Fighting racism: Georgia Straight Talks

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      For those who are interested in racial justice, it's been a week of awakening.

      The horrific killing of eight people in the Atlanta area, including six women of Asian ancestry, has spurred an international dialogue about misogyny, anti-Asian racism, and the dire consequences of hypersexualizing minorities.

      "The fetishization of Asian women is racist," former TV reporter Eileen Park declared after being bombarded with hate following her marriage to ex-mayor Gregor Robertson. "Why? Because it dehumanizes and targets us."

      Park's comments helped prompt some deep analysis of the historical roots underlying this.

      (For a long list of book recommendations, visit the @reappropriate Twitter feed.)

      This came in the same week that a new book was launched, Challenging Racist "British Columbia": 150 Years and Counting, which ripped open how this province was founded on the theft of land from Indigenous people and how white supremacy separated families and led to ethnic cleansing.

      Meanwhile in the B.C. legislature, B.C. NDP and B.C. Liberal MLAs threw away their partisan mindsets on the morning of March 22 and came together to condemn racial discrimination. Several shared painful personal experiences.

      The provincial government announced its B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards. And on Thursday (March 25), UBC's Asian Studies department and Researchers and Academics of Colour for Equity (RACE) at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies will participate in an online panel discussion. It will examine ways in which the pandemic has exacerbated racial, colonial, and global inequality.

      All of this comes in the wake of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21. On that day, residents of Metro Vancouver held a vigil in Riverview Park, where trees were defaced in late February with swastikas and messages promoting white supremacy.

      In this week's Georgia Straight Talks video, we draw attention to five residents of the region who are working to create a more equal society. Each was profiled in last week's print edition of the paper.

      The video was created by Lucas Renzo Giovannetti, director of animation properties of the Straight's parent company, Media Central Corporation.

      Video: This week's Georgia Straight Talks shines a light on those trying to counter racism in our community.