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  • Experiences of racism [have] intensified with the coronavirus. The racist assumption that

  • if you look Chinese, if you look Asian, you might be a virus carrier.

  • This coronavirus outbreak has killed more than 2,700 people worldwide. The virus, which causes pneumonia and

  • other respiratory illnesses, was first detected in China's central Hubei province. Canada has confirmed 11 cases of coronavirus.

  • These Chinese Canadians say coronavirus reactions have made them a target of racism. - Because this is a virus that's coming out of a city in China,

  • because it's a virus that’s from a foreign land,

  • they automatically group all Chinese people as this monolith,

  • that we all are to blame,

  • that we all need to be avoided,

  • that we all need to be quarantined.

  • So my mom is a nurse at a Toronto hospital.

  • One day a patient had come up to her

  • and asked for a mask.

  • And my mom being a nurse, she has to ask the patient,

  • Oh, why do you need a mask? Are you coughing?

  • Are you sneezing? What seems to be the problem?”

  • And the patient replied to her, “No, none of those things. There's just so many Chinese people here. I need a mask.”

  • The Xenophobia Virus. So were in Scarborough.

  • Scarborough is actually one of the most diverse areas in Toronto.

  • A lot of immigrant communities

  • in this specific riding.

  • This mall is one of the big hubs in this specific area.

  • Usually, the food court is a congregation spot.

  • But as we can see from the number of empty seats there are,

  • it seems that there is some impact, right?

  • The first day the virus broke,

  • there was barely anyone around.

  • Normally, you might see the whole room is packed, right?

  • As we can see it's kind of like maybe a little more than half, right?

  • We are seeing a bit of a rebound, which is great.

  • So this is Pacific mall,

  • one of the biggest Chinese malls outside of Asia.

  • Pacific Mall relies also on a lot of non-Chinese customers.

  • Perhaps consumers from other communities

  • are sort of seeing Pacific mall as, you know,

  • dangerous.

  • Hopefully, as people become less concerned about coronavirus,

  • more and more people will start coming back to the mall. The world Health Organisation has declared the outbreak a global health emergency.

  • The virus is now wider in reach than the 2002-2003, severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS] outbreak. The reactions I’ve seen to the coronavirus in 2020

  • are very similar to the reactions that I saw as a child

  • with SARS in 2003.

  • During the SARS outbreak,

  • my family owned a small business in London, Ontario.

  • What we saw was a complete decline in that business.

  • And you have to remember

  • that immigrants tend to work in food.

  • They tend to work in service

  • because they couldn't get any other jobs.

  • When you have something like that happen,

  • you choke off their only line of income. The city of Toronoto lost around $770M during the SARS outbreak

  • as tourists avoided visiting the city, especially Chinese-owned businesses. In order to not marginalize Chinese Canadians, it's really simple. Don't be a jerk.

  • And when you see something happening, shut it down. Be a good ally. Racism isn't gonna protect you from the virus.

  • Xenophobia isn't gonna protect you from the virus. What will protect you from the virus

  • is taking the precautions that experts tell you to take.

Experiences of racism [have] intensified with the coronavirus. The racist assumption that

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Afraid of Coronavirus? Ok, But Don't Be A Racist

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    Annie Huang posted on 2020/03/09
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