Our Worst Fears Realized
A Statement from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation On the Increase of Anti-Asian Violence Across North America
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) is deeply concerned with the increasing levels of violence perpetrated against Canada’s Asian population since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The violence against Asian-Canadians harkens back to an extremely dark period in Canada’s history where Asians were targets of racism during a period of crisis. The present-day events put this country on a dangerous trajectory that it cannot afford to repeat.
Yesterday’s shooting of eight innocent women in Atlanta should be a wake-up call to all Canadians with compassion and reason that this escalation of physical and emotional violence must come to an end immediately. The wanton act of violence expressed in Atlanta yesterday evening is not exclusive to the US. In Vancouver alone, there has been a reported 878 percent increase in violence committed against Asians, and in Montreal, the police have registered a 16 percent increase in violence against the Asian community.
According to a joint report from Fight COVID Racism and Elimin8Hate.org, 60 percent of the victims of anti-Asian racism incidents have been women since the beginning of the pandemic. Thirty percent of incidents reported are physically violent.
“A pandemic that does not discriminate when it chooses its victims should never be the catalyst for anyone to enact racial discrimination,” states CRRF Board Chair Teresa Woo-Paw. “In a time of crisis, we should be banding together to denounce racism and hold those who enact it to account whenever and wherever possible.”
The CRRF is calling on all Canadians to:
- Report all incidents of anti-Asian violence to the authorities
- Provide safe spaces: Allow Asian-Canadian friends and colleagues to share their experiences and listen to what they have to say
- Educate yourself and others: The most effective way to eliminate racism in all its forms is to educate yourself and those around you about other racialized people, their cultures, and how racism manifests itself.
“CRRF stands in solidarity will the 6.1 million Asian-Canadians across the country—many of whom have had to live in fear for their safety over the last year,” said Woo-Paw. “Asian-Canadians, and every Canadian for that matter, deserve better, and we must do our utmost to ensure that we root out the cancer of hate from this great country.”