Racism is still a prominent issue in Vancouver

“Is today a black day or something?” asked a cashier at a downtown convenience store. The man directed the question to my girlfriend and I as we checked out our items one summer day. It was hard to hide the disbelief from our faces as he casually let the words flow freely.

Why would he ask such a question? Well, he mentioned that he had noticed a number of black people that day, so there had to be a reason why. Because black people don’t just walk around Vancouver unless it’s a special occasion, right?

As an African international student, racially charged interactions are not new to me, and only reinforce how far away I am from home. Vancouver is often celebrated as a universally inclusive place — however, in reality this is not always the case. After numerous other troubling encounters, I have accepted that it may not be the perfect bubble of unity many believe it to be.

I remember during my first year, I explained to a Canadian coworker of mine that I intended to transfer from college to university in Vancouver. His advice to me was that I should avoid certain schools, due to their high Chinese population. As a then-newcomer to Vancouver, I sobered up to the possibility of ethnic prejudice even in beautiful British Columbia.

Browsing web forums, the title of a certain thread jumped out at me: “Too many Asians in Vancouver!” Beneath it, various responses proceed, with prejudiced remarks such as “Canada should stop catering to foreigners (for what? for some foreign cash? for stupidity?)” Numerous other threads like this exist online, and add to the deadly fire that is unfounded prejudice. The issue may not seem prevalent, because it is usually not as overt as it was during the colonial era; however, I am here to tell you that it does exist.

After troubling encounters, I realize Vancouver is not the bubble of unity many believe it to be.

In a country built on colonial rule and the efforts of generations of immigrants, it is utterly asinine for people to denigrate others based on their ethnicity. It is highly regressive, especially in Canada, to hold these prejudices, yet many still do.

The diversity of Vancouver is often celebrated, but often this is used as a safety net that allows people to ignore the possibility of prejudice. Some may say, “Look at how many immigrants there are; we are so accepting of foreigners!”

Sorry to burst your bubble, but no. It means your government is open to the foreign investment, and you have to deal with the consequences. However, we can still work towards fostering a genuine community where we truly accept each other even if we are uncomfortable at first.

We need to face this issue head-on instead of hiding behind the notion of “tolerance” in an attempt to seem agreeable. I feel as though “tolerance” maintains that we don’t like the idea, but will put on a smile and fake it. In my view, all this does is provide an excuse to further dodge the problem.

It may be naive to believe we can do better as a society, but there is surely space for us to build a more inclusive community in Vancouver, rather than a complacent population full of hidden tensions.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. It’s good you brought this up. These kind of issues need to be discussed in a logical way. The problem is that most people will not discuss this in a logical way.

    Take a walk around SFU, I’ll tell you what I see, groups of people that only want to stick with their own race, Chinese with Chinese, African with African, Indian with Indian, Arab with Arab, Latinos with Latinos… Canadian with Canadian.

    I’m Canadian and I’ve travelled all over the world. I have friends, not accountancies, friends, from all backgrounds and colors. I’ve crossed so many borders the very thought of borders seems almost meaningless to me. Race means even less to me, but culture and attitude, this is everything.

    To be open about this I will say explicitly, I dislike people that come to this country with racist, classist, sexist, religious blindness and downright arrogant views of the world. We have people coming here that culturally are extremely closed and conservative. They do not want to mix with other cultures, whether in marriage, friendship and in many cases linguistically. It’s as if these people think that racism and discrimination only goes one way. People all over the world want to come here for a better life, to avoid discrimination, better healthcare,education ect.
    Part of coming here is accepting cultural norms and integrating into society.
    Without this is doesn’t matter what your passport says, I will never see you as
    Canadian.

    How do you think I feel as a Canadian to see all these people come here, move into a community with “their own”, marry with their own, hire their own and interact only with their own community? Am I supposed to be happy about this? Am I supposed to think “Thank god I live in a country where people are free to get all the benefits of a stable country but not interact with the people that built the country!”? This is not always the case but when I see this it pissed me off.

    What pisses me off more is that I can hardly say anything about it at risk of some unintelligent, illogical and sheltered turdling shouting out screams of “RACIST!” or doing the opposite and saying things like “ya, those fing chinks and arabs gotta go!”

