What is it?
Written by: Jenise Herrero
What is Asian Oppression?
Asian Oppression. Anti-Asian racism. Racial segregation. Xenophobia. It’s all wrong.
Asian oppression is malicious or unjust treatment towards the Asian community. It is a problem that has impacted the lives of many Asians, causing them to be treated with injustice and be fearful.
Asian Oppression in Canada
Asian oppression occurs all over the world. In Canada specifically, events have occurred such as the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway – a railway constructed by many Asian workers with little to no pay at all along with harsh working conditions.
Research also indicates that there has been a significant increase in hate crimes against the Asian-Canadian community ever since the start of the pandemic. There have been 1,036 reported anti-Asian hate crimes across Canada as of May 10th, 2021.
Asian Heritage Month
May is Asian Heritage Month. The time for us to recognize and celebrate the contributions and influence of the Asian community to Canadian history, culture, and achievements. It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate Canada’s diversity and for all Canadians to unite and stand against all forms of anti-Asian racism.
What can we do about it? How can we help?
Some of you may have joined the Anti-Asian Racism Workshop during Catholic Education Week. At that workshop, we learned all about what Anti-Asian racism is, how to help, and what we can do. The easiest thing we can all do is remain educated. It’s important to acknowledge what’s happening and learn more about anti-Asian racism. Culture appreciation is also something that is very important. We should all learn to appreciate everyone’s cultures, their diversity, and all the wonderful beliefs and cultures of others.
“You are an ally, not a representative” is a phrase that stood out to me while tuning into the Anti-Asian Racism Workshop. It’s important to remember that even if you’re not Asian, you are an ally and a friend. You are not a representative because you have not experienced the same injustice that the Asian community has.
Whether you’re Asian, Asian-Canadian, or someone of Asian descent, Asian oppression impacts everyone. “To accept, include, and serve with love,” is our school’s motto. We’re reminded of this every day during our morning announcements, and every time we look at our school and members of our community. St. Francis Xavier will always accept, include, and serve everyone with love.