Hamilton’s COVID-19 website lacking on anti-Asian racism: group

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Published June 2, 2021 at 9:07 pm

A citizens’ committee is asking the City of Hamilton to beef up its response to anti-Asian racism.

On Thursday morning (June 3), the committee against racism will ask the city’s audit, finance and administration committee about changing the Choose Solidarity message at the bottom of the hamilton.ca/coronavirus, the city’s COVID-19 website. It also wants that site to  provide links to support for victims of anti-Asian racism.

Currently, the last two sentences of that message reads: “Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 outbreak, persons of Chinese heritage (and other Asian countries) have voiced concerns about the potential for discrimination. During times like this, people need to support each other and speak out against any instances of discrimination.”

The anti-racism committee, which is chaired by Marlene Dei-Amoah, wants the message amended to acknowledge the increase in anti-Asian racism since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also wants information added about resources to support individuals who have faced racism, as well as information about anti-racism education.

“The Choose Solidarity message on the (city’s) webpage provides a positive message about inclusiveness and solidarity, (but) it does not acknowledge anti-Asian racism,” the committee notes.

The website covidracism.ca has tracked 1,076 incidents of anti-Asian racism across Canada within the last year.

“Acts of anti-Asian racism also happen within Hamilton,” says the citizens’ committee, which says it hopes to have a response by its next meeting on June 22.

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