    This goes beyond race and culture, but also with the people my government choses to let come live and go to school here, I know people who live day to day with no security, healthcare, education would have to work for over a year and not spend a single dollar just to get a plane ticket to come here, it would be a dream for these people to come here, but no, the government only caters to the worlds wealthy and educated. I have news for people that have spent their whole lives living inside of a bubble. The wealthy and educated class coming from the developing world are some of the most disgusting, arrogant, heartless and self entitled scum to walk this earth. Many of these countries have centuries old ideals about class and self worth based on income. Quite literally, if you do not display wealth or hold a title then you must be poor and if you are poor then you’re worthless as a human being.

    I shouldn’t have to say this but I will, this is not the case with ALL people. In fact the few foreign students that are aware enough to think independently of their cultural beliefs tend to be awesome people.

    One of the reasons Canada is a great country is because we are young, we have never been invaded by foreign countries that poisoned the minds of people by making them believe that one “class”, one “shade of color”, culture or a specific last name meant you were better than the other, for many countries in the world, this is not the case and I see this mindless attitude at SFU everyday.

    Really, imagine you are going to university in your home country. Imagine 70% of the students are not from your country, do not speak the same language, stick to themselves, are shy, have poor social skills, are self-entitled spoiled brats and have completely different views about the world. How happy would you be to go to University in a place like this? How would you feel about “multiculturalism”?

    Now for the flip side of this, Canadians are polite but we are not so open, friendly and our culture is not so well defined. In fact I’m so bored of Canadians myself that I prefer to hangout with foreign students. We can be cold and suspicious of foreigners. There are also mindless Canadians (many, MANY of them go to SFU) that have never travelled outside of their home city, know nothing and care nothing for the rest of the world. The biggest life decision these people have made was whether they should buy an apple or an android. For these people, and in true Canadian style, I am sorry.

    To end my rant I have to say, I noticed there are a lot more African, and I suspect African American students this semester. Like most ethnic groups at SFU they tend to stick together. It could have just been that a group of them had just entered the store. There are not so many African people in Vancouver, it could just have been a surprise to the cashier to see so many African people out of nowhere, people are going to notice 12+ Africans walking around downtown. I doubt he meant it in a racist way, in fact if he was actually racist he would have smiled at you politely, not said a word and then go off on a racist rant the moment you walked out.

    • John, I gotta acknowledge your lack of acknowledgment of Indigenous peoples with all your complaints about how you feel oppressed.
      You are not indigenous. The way your people and other peoples have come to this country is the same. That is why each group acts like this.

    • and why would they? you whites are immoral and seem to think you are right and all other races are wrong. why don’t you get the hell out of Kanata considering it isn’t a white land to start off with and go have your white utopia in Europe caves

      • Erm yes it does, look at the middle eastern countries, go to countries like china where racism against blacks is far more widespread. You think your entitled because your of colour but the fact is your not. The main issue with in the western world today is that intolerant, racist, bigotted liberals like yourself use the race card to stifle debate and get what you want. Do you really think minorities would treat white people with the same freedoms if it was the other way around. I think your a pathetic individual who’s far to concentrated on condeming the white man rather than focusing on issues cradled by your own community. Grow up!

        • no race of color is entitled you idiot! prick! if that was the case then the structural power and judicial system would be in favour to colored people which it isn’t! whites never get charged for murdering colored people! their charges if any are allot less than a colored race. white police get away with killing colored races and get administrative duty WITH PAY! might as well start giving out free tickets to the Bahamas toO!!!! while you are at it.

  2. First, I’d like to thank Mr. Kamawe for raising this
    important issue. As an American residing in Vancouver, I have been both amused
    and appalled by Vancouvites’ insistence about their “open mindedness,” “multiculturalism,”
    and incessant need to inform me about the evils of American racism and how it’s
    “so different in Canada.”

    John, you raise some interesting points, however, I did have
    to read and re-read your post a couple of times, as I was confused by contradiction between your “rant” (your word)
    and your initial argument that you are well-educated and well-traveled and thus
    feel your insights into this topic are grounded in….there I got lost. As an
    educator at SFU, my colleagues and I
    frequently discuss our concerns with privileged (specifically, white male)
    students who have big opinions about big issues, about which they really know
    nothing. As educators, our concern is that students attend and graduate SFU
    (and other post-secondary institutions) without developing critical thinking
    skills, research skills, or the ability to formulate arguments based in logic
    and fact. In fact, one of my greatest concerns is that my most privileged students
    have a tendency to base their beliefs on anecdotal “evidence,” or simply put,
    their experiences. In the words of Anais Nin, “We don’t see things as they are.
    We see things as we are.”

