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Majority of Chinese-Canadians admit to changing lifestyle to avoid racist “run-ins”

As much as we can condemn racist behaviour and distance from them as extremist, the negative effects of racism has more to do with what you don’t see.

That means that though the brutal anti-Chinese tirade recently witnessed at a southern Ontario supermarket may be rare, this incident–and others like it–have lasting ramifications for Chinese-Canadians at large.

Recently, an unmasked man was recorded hurling anti-Chinese abuse at Chinese individuals in a Mississauga-based T&T supermarket.

In a short video posted to Instagram, the unidentified man could be heard yelling, “Get out of my face. Go back to China.” The man also  loudly said, “Take your coronavirus back to Wuhan.”

racist T & T supermarket coronavirus Mississauga

A T&T employee told 51.ca that the man had entered the supermarket without wearing a face mask. After customers asked him to wear a mask, an argument broke out that became so fierce that the store manager reported it to the police.

Eventually, store workers and customers worked together to eject the man from the supermarket.

The nakedly racist incident appeared on social media days after a prominent poll suggests a majority of Chinese-Canadians have been strongly impacted by COVID-19-related racist behaviour.

Conducted by the Angus Reid Institute and the University of Alberta, the poll suggests up to half of all Chinese-Canadians have experienced verbal abuse since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As well, three out of every five Chinese-Canadians are said to have changed some part of their lifestyle as a way to avoid “run-ins” or “unpleasant encounters.”

READ: Chinese-Canadian communities endure racism as further consequence of COVID-19

One of the 516 poll respondents provided a personal anecdote that also happened at a supermarket.

“I was at a local Loblaws in the queue to pay and a person behind me got too close,” wrote the respondent. “I requested that he back up to allow for social distancing and he stated, ‘shut up and go back to where you came from.’”

The anti-Chinese T&T incident also illustrates the prominent anti-mask movement of which local governments are ruling against.

READ: Chinese restaurant targeted in COVID-19 related threat

On June 30, Peel Region municipalities announced they will be making indoor mask use mandatory. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said businesses will have the right to refuse service to customers that don’t wear masks.

“It is our hope that people will do the right thing for their families, for their friends and for their neighbours,” said Crombie.

The City of Toronto enacted a city-wide mandatory mask-wearing bylaw on July 7.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump, who has refused to wear a mask in public, has used the terms “China flu” and “Kung Flu” to describe the virus that has infected nearly 3 million people in his country.

Images: 51.ca, pxhere

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