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What Does Racism Feel Like?

Amid fear and panic of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian racism among Canadians wrote itself into our common history. Chinese Canadians, many of whom have deep, multi-generational roots in this country, experienced racism along with other Asian communities and Indigenous peoples, anyone seen as “Chinese”.

These are some of the many reported incidents of micro-aggressions, hate incidents and hate crimes told from the point of view of victims of racism in Canada. This list is representative of the Asian Canadian experience during the pandemic, and it is not a complete list of incidents. Many types of racially motivated aggression often go unreported, or they do not make it into the news.

Through the pandemic, Chinese and Asian Canadians began reporting hate incidents to CCNC-SJ’s community allies, including Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter’s “Fight Covid-19 Racism” website, and Vancouver-based Project 1907’s Racism Incident Reporting Centre. Other witness accounts can be found at Montreal-based Groupe d’entraide contre le racisme envers les asiatiques au Quebec (GECREAQ).

Want to report an incident? Please click here and fill out a quick questionnaire in English, French, or Chinese.

Marnie Manalo – Toronto, Ontairo

Marnie Manalo, a research technologist at a downtown Toronto hospital, describes what it’s like to be targeted just because of her racial identity. “He yelled, ‘Go back. All of you. This is all your fault. I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me again.” Click here for the full news story.

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Katherine Cheung – Toronto, Ontario

Toronto ER nurse Katherine Cheung was downtown with a colleague getting something to eat at a restaurant that was offering take-out specials for health care workers when she was targeted by an older white woman and assaulted. “She told me to go back to wherever I came from, and called me racial slurs. Then she

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Abigail Douglass – Edmonton, Alberta

Abigail Douglass, who was born in Russia and adopted by Canadian parents, says she’s been under increased scrutiny since the virus outbreak. In a single 20-minute trip to her local grocery store in Edmonton, she said she experienced five racist incidents. “When people tell me to go home it feels like a weird thing because

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‘This virus was not made by us’: Filipino employees say they face discrimination after Cargill COVID-19 outbreak – High River, Alberta

Many of the workers at Cargill’s meat-processing plant in High River, Alberta, are Filipinos who say they have been blamed and targeted for discrimination. The meatpacking plant is the epicentre of Canada’s biggest COVID-19 outbreak. “Some of them are being asked ‘Are you an employee of Cargill?’ and they get turned down to shop at

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Rosalind Kang – Calgary, Alberta

Rosalind Kang, who has Chinese Malaysian heritage, was shopping at a northeast Calgary supermarket when an unknown man verbally assaulted her and blamed her for the coronavirus. “In the past, I’ve had the occasional person yelling from their car to ‘go home’ but people now are more emboldened to be more racist.” Click here for

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