YCAR | Statement on anti-Asian racism

We at York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) stand in solidarity with Asian-Americans and Asian-Canadians reeling from the violent shootings that took the lives of eight women, six of whom were identified as Asian women, at three different spas earlier this week in Atlanta, Georgia. We would like to express our most heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were murdered and our thoughts and prayers to those who survived the attacks. 

The Atlanta shootings are not an isolated incident but rather a product of racist misogynist violence that targets Asian women. We are deeply alarmed that U.S. authorities to date have failed to treat the Atlanta shootings as a racially motivated and gender-based violent hate crime. 

This hate crime is a painful reminder that anti-Asian racism is deeply rooted in North America. Canadian history shows the pervasiveness of systemic anti-Asian racism imbedded the foundation of this country through the exploitation of racialized labour, predominately Asian labourers. Anti-Asian racism was legally institutionalized in Canada through various immigration and national security laws such as the Chinese Head Tax (in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century), and internment of Japanese Canadians (in the 1940s).

Current events show that anti-Asian racism in Canada is not a legacy of the past. Anti-Asian racism has been manifested in immigration, employment, education and in housing policies and practices across Canada. The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic has escalated the risks that Asian communities face with an increase in racially motivated violence targeting Asian Canadians. In fact, several YCAR Faculty Associates are conducting research on anti-Asian racism.

Anti-Asian racism must be named and acknowledged to fight against it. The impact of anti-Asian racism on vulnerable Asian communities, including women, the elderly, those facing precarious immigration status, those belonging to the LGBTQ+ community, and those with disabilities must be recognized and addressed.

YCAR is dedicated to continuing its support of its Associates’ research that aims at strengthening the advocacy, education and awareness of the racism that exists and persists among our Asian-Canadian communities and further afield. In solidarity and allyship, we welcome contributions for a webpage that we will be creating to provide resources to the community. Links to such resources can be shared with us via email at ycar@yorku.ca.

We urge everyone to report any anti-Asian racism they witness through the Project 1907 website.

We thank our Associates for providing additional anti-Asian resources:

Further information on the subject, specifically the impact felt here in Canada and by Asian Canadians:

In Solidarity,
York Centre for Asian Research