The Present

With the arrival of COVID-19, we heard from the media of anti-Asian violence in Canada and the United States. According to the media, the problem was even worse here in Canada. I can understand that when people feel disenfranchised they want to lash-out at the closest or most visible example of their perception of the cause. In the case of Covid, due to the popular belief that the virus originated in China, Chinese, or Asians were targeted. I chuckle thinking that someone should have created a badge that said, “Japanese, not Chinese,” the reverse of the sentiment during the Second World War!
In Vancouver and the lower mainland, the exorbitant rise of prices in the housing market have created an extreme housing shortage, and the blame was quickly placed on the Chinese. The media fanned the anti-Asian flames, as it was easier, with a recognizable target. Working class Vancouverites were uncomfortable with the extent of the wealth of the new Chinese millionaires. If homeownership was once the definition of entry to the middle-class, it now became totally out of reach. The media rarely mentioned foreign investment from the United States, Europe or the Middle East.
The virus and the inability to work revealed the bulk of the population was living from paycheque to paycheque, while scandals in our own government at both the provincial and federal levels, spoke of nepotism and cronyism. When inequity was felt amongst middle-class people, the backlash against government became more acceptable. For example, in the environmental movement we see people from all walks of life willing to take a stand against big business, and to even risk arrest.
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