Report on anti-Asian hate an urgent call to action, say authors

Findings paint a deeply concerning picture of society’s ongoing struggles with racism and hate, says report

Authors of a new report on anti-Asian hate say their findings are an urgent call to action to address hate crimes, violence, and discrimination.

Written by the Stop Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Advocacy Group Association of Canada, the report looks at 19 incidents of anti-Asian hate reported to the group’s national toll-free hotline between Dec. 1, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2023.

“The key findings of the analysis paint a deeply concerning picture of our society’s ongoing struggles with racism, hate crimes, violence, discrimination, perhaps even more disconcerting, real systemic issues that disproportionately affect individuals of Chinese ethnicity,” says the report.

One of the group’s co-founders said the majority of the 19 incidents happened in the Vancouver area, which saw a spike in reported anti-Asian hate incidents during the pandemic.

“There’s been a lot of misinformation out there about who caused the COVID-19 pandemic. People are still hearing on the street, yelling to Chinese people that, ‘Hey, you brought in COVID,’ which is definitely not true and no one is correcting them,” said Ivan Pak.

“We have to take a really strong stand about the right message. This information, if it is not corrected, becomes propaganda.”

Last year B.C.’s human rights commissioner confirmed that hate-related incidents rose exponentially during the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lion statues of Vancouver’s Chinatown Millennium Gate covered in orange tape after being defaced in May 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

In a report, Kasari Govender said hate based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and more was was affecting people across the province, calling the spike in anti-Asian hate “particularly acute.”

According to the Stop Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Advocacy Group Association of Canada report, 32 per cent of the 19 victims said they were physically assaulted by strangers, 28 per cent said they were targeted with verbal abuse or racial slurs, 24 per cent said they were stereotyped while 16 per cent faced harassment or threats.

The locations of the incidents ran the gamut of private, public and virtual spaces. 

The report said being a victim of racism and hate “could cause severe and long-lasting traumatic memories.”

Pak said governments need to put more resources into supporting victims of hate crimes and racism.

The report was funded by the federal justice department.

It defines a hate crime as a “criminal violation motivated by hate, based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, or any other similar factor.” 

  • The article was first published by the CBC News

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