Anti-Asian slurs hurled at attendees of Stop Asian Hate rally in Richmond
VANCOUVER -- A video has surfaced of a man hurling anti-Asian slurs during a Stop Asian Hate rally in Richmond on Sunday.
Members of B.C.’s Asian community had gathered at Richmond-Brighouse Canada Line station to voice concerns over the lack of charges in an anti-Asian hate incident, as well as the rise of discrimination against Asian-Canadians since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CTV News Vancouver and other members of the media attended the rally but once the cameras left, organizers say a man approached them.
“He had a heated argument with one of our volunteers,” said Ivan Pak, with the Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Concern Group. “His accusation is that if we like the Chinese government or Chinese culture, that we should go back to China. He doesn’t like Chinese culture, he doesn’t like the Chinese government or C.C.P.”
As the interaction continued, Patrick Lui began recording it on his phone, and later told CTV News “I was a little bit scared, I was shaking a bit.”
In the video, the man can be heard saying things like “You’re no longer in China,” “you’re no different than any other culture, you’re not special and you give that impression” and “if you want us to live like you’re still in China, stay in China. You can eat Chinese food, read Chinese books.”
Volunteers can be heard telling the man to put his mask on properly and to respect physical distancing. At one point, Lui is heard timidly asking passersby “please support us.” When the man who’s hurling slurs sees that he is being recorded, he says “this is an invasion of privacy.”
Eventually, a young white man steps in and questions why the man is being aggressive. He responds, “it’s my right,” to which the young man replies “it’s their right to be here too.” The heated confrontation continued, and then the aggressor left.
Ally Wang, who attended the rally and was caught up in the confrontation, said the interaction was painful.
“I was hurt,” she told CTV News on Monday. “I moved here, I want a better life, I have no Chinese passport, I love it here, I want to build here so why (do) you say that? It’s so rude.”
Pak says he has reported the incident to Richmond RCMP.
Richmond City Councillor Chak Au was a speaker at Sunday’s event but left before the incident took place. He says it shows “a lot of work has to be done in combating racism.”
While he says it is disappointing, there is a positive take away that a young man, who is white, stepped in.
“I think that tells us there’s hope for the future that there’s young people like that,” Au said. “It’s very encouraging and I think it’s these kinds of acts that we have to encourage in the community. When you see something happen don’t shy away, you have to stand up and speak for the victims.”