    When you say you have travelled extensively, do you mean to
    Europe or to Third World countries? I ask because if you have traveled
    throughout the Third World, you would have noticed that whites (Europeans and
    North Americans) have a tendency to stick together. I have lived in two
    different Central American countries and traveled extensively throughout
    Central and South America and I rarely, if ever, saw whites interacting with “them.”
    And really, why would “we”? After all, as humans we tend to stick to groups
    where we feel welcome and we interact with those people with whom we feel we can
    relate. So why would/should it be any different here?

    You say you don’t like people who come to this country with
    racist/classist/sexist/religious blindness. Fair enough. But if you make that
    argument, we need to address the idea of people of color being racist. This
    implies that “reverse racism” exists. It does not. The reason “reverse racism”
    does not exist is because racism is deeply rooted in power dynamics. By this I
    mean that “he” who has the power makes the rules and dictates “right” and “wrong,”
    etc. In other words, black people who come to this country to study and find
    Vancouverites intolerable and cold (as do I, and I’m a white woman), are not
    racist. They can’t be racist because they have no power. YOU have the power
    because YOUR people make and enforce the rules to legitimate YOUR position
    within YOUR society. YOU aren’t directly impacted by people of color thinking that
    you are intolerable and ignorant.

    While I neither have the time nor the space to fully address
    the implications of power-dynamics and how deeply entrenched they are within
    every facet of our society and our institutions, I think it is important to
    note that the idea of “privilege” necessarily
    means that something (like racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism) isn’t a
    problem because it doesn’t directly impact you…or because you can’t see it.
    You, John, cannot see how racial issues impact people of color in Vancouver
    because you have never experienced these issues and it seems as though you
    haven’t spent much time talking to people who actually have experienced these
    issues.

    One rarely addressed issue is that of covert racism. In
    sociolinguistics, psychology, and sociology we refer to subtle racist remarks,
    beliefs, and actions as “microaggressions.” It seemed to me that Mr. Kamawe was
    raising this very issue; it’s not visible to Vancouverites, but when you are “other”
    you feel it. In fact, Mr. Kamawe’s argument is something that I’ve heard from
    my (specifically) black colleagues. They feel the same way. John, if people looked at you like a specimen
    in a lab, and people asked to touch your hair on a daily basis, asked how it
    feels being in a “free” country and having “rights,” or asked you how you knew
    to speak English so well (even though you were born in Canada, but your parents
    had immigrated from, say, Zimbabwe), how would you feel? As inane as it sounds, this is what people of color
    experience EVERY SINGLE DAY here. This
    is racism. This is unacceptable. This is what Mr. Kamawe is talking about…not
    people sticking to racially-based groups. Maintaining racially-based groups
    helps people a.) avoid the ignorant comments, and b.) maintain a sense of
    identity in a “multicultural” society that creates an “us” versus “them”
    climate.

    I recognize that many are not well-versed in the
    construction and implications of “us” versus “them” discourse, but I find it
    apt to point out that you have just engaged in this discourse. That is, you
    have discursively created a distinction between you/your fellow (white)
    Canadians and people of color. You have just (unintentionally) made Mr. Kamawe’s
    point for him.

    • “You say you don’t like people who come to this country with
      racist/classist/sexist/religious blindness. Fair enough. But if you make that argument, we need to address the idea of people of color being racist. This implies that “reverse racism” exists. It does not.”
      “They can’t be racist because they have no power.”

      I don’t know where you got these ideas but it troubles me that
      you are a “educator” here at SFU and say things like that.

      Forget your readings on power dynamics.
      I’m serious when I say this, take a group of African students, break off in groups of 2-3 people and walk around Richmond for an afternoon. Engage with the community there, walk into shops, take taxis, ask people for the time, go to a local bar, ect.
      You might learn something new about how “colored people can’t be racist”.

      “You, John, cannot see how racial issues impact people of color
      in Vancouver because you have never experienced these issues”

      I’ll return the same logic. You, AK cannot see how issues of immigration impact society, school life, access to education and the cost of living in Canada because you have never experienced these issues.

      Judging from your response I can see you have firmly fixated on whites vs color and specifically white and black. Most probably this comes from you living in the U.S.A. You can not even try to compare race issues in the U.S to race issues here. This is beyond a race issue, I thought I made that clear.

