The Art of Resistance
e. 416 - Chinese Canadians Facing Racism Following Coronavirus Outbreak ft. Justin Kong
As confirmed cases of coronavirus rise in China and around the world, Toronto has experienced a surge in anti-Chinese and anti-Asian racism. Many are pointing fingers at the Asian-Canadian community as the key carriers of the virus, a view that goes against both statements from public health officials and statistics on the outbreak.
Local Chinese businesses have reported a decline in customers since the virus touched down in Toronto; others have noted increased anti-Asian epithets and other forms of racism and violence in public. This is similar to the public response to the SARS outbreak in 2003, during which hundreds of Canadians were hospitalized and 44 died. So far, only three cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Canada; experts say the Canadian health care system is well-equipped to handle any future outbreaks of the virus - which is not easily transmitted - and that the risk of infection for most Canadians is very low.
Today, we’re speaking with Justin Kong, executive director of the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter, to hear more about the relationship between public health epidemics and anti-Chinese or anti-Asian racism.