Asian community in Winnipeg 'scared and concerned' after Atlanta spa shootings
WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg’s Asian community is scared and worried after shootings at massage businesses last week in Atlanta that left eight people dead, including six Asian women.
“The Asian community here in Winnipeg, many members they told me they are scared and concerned that this type of violence would come to Winnipeg and target the Asian community here,” said Jennifer Chen, a board member for the non-profit Asian Women of Winnipeg.
Chen said over the past year, there’s been an increase in the number of racist incidents reported by Asian communities across Canada. She said Asian women are often the targets.
“As an Asian woman myself and an immigrant myself, I know there are many different forms of racism that are imposed on Asian women on top of misogyny and gender discrimination,” she said.
“Asian women face xenophobia, stigmatizations and micro-aggressions, and also stereotypes that are imposed on Asian women.”
Chen said some of the stereotypes imposed upon Asian women include that they are submissive, quiet, invisible, and sexual objects. She added that Asian women’s voices aren’t taken seriously, and that when an Asian woman speaks up, she has to fight hard to prove herself.
”These types of stereotypes exist in everyday life,” Chen said.
“It affects me every day and I have to fight hard.”
WHAT CAN BE DONE
Chen said government and political leaders need to take initiative, noting that the City of Winnipeg is holding an Anti-Racism Week to raise awareness.
“We not only need to raise awareness, we need to take action. It’s time to take action,” she said.
Chen said classroom discussions on racism and anti-racism need to happen, and that the community needs to come together.
“When people see the incidents of racism happening, don’t just stay silent,” she said.
“We need to call it out, and we also need to support anyone who wants to speak out.”
Chen said since the shootings in Atlanta, she has received many messages of support.
“I’m very grateful for having that support and the Asian community is very grateful for having that support. I see people are coming together to combat racism here in Winnipeg,” she said.
- With files from CTV’s Michael Hutchinson and the Associated Press.