      With that in mind, what if I told you I was metis? Do I still fit the role of the entitled white just because I look more white than a typical native person?

      I have been with my friends at social functions where most of the people there are the same nationality (non-white). An acquaintance of my friend came up to talk with us, smiles and hand shakes
      with everyone, then he looked at me unsure, “are you from _______?”
      “No, I’m from Canada” I said
      He made a sour face, said “oh” and walked away. This has happened in various ways at least 6-7 times now since living in Vancouver. This is the nature of having racially mixed friends. I’m not going to turtle myself and only hangout around white
      Canadians to avoid this ignorant thinking.

      “John, if people looked at you like a specimen
      in a lab, and people asked to touch your hair on a daily basis, asked how it feels being in a “free” country and having “rights,” or asked you how you knew to speak English so well (even though you were born in Canada, but your parents had immigrated from, say, Zimbabwe), how would you feel? As inane as it sounds,
      this is what people of color experience EVERY SINGLE DAY here. This is racism.”

      While I agree this behaviour is inappropriate I would not call it
      racism. People are curious about things that stand out. If I decided to take a stroll through the Congo I can guarantee that the people there are going to stare and they are going to ask questions.
      This has happened to me in the Amazon, I got off a cargo boat to get supplies from a small village and people looked at me like I was a unicorn. People would speak with me, ask me where I
      was from and why I was there. I didn’t return to the ship thinking, “Wow, the people here are so racist!”

      More on that point, if day to day you think that people are
      racist towards you then it really doesn’t matter how people look at you or what they say, more often than not you’ll construe it as racism.

      It doesn’t make inappropriate comments or unwanted attention acceptable but you have to realize that people curious about you or your hair is a lot better than people avoiding talking with you or considering you untouchable because of your
      complexion.

      Mr. Kamawe said “Vancouver is often celebrated as a universally inclusive place — however, in reality this is not
      always the case. After numerous other troubling encounters, I have accepted that it may not be the perfect bubble of unity many believe it to be.”

      I have (intentionally) made his point for him and have commented on
      why this is the case from my point of view and my experiences living here and abroad. The tension and intolerance is a rapidly growing problem here and has a much broader range than simply “I don’t like this person because they are x color.”

      “Maintaining
      racially-based groups helps people a.) avoid the ignorant comments, and b.) maintain a sense of identity in a “multicultural” society that creates an “us” versus “them” climate.”

      So what you’re saying is that I should start a white student society. This way I can maintain a sense of “identity” in a multicultural society. Ridiculous!
      This very act creates a “us” vs “them” climate.

      • It’s always amazing to see how fast “reverse racism” is brought up where Blacks are concerned and the idea that the once oppressed can’t practice organized and continuous racism is scoffed at. I say this because the same people making those statements flip quite completely the second they’re reminded that the defense Zionist Jews offered the UN for why they were not a genocidal race based cult was that they had been the victim of race based genocide and it was impossible to visit the same thing upon others that they were victim of.

        I never hear a peep out of the “reverse racism” set when it comes to people crying “antisemitism” every two seconds. Why is that? Why is throwing a Holocaust card par for the course and fully supported if throwing a slavery card is “a cop out”? Care to clear that up? Because there is quite a bit of racist behavior and rhetoric coming out of Israel and the West, including the US and yes, Canada keeps feeding them money to spread it or keeps morally supporting it and that’s simply as hypocritical and double standard filled as it gets in my opinion.

  3. Actually no, John, that’s not what I was alluding to…not even a little bit. Based on your response, your inability/unwillingness to see others’ sides, and your inability/unwillingness to engage in reflexive/reflective dialogue, it is clear to me that you did not understand any of the points I was making.
    Unfortunately, I don’t think we will see eye-to-eye here so it seems a bit futile to continue to talk about your experiences as an oppressed, white, Canadian man and the experiences of people of color residing in the Vancouver area. I think, however, that it might be an interesting experience to talk to students who are part of the Caribbean/African group at SFU to ask them about and listen to their experiences here. Maybe you could share your experiences as well and have an active dialogue in order to help build more unity/cohesion on campus. That would certainly be beneficial to all students (and faculty)
    , and that, I think, is something you and I can both can agree on.
    (I was, in fact, educated in Vancouver and I have lived here for many years now, so I do have an fairly decent understanding of what’s going on.)

