Powerful Anti-Racism Video Encourages Asian Canadians to Confront Prejudice Directly

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A video with a strong message of anti-Asian racism is going viral as it encourages persons to confront racism amid the COVID-19 pandemic whereas celebrating the contributions of Asian Canadians to society.

The public service announcement called Eyes Open was produced by an all-Asian, mostly female, a Toronto-based creative team, and was written and narrated by spoken poet Christopher Tse.

As per a report released in March by the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) Toronto chapter, there were over 1,000 cases of both verbal and physical attacks against Asians across Canada from March last year to February this year. And since the beginning of the pandemic, Canada had more anti-Asian racism reports per capita than the U.S.

In February, Vancouver police said they saw anti-Asian hate crimes spike by over 700% in 2020 as reports of incidents increased from 12 in 2019 to 98 in 2020.

Tse said he wanted to focus on the matter of silence and staying silent as it ties back to the “model minority” myth connected to Asian immigrants and the Asian community in Canada.

He said Asian Canadians have been taught to remain inconspicuous, stay silent and work hard. Speaking up against oppression and activism is not something that is appreciated.

Tse believes the sacrifices made by those who came before have allowed a new generation of Asian Canadians to speak up and confront racism.