A statement on the recent rise in anti-Asian racism
The March 16th mass shooting near Atlanta, Georgia, and other attacks this past year, have galvanized public attention to the documented rise in anti-Asian racism here in Canada.
Many people are feeling anger and fear, if not for themselves, then for where our society could be headed. Supportive, public expressions of solidarity from across society have been appreciated as many from Asian backgrounds have been rethinking their own responses to racism.
But there is more we need to do to address all forms of racism.
Canada is a nation of indigenous and immigrant peoples. We live together, so we should take advantage of the strength that comes from our diversity. We can’t harbour hatred towards those who are different.
But not only must we live together, we must thrive together, and so when it comes to harbouring racism or any discrimination, we cannot even afford indifference. For Canada to be a truly successful country, different communities must look out for each other’s well-being and feel that others are looking out for them. Ultimately, all people must feel that our institutions and social structures are protecting them. Solidarity is built on more than equality and justice, it is built through bonds of responsibility for each other.
Some may disagree about the importance of solidarity, but I adamantly believe that if our society is to survive and thrive, no-one can be set apart, no one can be left behind. It means saying no to class wars, no to culture wars, no to dividing the nation into us and them, haves and have-nots.
To stop racism or discrimination from dividing us and growing to become hatred, we must stand in solidarity with all of our fellow citizens. That means not only speaking out and standing with targets of racism, but also building human connections across ethno-cultural, socio-economic and political divides, reconciling with those others whom it is easier to disparage or shun because of their attitudes.
Let’s build Canadian solidarity so that we can all enjoy lives with dignity, hope, and joy. Canada asks no less of us. We are all part of the Canadian family.