ANTI-ASIAN HATE ONLINE SETS THE STAGE FOR REAL-LIFE VIOLENCE

RACIALLY MOTIVATED HATE CRIMES INCREASED BY 6% IN 2021, AFTER RISING 83% IN 2020​

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Canadians have been drawn into the far right where we continue to see a landslide of anti-Asian racism online fueled by disinformation, inflammatory content, and language. The rise of white supremacist, anti-immigrant, and right-wing extremist movements has been actively organizing in Canada for decades, echoing a history of violence, racist tropes, and narratives all too familiar to Asian Canadians. Together with other racialized communities, we must work in solidarity to dismantle white supremacy.

The impact of anti-Asian racism on Canadian society is still felt today, where online harm and violence targeting Asian bodies and lived experiences translate to extreme physical consequences, as we have seen in the Atlanta spa shooting and the attack on the Muslim family in London, Ontario. Anti-Asian racism and hate are situated within Canada’s broader history of colonization and systems of oppression which influenced many laws, court decisions, and social norms that continue to affect and marginalize Asian communities today. 

Our campaign to STOP ONLINE HATE follows the introduction of the Online Harms Act to report on the implications this proposed legislative and regulatory framework has for our communities and focuses on the racist rhetoric that directly contributes to the growth of white supremacy and far-right extremism in Canada. 

As we work towards dismantling white supremacy and cultivating safeguards outside of legal frameworks, we seek to consult our community through our project, IDENTIFYING ANTI-ASIAN RACISM ONLINE, to better understand what alternate policies and strategies are needed beyond legal institutions, and to deepen our understanding of Canadian law so that we can be critical and mindful when legislative change happens

WHAT'S THE ISSUE?

  • Wide-spread disinformation and misinformation combined with the exponential rise of far-right content and political discourse online heightens and promotes violence and hate towards Chinese and Asian people, deepens tensions, and causes friction within our communities.
  • Lack of political and legal knowledge and solidarity makes our communities vulnerable to extremist beliefs, white supremacy, and the legal system.
  • Political extremes and polarization force governments to pass laws and policies that directly impact and exclude the safety and well-being of all Asian communities in the margins.

WHAT'S CCNC-SJ DOING?

  • Increase public awareness and understanding of online hate, anti-Asian racism, and the impact of legislative change. 
  • Reject the Asian identity as a monolith by bridging connections, building relationships, and cultivating solidarity with others to support racial and legal literacy.
  • Support sustainable strategies that advance racial equity for ALL ASIAN Canadians.
  • Develop a baseline report with a rubric that clearly identifies and defines the current context of anti-Asian racism and hate speech online and its effects on Asian Canadian communities in real time.

KEY UPDATES

Bill C-63: Online Harms Act & Technical Briefing

MINISTER OF JUSTICE & CANDIAN HERITAGE

On July 29th, 2021, the Government of Canada published a legislative and regulatory framework proposal to confront harmful content online, and interested parties, such as CCNC-SJ, were invited to submit comments on what the new framework should address. 

Following these submissions on February 26, 2024, the Honourable, Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada introduced Bill C-63, otherwise known as the Online Harms Act, as a response to the feedback received from respondents across Canada.

THE ONLINE HARMS ACT SEEKS TO:

  1. Reduce exposure to harmful online content
  2. Better address and denounce hate propaganda and provide recourse to those who experience victimization by hate speech
  3. Amend the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act to address hate speech online

The objectives of the Online Harms Act include reducing the amount of harmful content online, including hate speech and propaganda. The Act seeks to accomplish this in part by increasing the maximum punishment on existing hate propaganda convictions as well as introducing a new law on hate crimes online. It will also change the Canadian Human Rights Act to define hate speech as discrimination, and to provide the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal authority to make judgments on complaints and order remedies. Additionally, the Act aims to provide recourse to those who have experienced victimization through the Digital Safety Commission and a Digital Safety Ombudsperson, who are responsible for ensuring social media platforms are transparent and accountable for reducing Canadians’ exposure to harmful content and providing support and resources to users.

Resources

Last Update: April 2024 | Collected from community developers and supported by the Government of Canada.

CONFRONTING AND PREVENTING 
HATE IN CANADIAN SCHOOLS

Toolkit and workshops focused on hate movements and propaganda
Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN)

Confronting And Preventing Hate In Canadian Schools, is a supplement education program to support ongoing efforts to address overt and covert racism in Canadian schools. With a specific focus on responding to hate propaganda and movements aimed at youths and students, these resources share practical tools for school professionals, parents, and community stakeholders to proactively protect their communities from the influence of hate movements and propaganda. It also includes key scenarios, step by step strategies, and protective measures.

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) is an independent, nonprofit organization made up of Canada’s leading experts and researchers on hate groups and hate crimes.  Their  mandate is to monitor, research, and counter hate groups by providing education and information on hate groups to the public, media, researchers, courts, law enforcement, and community groups.

DIGITAL MEDIA LITERACY
EDUCATION AND RESOURCES

For teachers, educators, parents, and students grade K-12
MediaSmarts: Canada’s Centre for Digital Media Literacy

MediaSmarts includes digital and media literacy programs and resources for Canadian homes, schools and communities to support adults with information and tools to help children and teens develop the critical thinking skills needed for interacting online.

Covering unique issues arising for digital media, these resources can be easily integrated into existing curriculum and include classroom lesson plans, with work sheets, backgrounders, tip sheets and essays, and multimedia games and quizzes. Along with license professional development workshops for teachers and librarians and interactive modules for students.

#EradicateHate

An toolkit for children and youth in Ontario
Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA)

Developed by CASSA with the Anti-Hate Community Leaders Group, #EradicateHate and #EradicateHate2.0, are toolkits created for agencies serving racialized communities, religious minorities, allies, and community advocates to address and challenge online hate. These toolkits aim to build the capacity for digital literacy skills and provides content that support victims of online hate caused by racism and xenophobia.

CASSA, brought together community leaders in the Greater Toronto Area in response to the devastating Christchurch Mosque Shooting in New Zealand to take preliminary action in ensuring events like this never happen (again) in this country. With a call out that went to 50 different community leaders and organizational leaders in Toronto, Peel region, York region, and Durham region. Approximately 40+ organizations came together to form the Anti-Hate Community Leaders’ Group. Since its initiation, however, the group has expanded and includes organizations across Canada.

AREAS OF FOCUS:

  • Legal Tools and Legislation
  • Social Media and Online Strategies
  • Education Tools for Children
  • Inter-faith Dialogue and Supports
  • Political Engagement
  • Media Engagement

Anti-Asian Racism Across Canada

Two Years Into the Covid-19 Pandemic
Chinese Canadian National Council – Toronto Chapter

This report was a grassroots initiative aimed at examining what it is like to live as an Asian in Canada 2 years into the COVID-19 pandemic, a period of heightened anti-Asian hate and racism. These findings were crucial in highlighting several significant themes, trends, and patterns and demonstrated the ongoing effects of anti-Asian racism as part of Canada’s larger history of racism. Facilitated by the Chinese Canadian National Council-Toronto Chapter (CCNC-TO) with Project 1907, and Elimin8hate, this report uses data collected from covidracism.ca, a tool aimed to capture a national landscape of under-represented experiences of anti-Asian racism and hate.

Scroll to Top