In a time of rising race-related hate crimes against those of Chinese and Asian descent, I thank the Richmond News for a phone interview last week.
When I spoke to reporter Nono Shen, my response was not directly about whether I support the Global News story. So, I am writing this so the public will not come to a wrong conclusion.
After long years of working on reconciling some minority history in B.C., I find merely condemning racism will not resolve a deep-rooted problem that began with Canada’s long legislated discrimination against the Chinese and then against other minorities.
Until we understand and continue the effort to reconcile such history, racism will simply lay dormant until some incident like COVID-19 triggers it again.
So at the outset, I do not believe just condemning or suing a news agency is constructive towards reconciliation.
What I did share with Nono is the fact that “Chinese” here actually came from many places apart from China. Together with the diversity from newcomers to multi-generational “Chinese”, we are far from homogenous, both in dialect, culture, history and above all, opinions and attitudes towards the 70-year-old communist regime in China.
The above diversity results in a lot of confusion about the identity and allegiance of the Chinese, even among the Chinese.
The alleged mistranslated quote “every Chinese overseas is a warrior” in the Global report is wrong and rightfully protested. But the best way to rebuild our community is for neighbours to talk to each other about who we are, and share our dreams for this country.
Founder of Canadians for Reconciliation Society