Anti-Asian racism has increased significantly during the pandemic. In BC, there have been more violent incidents and hate crimes directed towards individuals who appear to be of Asian descent. There have also been many instances of microaggressions, hostile attitudes, and racist comments during what is for all of us, an already frightening and stressful time.
The release of the booklet called, Challenging Racist British Columbia: 150 Years and Counting, is co-published by CCPA BC and timely in light of recent events. They document how this recent cycle of anti-racist activism is part of a broader history of Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities challenging white supremacy – particularly since 1871 when BC joined Canada. Unfortunately, the past 150 years of history in BC has embedded systemic racism in our society and institutions.
The book also recognizes those people who have been doing the work of anti-racism and anti-colonialism in BC for the past 150 years. They say that these historical figures are presented not as addendums to our provincial history—they are its history.
Challenging racism is a complex issue as we need to work on both ourselves and on our society. The book says, “the work is to dismantle our own inequities, racism and lack of diversity; and work together transcending privilege and transforming our institutions.” We all need to rethink where we've come from, and where we want to go in terms of racial equality.
The booklet is available free - click here to download a PDF - and there will be more resources available to support learning and teaching the histories of racism, resistance and present day anti-racist movements. You can also click here to register for a virtual Book Launch on March 21 at 3:00pm PST. The event takes place on the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination whose theme this year is youth standing up against racism.