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A Stand Against Asian Hate

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not
 necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

With the ongoing pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in racism and hate crimes against Asians.

On March 27, a Stop Asian Hate Rally took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, organized by the Women of Colour Community Leadership Initiative Manitoba and Manitoba Chinese Family Centre. The event was a drive-by protest to ensure COVID-19 health guidelines could be maintained, while still bringing awareness to the cause. 

Jié Yang

 

Jié Yang is a board member of the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba, which helped promote the event.

“It was nice seeing people of all backgrounds showing their support. It was incredibly emotional for some Asian people, including myself. After witnessing everything happening in the United States, particularly the Atlanta mass shooting and shootings in some parts of Canada, it was helpful to see that support and know there are people who hear our voices and are allies.”

According to a report by the Chinese Canadian National Council and Fight COVID Racism, from March 10, 2020, to February 28, 2021, 1150 cases of racist attacks from across Canada were reported on their platforms, 835 on covidracism.ca, and 315 to elimin8hate.org. Data analysis was conducted using data up to December 31, 2020.

 

 

  • 40% and 44% of all cases of racist attacks and incidents were reported from Ontario and British Columbia, respectively.
  • 11% of all reported attacks and incidents contained a violent physical assault and/or unwanted physical contact.
  • 10% of all attacks and incidents included a form of assault through being coughed at and/or being spat on.
  • Those who identify as women represent close to 60% of all reported cases, while those who identify as men are twice as likely to report a physical assault.
  • While the majority of those impacted are East Asians (accounting for 84% of all reports),
  • Southeast Asians also accounted for 6% of all reported incidents.
  • In addition to public spaces, spaces in the food sector (grocery stores, restaurants etc.) were a prominent site of racist attacks accounting for almost 1/5th of all racist attacks/incidents.

Jié says although they have heard reports of increases in anti-Asian racism and discrimination in Manitoba, luckily, nothing has heightened into violence. However, he is still quite concerned for senior populations’ wellbeing after seeing the horrific Attack on an Asian-American woman in New York.

“There are a lot of senior citizens that are walking on the street and being attacked. I sometimes worry when my parents are going out, and I feel I have to warn them to be careful. It’s incredibly stressful for me and others. Anything could happen, especially at that age, and if they get pushed or knocked down, they could have to go to the hospital. I’m glad that Manitoba hasn’t escalated to violent racism.”

In this day and age, Jié believes racism is counterproductive to our society, and everyone is trying to succeed and build a life. Discrimination and racism solely created fissures between communities and tears everything down. Awareness and education are the tools to combat contempt and, through them, benefit all, and that’s the intent of the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba.

The Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba hosts events celebrating Asian culture and heritage, but they have had to switch to virtual settings due to the pandemic. With Asian Heritage month approaching in May, the organization will have Asian showcases every few days, with videos highlighting the many cultures represented within their membership, and participating in high school symposiums, sending out various programming. The group is also well known for their Asian Film nights, and this year will celebrate by showcasing works from within the community from their film contest.

“People in Manitoba, whether they are a social media influencer or a filmmaker, can make a video discussion and win a cash prize. The best films will be shown at the Asian Film night at the end of May. It doesn’t have to be high-end production, and we’re also looking for candid videos. As long as it has a powerful message, that can win the contest as well.”

Participants should make a 3-5 minute short film with a theme and/or story about experiencing anti-Asian racism or educates/creates awareness on why racism is not acceptable. The best two films will be awarded $300. There are two categories, Ages 15-22 and Ages 22 and up. Winners of the Anti-Racism Short Film Contest will be featured on the Asian Heritage Month of May Film Festival and their social media platforms.

Although the original deadline was April 1,  the window for submissions will be extended till April 20.

Education and awareness is the first step to stop racism, says Jié. Through continued conversations and a call to action for Canadian politicians to denounce racism and hold those who commit hate crimes accountable, we can grow together as a community towards a brighter future.

Film Contest: https://www.asianheritagemanitoba.com/filmcontest2021/

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