  4. Thank you John and AK for bringing up some very good ideas.

    I, being a Vietnamese-born Canadian, can relate to what John speaks of. So I am not an “oppressed, privileged white male”.

    What I think John speaks of are cultural values and not racial identities (if that is a thing, I am no sociologist). Is it wrong to discriminate against another culture if it holds values that are constitutionally and socially offensive such as sexism? Am I racist to say that I think Saudi Arabian laws are barbaric because they put homosexuals to death?

    I am in the opinion that there are cultures that are morally and ethically superiors to others. If you don’t hold this opinion because of “white guilt” or “liberalism”, then you allow other people to cloak their heinous beliefs behind “culture”. Does anyone else remember about honour killings and acid attacks on women that took place in western societies? Those particular phenomena are prevalent in certain cultures, but we Canadians say no to that.

    • Nature dude,

      Thank you. Good points. You’re absolutely right about other cultures being racist, but I was specifically referring to racism in Canada betwen whites and non-whites. Racism is about power: who has it, who defines it, whom it benefits, and how it plays out within any given society/culture. So, I do not disagree with you, I just want to be clear that I’m referring to here.

      Sociological/psychological “truth” is not truth. Because truth is subjective and is the result of a meaning-making process, I am referring to collaborative understandings of racism between whites and non-whites. In fact, I do believe we must democratize discussions about race/racism in Vancouver and everywhere. Everyone needs to be involved, everyone’s voice needs to be heard. My concern is that people often fail to listen to others’ experiences because they are too emotionally involved in their own. For example, the initial article was about the author’s experiences with racism here. The response could have been something about asking what he thinks could make the situation better, what we need to do as a community, how we can facilitate dialogue between whites and non-whites, but it it became about John taking over/dominating this discourse on race and talking about his own “oppression.” Quite frankly adult discussion of being excluded at parties is trite and irrelevant. So, again, we all need to engage in this discussion, but we need to do so with the intention of listening to and hearing everyone’s experiences (not just making it about “my” experiences or “your” experiences), talking about what this means, and how we can move forward. Until people are willing/able to step outside of their bubbles and do this, these issues will persist.

  5. AK: I’m Vietnamese and my dad is racist as shit to other Asian ethnicities. If you don’t consider that as racism because of “power-dynamics” then I really don’t know what you consider it.

    *edit*

    I’ve finally understood the ruffle between AK and John. They have their own different definitions of racism and are merely debating on semantics.

    AK: Your definition of racism is not the official definition and not even the definition that the majority of people hold. To say that John can’t experience racism because he is white with power only fits your narrative and your definition of racism. To say that John is wrong because he holds a different definition of “racism” is disingenuous. You do bring up good points though. I’m just erked by how you readily hold a sociological theory as noble and objective truth.

  6. I love how no one has the balls to just call it like it is, someone disliking a person of African heritage or say a Swedish immigrant is a complete anomaly in Vancouver…You literally will hear no disdain for other cultures aside from mainland chinese culture yet people have the gall to say that Canadians are racist…LMAO! WE are letting you into OUR country and you hop out of your cars, spit, litter and refuse to even attempt to speak one of the official Canadian languages yet Canadians are racist when they react with indifference. I have never heard any ill speak of Japanese, south Korean, Thai, Maylay etc… immigrants b other Canadians and the last I checked they were Asians too.

    Its not a problem of racism, or those said folks would see discrimination too yet they are welcome here and loved, heck Americans and Canadians have a sub culture of Japanophiles we love them! It is specifically mainland chinese immigrants that we have a problem with, so don’t play the race card. Its just a simple truth that mainland chinese are not culturally compatible here…WHY would we like them? They have driven up our housing cost, our general cost of living, they are filling up our private schools which are mostly Catholic while they are not even of Catholic faith, they refuse to assimilate, they move to communities where they can be exclusive and NOT inclusive, they demand government hand outs, tax breaks and in the end of all this, after we let them in this country, after we turned the other cheek like a polite westerner, after we saved them from Japanese invasion, after we moved our manufacturing to their country producing the money they come here with…they have the fucking balls to say we are racist? Fuck them. We are sick of them and we want them out. Chinese are no longer welcome here and I predict there will be civil unrest soon if our government does not start listening to us.

