Racism is a Pandemic - Asian Hate

Many of us have learned that the Trump Klan are a group of supporters who blindly believe Trump’s principles and misinformation that he projects. This resulted in the riots at the US Capitol and caused many to believe that the election was rigged or fraudulent. This wasn’t the only harmful consequence because (unsurprisingly) Trump claimed the COVID-19 pandemic was caused due to the “Chinese Virus."    Not only was this embarrassing, but this spurred a series of attacks against Asian Americans and Asian Canadians. 


The most significant attack recently was the Atlanta shooting. Eight individuals died and one person was injured. The shooter’s motive involved a “sex obsession” rather than being fueled by bigotry. They were having a “bad day,” and this incident was not labelled as a hate crime by certain media outlets. The New York Times recently did a compelling piece on Anti-Asian violence. Attacks varied from San Diego (a young family being attacked) to Chicago (a 60-year-old man was attacked on his jog). These attacks ranged from physical attacks to verbal attacks and even vandalism.  


Physical attacks were very graphic. Videos recorded showed people being beaten, pepper-sprayed, and even spit on. Many of the victims targeted were older and were often attacked by younger individuals – the attackers were cowards who could not pick on people their own size. The embarrassing surge of racial slurs hurled involved Asians spreading COVID-19 and were hurled at anyone – from healthcare professionals to laundromat owners. Vandalization involved graphic descriptions, such as “kill all Chinese people” and  “stop eating dogs.” Religious buildings, restaurants, and even a Little League field were covered in these vulgar insults. 


A report done by the Chinese Canadian National Council’s Toronto Chapter reported racism across Canada a year after the pandemic began. Unfortunately, 1,150 attacks occurred, and 40% took place in Ontario. Eleven percent of these attacks were physical, 10% involved being spat on, and 60% of cases represented those identifying as female. Children and older adults/seniors were more likely to be assaulted and coughed on compared to young adults. Unfortunately, Southeast Asians also accounted for the reported incidents (6%), with 84% of the attacks centering around East Asians. These attacks suggest that Canada is not immune to this sort of bigotry. Canadians are also primarily influenced by the US. Trump’s bigotry, misinformation, and labelling an entire country as “COVID-central” has leaked into Canada – although other sources probably also affected this type of bigotry. 


It is essential to protect your Asian Canadian friend, neighbour, or anyone you notice at the grocery store who may be singled out and attacked. You can do this by intervening and verbally showcasing your support for the Asian community and shutting down any bigotry. It is only appropriate that we all stand with the Asian community during these difficult times, especially since many of us have no hesitation in using Asian products and consuming Asian food.