Following an initial wave that severely impacted the restaurant industry, the Chinese-Canadian community is again being targeted in COVID-19-related racist attacks. And, as was the case with one recent incident, this hatred is no longer hidden, but being publicly displayed in broad daylight.
Last week, Chinese-Canadian actor Russell Yuen was walking in a North Bay park when he was told to “go back to where he came from and take the coronavirus with him.” After meeting a man who brought up the phrase “Chinese virus,” Yuen said the racist tirade began when he removed his sunglasses to reveal his ethinicity.
“He said ‘Why are you not wearing a f*****g mask?’ and ‘get the f*** away from me’ and ‘what are you doing here,'” Yuen told CTV News.
North Bay Mayor Al McDonald has since condemned the attack and apologized to Yuen, who is currently in North Bay to film Swan.
Meanwhile, Edmonton Police Service has said a number of hate-related graffiti directed at the Chinese-Canadian community have appeared in their jurisdiction since March 17.
Despite eariler awareness campaigns to prevent COVID-19-related racism, the North Bay incident comes after US President Donald Trump asserted that his use of the phrase “China virus” was not racist.
“It’s not racist at all, no. Not at all. It comes from China,” said Trump during a March 23 press conference.
When pressed if the term would put Chinese-Americans at risk, Trump further doubled down. “No, not at all,” Trump said. “I think they probably would agree with it 100 percent. It comes from China.”
Although Trump’s “China virus” label has appeared in racist attacks, human rights activist Jianli Yang said he doesn’t believe “it is intended by him for any racist meaning.” Instead, Yang believes Trump was using the term to counter information given by the Chinese government.