Steveston-Richmond East MP Kenny Chiu showed his support for a victim who had allegedly been assaulted and yelled at with racial slurs at a Steveston coffee shop on Monday afternoon.
After reading about the incident in the Richmond News, Chiu paid a visit to the Moncton Street coffee shop on Tuesday to pass on a message of support, hope and solidarity against anti-Asian violence to the staff working there.
The incident involved a couple who poured their coffee on the floor after being asked to adhere to social distancing regulations, according to the victim, who is also a staff member. One of the suspects then threw the remaining coffee and coffee cup at the victim’s face.
The victim recorded the couple leaving the restaurant and getting into a car. In the recording, which has circulated on social media, the suspect appears to be making racists remarks.
The Richmond RCMP were called and arrested one of the suspects at the scene.
“I want to reassure people that Richmond is a safe and harmonious community,” said Chiu. “We have zero tolerance for racism and we have to understand that incidents like this don’t happen frequently.”
Regardless, it’s time for everyone to rally together and fight for change, he added.
Chiu also shared a few incidents in which he was the victim of anti-Asian racism, including being told “it’s all your people’s fault.”
Rather than “adding fuel to the fire,” Chiu said he has kept those unpleasant encounters to himself over the past decades. Unfortunately, all three incidents took place in Richmond.
Shortly after moving to Richmond from Saskatchewan, Chiu was walking home from a bus stop when a group of young people yelled at him, “Why don’t you go home?”
As a new Richmondite, Chiu said he felt confused.
“I was on my way home, thank you,” laughed Chiu, adding “but those verbal attacks do hurt.”
“When you feel suspicious or insecure of others, it changes your outlook and your body language. People will react to your suspicion. Interactions between friends and neighbours might deteriorate. That’s not what I want to see in Richmond. We must work together to defend this place,” said Chiu.