Canadians like to reassure themselves that, as a people, we are less racist than our neighbours. But, such comparisons ignore the reality that no level of racism is tolerable and that hate-fueled intolerance is far more prevalent than we would like to think.
This week, a new report from the Chinese Canadian National Council highlighted a rise in verbal insults and physical assault experienced by Asian people in Canada, a situation that has worsened substantially since the start of the pandemic.
The document’s release came the week following the shooting of six Asian women in the United States.
I am very conscious of the fact that Willowdale is home to many people of Asian descent for whom these trends are far more disturbing than for those of us who have never felt the sting of racist comments or behaviour directed towards us.
If we are truly committed to ending racism and racial intolerance we must never be idle or silent in our opposition to bigotry, and those who perpetuate it. At the same time, we must also stand up to support individuals and communities who are made victims by these actions.