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Racially motivated incidents on the rise in B.C.

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

Re: “‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police,” April 14

Westerners of East-Asian heritage have been increasingly verbally and/or physically assaulted during the last year, the perpetrators perhaps under some delusion their targets are willful creators/spreaders of COVID-19. Many have no Chinese lineage, though their assailants seem to not care, maybe due to a hateful perception that they’re “all the same.”

Overlooked is that there’s a good chance the assault victims came to the west to leave precisely that which so many Westerners currently dislike about some East-Asian nation governances, especially that of China.

The unprovoked hatred can be even more intense if the target happens to be deemed professionally successful and/or has managed greater savings (etcetera), regardless of it all having been through hard work and/or thrift budgeting.

Sometimes the victim is a convenient political football or scapegoat. The current anti-Asian abuse brings to my mind the 2007-08 financial crisis, which resulted in the biggest, and perhaps the most culpably corrupt, mainstream U.S. bankers not being criminally indicted but rather given their multi-million-dollar performance bonuses via taxpayer-funded bailout.

Yet, the feds, in a classical cowardly move, only charged some high-level staff with a relatively small-potatoes Chinese-American community bank as a figurative sacrificial lamb that couldn’t really fight back and who looked different from most other Americans.

Too many people will always find an excuse to despise and abuse those who are superficially different, including religious wear. That was evident recently when a non-white man wearing a red “Keep America Great” cap (with “45” on the side) yelled at a nine-year-old girl wearing a hijab at a Surrey grocery store.

The girl’s father rightly confronted the man and repeatedly called him a racist. (One can imagine the shameful pleasure felt — and rampant media posts left — by white supremacists upon learning the accused racist is not Caucasian!) As far as terrorism goes, the girl’s family is far more likely to be fleeing extremist violence abroad than planning to perpetrate it elsewhere.

But that fact may not matter, anyway; “their kind” still not welcome. As a young white boy I was bewildered (especially after watching the miniseries Roots) by Black people being brutalized and told they were not welcome — while they were violently forced here from their African home as slaves!

As a people, there’s been no real refuge here for them, since. In Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, the narrator notes that, like the South, the Civil War era northern states also hated Black people but happened to hate slavery more.

Frank Sterle, Jr.

White Rock, B.C.

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