The pandemic has increased the rates of violence and harassment experienced by Asian communities globally. In Canada, the largest increase in individuals who have been victims of hate crimes have been of Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian descent. A report from Vancouver police found a 717 per cent increase in attacks on Asian communities from 2019 to 2020. Women’s Habitat is outraged and heartbroken by the horrific murder of eight people in Atlanta, Georgia last week including six Asian women. Our hearts ache for their friends and families.
This massacre is another example of how the historical objectification, fetishization and dehumanization of Asian women so often leads to violence. It is a reminder of the persistent attacks of racism and misogyny that all Asian women experience, and the pervasiveness of this racism. While these attacks took place in the United States, this is not an American problem. Canada has a long history of anti-Asian racism, most notably ‘the Chinese head tax’ or the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885, which aimed to discourage Chinese people from entering Canada after they built the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Women’s Habitat stands united with the Asian community. We denounce racism and misogyny in all its forms and we refuse to accept the excuses made for racist perpetrators while their victims’ families grieve. We will continue to show up and speak up against all forms of hatred today and every day.