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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.

CBC News – Unmasking COVID racism

Asian Canadians living in Vancouver speak about their personal experiences living through COVID-19 and the additional social and mental health burden of racism, in this CBC News report on June 4, 2020. “Every incident has a ripple effect. Even if you’re not the victim this time, it can leave an impression.” — Lien Yeung, CBC

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Dakota Holmes – Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver police are investigating after Indigenous woman Dakota Holmes was mistaken for Asian and punched in the face. “It is a traumatizing incident, but because I’m Indigenous, it’s sad to say, but I’m kind of used to this behaviour. It’s hard to get through, but you know, it’s just another day in my life.” Click

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Bowinn Ma – Vancouver, British Columbia

B.C. MLA Bowinn Ma (North Vancouver-Lonsdale) took to Twitter on May 12, 2020, to call out racism with reference to US President Donald Trump and Canadian rock musician Bryan Adams, whose race-baiting Instagram post angered many Canadians. “With everything that’s been going on, I’ve felt very strongly the need to say something about #AntiAsianRacism during

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Sophie Lui – Vancouver, British Columbia

Global News Hour at 6 anchor Sophie Lui speaks with emotion about the rise of anti-Asian hate incidents in B.C. Lower Mainland amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in an interview with CKNW talk show host Lynda Steele. “I’ve been naïve for a long time in thinking we were past it …” Click here to listen.

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Trixie Ling – Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver resident Trixie Ling was walking home May 9, 2020, when a young man approached her and made racist and sexist comments – then he spat on her. She reported the incident to Vancouver Police, who are currently investigating dozens of hate crimes. “He spit in my face … I felt very angry and I

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