Not just Atlanta, but also Victoria, B.C.

Racism in Victoria BC Canada

I like to walk around at night taking snapshots of Victoria, B.C. Not everybody can do that right now. Photo by Nevin Thompson. License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

This article was adapted from a personal essay originally published on Facebook and Medium.

On Wednesday, March 17, a terrible mass shooting in Atlanta, Georgia killed eight women. A white man targeted Asian people, targeted women, and targeted typically vulnerable, and stigmatized people who rely on jobs often categorized as sex work to pay the bills.

I live in Victoria, British Columbia. Compared to nearby Vancouver, Victoria is a predominantly white city. We're also on an island, and I get the sense that shootings and other racial violence are perceived as happening someplace else. However, I think that the white supremacy and misogyny we read about in the news isn't far away at all. Instead, racism and oppression is embedded in the fabric of Canadian society.

I'm also not blaming the school for failing to do the right thing when notified of a racist incident. It is a systemic and cultural problem with how we as a society fail to prioritize or even understand justice and accountability. In the context of systemic racism, the principal was equipped with no tools or understanding of how to make things right.

Learn about two groups that organize Asian and Asian American and Canadian sex workers, connecting migration, gender, class, policing. and empire.


  • ExpatImmigrant

    I immigrated into Canada in 2006 and while I loved Vancouver, it was very difficult to meet “real” Canadians. Most of my friends were also immigrants. Once you meet the locals, it’s pretty clear how racist people are. Victoria is even worse, a bubble. Nice place but I can’t stand the thought of living there and being in this bubble. I’m in the USA now and while yes, it’s racist at some places, it’s a true cultural melting pot.
    The schools want to make the problem go away by ignoring it, they think it’s a one time situation just because they can’t face the reality that they themselves are racists.
    And this mom who said the son is feeling bad because you called him a racist? She’s the big problem, she’s educating a child who in his nature is already a racist because of her. Hope your son and wife are ok.

  • Brad Atchison

    These specific individuals alluded to in this article, including the name of the school and its principal, should have been included. Until people such as this are outed and embarrassed, racism will continue to be enabled.

    We need to turn racism and racist comments, overt or otherwise, into a highly-undesirable, anti-social behaviour, deserving of censure, sanction, and ostracism.

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