2020-2021 has unfortunately seen quite a few racially motivated atrocities. As we studied in the beginning of the year, George Floyd’s death sparked a nerve in people all around the world, of all different backgrounds and cultures. People banded together to say enough is enough: treat us with the respect we deserve. The Black Lives Matter movement has been very strong in articulating against racism, discrimination and bringing attention to systematic racism and white privilege.
Unfortunately, this work has not been enough to educate people into changing their racist, prejudiced mindsets. Instead, attacks against Asian-Canadians and Americans have skyrocketed.
This also saddens me and brings back deja-vu moments of when I was your age. In grade 6, yes, I was your age once (ha!), the September 11th attacks had occurred. I vividly remember going to school on the morning of September 11th and seeing my Muslim friend. We knew that life going forward would come with uncertainty – the exact same uncertainty that people are experiencing again. Attacks against Muslims and Sikhs/Indians in the West drastically increased. As we discussed, Islamophobia was created – the hatred/prejudice of Muslims and/or Islam. Why? Because some people believed that terrorists = brown-skinned people.
Why do I bring this up? Well, for one simple reason: have people learned their lesson from when I was a student? Why is it that innocent people experience hate when they have literally no relation to the ongoing issue? The attacks happened, blame brown-skinned people. The Corona Virus happened, blame Asian-Canadians. They didn’t cause this! They’re as upset as everyone else.
Notable terms that you already know, but definitely want to include in your post:
- Discrimination: The unfair treatment of a person, people or group of people because of a characteristic like ethnicity, race, gender, age, etc.
- Prejudice: Negative and unreasonable attitudes/feelings (usually based off of stereotypes) about members of a group
- Xenophobia: Dislike, fear or hatred against people/things that are seen to be foreign.
- Racism: Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred against a person or group of people based on their racial, cultural, or ethnic background.
- Stereotypes: Oversimplified, untrue generalisation about a group of people.
Like many of our posts regarding discrimination, this is an issue that can be very difficult to speak about. Please treat this matter with the respect and care that it deserves. My questions for you are:
- Do you think that leaders in government (Mayors, Premiers, and Prime Minister) are doing enough to speak out against this sort of discrimination?
- Can you think of other areas in society (schools, organisations, universities/colleges, jobs, etc.) where more should be done to highlight and condemn such behaviour?
- What sorts of things can we all do to help decrease and speak up about this issue? How can we make it so that Asian-Canadians feels safe?
- What are your thoughts, questions, opinions on these issues?
Please read the below articles to help provide you with some further information, research and stats. Your blog post should be roughly 20-25 sentences (or more :)).