A majority of Canadians of Asian descent have faced discrimination in the past year, a new survey from the Angus Reid Institute suggests.
Findings published Tuesday (June 8) indicate people younger in age and of a lower-income bracket are the most likely to be targets of racism and bigotry.
“They’re telling us through this survey that they have been bearing the brunt of anti-Asian discrimination,” said Angus Reid president Shachi Kurl.
The online survey, conducted in conjunction with the University of British Columbia, surveyed a total of 631 Canadians, including 580 who self-identify as ethnically Chinese and 77 as East Asian.
Younger, lower-income most likely targets
Researchers found 58 per cent of Canadians say they experienced anti-Asian discrimination at least once in the past 12 months. More than one in four of those respondents (28%) say these situations occur often or all the time.
At the receiving end, those ages 18 to 34 were found most likely to say they have experienced anti-Asian racism.
“They might be on the front lines a bit more, they might be working in the service industry, they might be more likely to be taking transit rather than driving a car or working from home,” Kurl said.
More than half of those surveyed (53%) say the discrimination was hurtful and stayed with them after the incident.
“I witnessed a young Chinese woman being pushed onto the road while she was waiting for a traffic light to change. A middle-aged Caucasian man pushed her,” a 60-year-old outlines in the survey.
A lesser 38 per cent of victims surveyed say they were troubled but able to move on, while nine per cent say they were not affected.
Anti-Asian racism not new
In Vancouver, police reported a 717 per cent rise in anti-Asian hate crime in 2020 compared to 2019.
Carol Lee, chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, said people of Asian heritage are excluded from areas of power in the city.
“The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America, even if we have been here for generations,” Lee said.
“Anti-Asian racism has always been here.”
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