide advocacy to combat racism.
“Very lewd, inappropriate and derogatory remarks and gestures, I’ve experienced quite a bit of that, mostly referencing characteristics of being Asian,” she said.
“The anticipation of what might happen to me is quite stressful, scary and disturbing.” (AFP)