Dear Paul, Joe and Jim,
I wanted to thank you all personally for your spirited – yet still racist – defense of Canadian rock music icon Bryan Adams and his now infamous post on Instagram that targeted Chinese Canadians by creating bias and prejudice against us through making false statements about wrongly attributed cultural habits.
As you know, Mr. Adams put up a post on the popular social media platform on May 11, 2020, lamenting the fact that instead of a three-night gig at London’s Royal Albert Hall, he and his family were in isolation – like many of us in the rest of the world coping with this global pandemic.
In his post, Mr. Adams directed comments to “some fucking bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards,” which contextualized in current world affairs was an undoubted reference to anyone of Chinese heritage.
Your hate mail supports our understanding of this issue.
As you can well imagine, this type of stereotyping and prejudicial statements from a well-known and influential celebrity were concerning and offensive to many Canadians, especially those of us who share Chinese ancestry.
Moreover, Mr. Adams used race-baiting tactics in his Instagram post to push his own political interests in promoting veganism, resulting in faulty logic and a weak attempt at apologizing, after his remarks were roundly condemned in press reports.
Without getting too far into your false accusations about eating habits and disproven bat consumption, this issue was completely debunked by journalists all over the world. Let me be clear: we do not eat bats (and neither should you).
So, Joe Public, if that is your real name (although IP address 18.104.22.168 is good enough for us), and Jim (22.214.171.124, so we don’t confuse you with someone else), you’re wrong when you conflate the falsehood of eating bats with virus transmission – and blame. And while we can agree that COVID-19 was first detected in China, that country’s government does not equate representation of the myriad identities held by millions of ethnic Chinese people around the world.
As fair-minded Canadians, it’s pretty racist to blame an entire race of people for a virus outbreak just because it happened in a country we are associated with through our ethnicity. I mean, we haven’t assigned blame to Americans for the first detection of illness and mortality from the 1918 outbreak of H1N1 virus, also inappropriately named Spanish Flu, in the United States. In fact, reports in April of the spread of COVID-19 identified US travellers to Canada as the main disease vectors.
And, fair dinkum, we’d like to acknowledge Paul Archer of Hobart, Australia, for spreading Mr. Adams racist screed. We were very impressed that you read about our principled stance against anti-Asian racism in a dispatch from the BBC! We are absolutely chuffed that our arguments are reaching people all over the world!
To your point, Mr. Archer, we are not trying to deflect responsibility by stating facts related to the current COVID-19 pandemic, nor for the record do we care very much that China is threatening Australia with sanctions – that’s not our business. We are however concerned that you would find us somehow accountable – even responsible – for the actions of a foreign government. This we cannot and will not accept. We’d also wager that Chinese Australians would be opposed to your faulty logic.
Thank you, all – Joe Public, Jim and Paul – not for sharing and spreading your support for Mr. Adams’s racist posts, but for helping us to prove the point that racism is indeed a problem. We are working hard to fix your shortcomings, because we are all in this together.