A new survey reveals that Canadians of Chinese origin experiences with racism


A new poll by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute and the University of Alberta suggests that a large percentage of people who identify themselves as chinese-Canadians have suffered a type of racism since the coronavirus pandemic began.More than 500 Canadians of Chinese ethnic respondents from across Canada, half reported being called names or insulted as a direct result of COVID-19, and 43 percent said they had been personally threatened or intimidated.

Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Institute Angus Reid, said the survey highlights the extent of racism across the country.

“I think the numbers are pretty stark,” Kurl said.

Of those who responded, nearly a third said they had been frequently exposed to racist graffiti or messages on social media. Also, 61 percent said they had changed their routines to avoid collisions or otherwise unpleasant encounters ” since the beginning of the pandemic.

The barriers to be accepted

The online survey was conducted from June 15 to 18 years, in 2020, among a representative random sample of 516 adult Canadians who self-identify as ethnically Chinese, and are members of the Angus Reid Forum or Inclusive Ideas. In comparison, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

For Kurl, one of the most troubling results of the survey, despite the fact that 88% of respondents agreed that “being Canadian is an important part of my identity,” only 13% agree that others see them as Canadians of all time.

“He told me that you can be in this country for five years or you can be the fourth generation, but because of the way you look at it there has always been an obstacle to acceptance or to be considered as fully Canadian by others,” Kurl said.

Nearly 80 percent of respondents said they firmly believed that the Canadians blame the people of Chinese ethnicity to COVID-19, and two-thirds said the North American media has had a negative effect on the Canadian points of view of people of Chinese ethnicity.

Advocating for more data

Henry Yu, history professor at the University of british Columbia, said that the results of the survey is not a surprise at all.

Yu congratulated the Institute Angus Reid to capture the systemic racism that is often dismissed as an isolated incident.

“I think it is of vital importance to Canada that we do more, the collection of this type of data,” Yu said. “How do you know where there is racism if you never actually look? ”

Yu said on that day, he was at the height for the victims of racism themselves in order to follow the trends through strategies such as Project 1907 centralized racism notification center to prove that the incidents of hatred widespread.

Project 1907 collection of self-reported incidents of anti-Asian racism in Canada. (Project 1907)

Deal with incidents of racism and discrimination as isolated incidents, reinforces the denial and the silence on racism in Canada, Yu said, and makes it difficult for those who have experienced it to believe that it happens for them.

The survey was limited to people who identify as being of Chinese ethnicity, but Yu said the same results are likely to apply to many Asian-Canadian or any other person who may be considered as Chinese-Canadian — as was the case with Dakota Holmes, an Indigenous woman who was attacked and told to “return to Asia” when she was out walking her dog in East Vancouver.


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