  7. This is the main concern about Vancouver. Its not as friendly as people think. Corporate Vancouver has continued year after year searching for costly investments within the Lowe mainland’s and greater Vancouver. More and more immigrants with money has come to the city that has resulted to the escalating high costs of housing. As we all know Vancouver has opened the doors for Millions airs coming from Hong Kong, India and some parts of Europe. Most Africans that are in Vancouver are has been Refugees either from the Rwanda, Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eretria, Somalia etc.(the great lake regions and East Africans refugees).. bringing no money or any investments in Vancouver.. My view Vancouver and Canada as a whole hasn’t been inviting African investments to Canada for a long time but more of Chinese and East Indians families presents in terms of community recognition in growth, investments, and contributing to Canada’s multicultural societies in all the provinces of Canada. What I am saying is there is no visible successful African communities in all of Canada, not enough business interactions for African investments. Yet some see Africans scattered all over Canada and left behind in not acquiring better jobs even though with Canadian education and speaking English coming from British colonies… The doors hasn’t been opened enough for black people in all of Canadian provinces. Those are facts..some called racism some say only the rich are welcome in Canada. I just feel sorry for the Syrian refugees that will be coming to Canada shortly. They speak no English and will be working for minimal wages for those that have higher education and qualified to work in their professions..Pretty much using them as cheap labor…more poverty looms in all of Canadian cities. Homelessness rises and poor affordable housing has been an issue for the past 20years and yet its a first world country? Its sad really that the Aboriginals are living in Squalor’s and most European Canadians has it all…why not share equally and move together equally just like how South Africa is working its ways with all the cultural groups regardless of their past. At least in South Africa you do see all race groups as ministers and wish Canada can chose an Aboriginal Governor General then I will say maybe the doors will open up for blacks in all of Canada…

    • at least those immigrants EARNED IT unlike you illegal unwanted colonial terrorist white invaders/intruders who came to this new world after breaking every treaty the indigenous had and plundered IndiA of over 695 trillion GBP of wealth and also plundered africa and china during the qings dynasty era.

      • wish the Aboriginals in all of Canada can have equal wealth with the Racist Canadian Europeans. Yes the Innocent Immigrants from India, China, Africa did not steal no lands in Canada as compared to European Canadians brought to work cheap labor for the Canadian economy. The first nations needs to rise up from children to mother to father and sister to brother and demand more from the Canadian government. More free health care in the reserves, more better schools in the reserves, colleges, universities, malls, libraries, better housing, enough monthly income fro all Aborigals living in the reserves, business loan ventures to further uplift all the Aborigal communities. All I see in all of Canada is White Europeans having it all and all Aboriginals faced with all sorts of distress…drug abuses, alcoholism, worse housing, bad health, etc…

        • What a vile cretin you are. You preach how unfair you have it and how raciat white people are and your worse! Its commical how you think you have the moral high ground. The countries you mention are backward and corrupt, they starve thier own people and plunder thier own resources. Read up on history before you dish it out. It would be easy of me to say how happy i am you and your family have had a shit life. I spit on your grave

      • You dont even know what your on about…695 trillion did you make that up you uneducated fool? Or are you still living in a mud hut? You preach as if all thats shit with your people is because of white people yet you all want to live in christian white dominated countries. I can’t comprehend at the ridiculousness of your statements you horrendous lizard

        • yes it was 695 trillion GBP of wealth you uneducated $%#! what is a Christian country????? you do know Christianity isn’t even a white religion right? also you do know America was never a christian country and neither was Kanata right? these are native indigenous indian lands and they never had Abrahamic beliefs for their culture moronic white foreign idiot!

    • When will you learn that your not entitled because your an immigrant? You should start from the bottom because that is your choice, not given benefits that put you above natives. Blacks need to get off the pedastool and down the reality. The more they shut up the better they will be. Vote trump!

  8. Aaaah.. BUT.. “Racism” requires economic and political elements on systemic levels. While this did exist historically in Vancouver towards the Asian population, it doesn’t today.
    Today, Vancouver’s Asian population largely reflects the class differences that exist within Asia. A mainland Chinese person in Asia is more likely to be poor than someone from Hong Kong – this is true in Vancouver. A Vietnamese person in Asia is more likely to be poor than someone from Japan – this is true in Vancouver. And so on and so on..
    So we have the children of wealthy Chinese politicians driving Aston Martins and we have old Filipino ladies working in factories (some of my favourite folks to work with as it turns out)..