Burnaby woman's idea leads to multiple rallies on National Day of Action Against Anti-Asian Racism in Canada

Media outlets have linked the rise in anti-Asian hatred to COVID-19, but some wonder if coverage of housing issues is another contributing factor

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      Burnaby resident Doris Mah's Twitter feed advises readers to never underestimate the influence of one person.

      Three weeks ago, she launched the Stand With Asians Coalition after reading about a 350 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in her city in 2020.

      In Vancouver, anti-Asian hate crimes shot up by more than 700 percent in the same year.

      This has led Bloomberg to identify Vancouver as the "Anti-Asian Hate Crime Capital of North America" following the surge in attacks.

      Mah recently tweeted that more than 30 cities with a total population of more than eight million have joined the movement. And today, small rallies are planned in cities across Metro Vancouver at SkyTrain stations to draw attention to the issue.

      The City of Vancouver has endorsed May 10 at the National Day of Action Against Anti-Asian Racism. And the Coalition Against Bigotry–Pacific is planning to hold a small rally outside Vancouver City Hall at 5:30 pm on the Cambie Street side of the building.

      In addition, many are expected to attend a virtual rally at 5 p.m.

      What's the real cause of anti-Asian hatred?

      Media coverage has largely blamed the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes on COVID-19. Former federal NDP candidate Victor Wong, on the other hand, has pointed to the foreign-money-obsessed coverage of real estate as another factor.

      Meanwhile, Georgia Straight contributor Ng Weng Hoong has questioned why Attorney General David Eby and the B.C. media focus inordinate attention on money laundering in casinos and luxury cars, which are popular with some Asians, while overlooking the cannabis sector or stock markets, which are preferred money-laundering vehicles by some white people.

      As far back as 2016, Ng was predicting that media coverage of real estate would eventually lead to attacks on people of East Asian ancestry in Vancouver.

      Recently, Eby told the provincial money-laundering inquiry that he has apologized for providing land-title information for a 2015 research paper tracking 172 real-estate transactions. The Eby-Yan study used non-anglicized Chinese names as its "sociological marker".

      The paper was written by Andy Yan, director of SFU's City Program, who's been vehemently defended by his supporters on social media.