The number of Anti-Asian hate crimes is surging in Canada during the pandemic
Anti-Asian hate crimes were not an issue in Canada until recently. But the COVID-19 pandemic saw a surge of Anti-Asian racism that threatens to ostracize many. Fight Covid Racism, in response to the growing number of hate crimes, is monitoring the situation. According to live data, as of March 17, there have been over 891 incidents of Anti-Asian hate crime.
A Statistics Canada report also highlights that visible minorities are experiencing continued harassment. Such increase covers the whole spectrum of attacks based on race, ethnicity, or skin color. Nonetheless, Canadians of Chinese, Korean, and Southeast descent got the worst of this. And now, organizations are looking more closely at the phenomenon. Some, such as Teresa Woo-Paw, are claiming Canada should open its eyes on its history of racism against minorities.
“We have a long history of anti-Asian racism, with deep-seated prejudice and stereotypes”, she said. “Somehow, people actually still do not fully recognize that we do have anti-Asian racism in this country”. Vancouver and Toronto have seen the incidence of Anti-Asian hate crimes increase by up to 700 percent from 2019 to 2021. Victims reporting incidents state that the majority of these involve verbal abuse and street harassment. An additional 30% reports incidents that can be classified as assaults.
All in all, the country may be undergoing one of the hardest periods in its history. The pandemic has made many certainties falter in only a year. But Canadians can rise again from hardships through the rediscovery of the same values that shaped our country for decades. Diversity and inclusivity are Canada’s greatest assets, and people cannot allow fear to seep doubt into those.