Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association Message to Premier John Horgan
Dear Premier Horgan,
First of all, I am expressing thanks and appreciation to you for being forthright in responding to the disturbing number of anti Asian racism incidents which have increased since the COVID 19 crisis. We appreciate that you have not only cited the province’s intolerance for hate and racist attacks upon persons of East Asian ancestry mainly, but you have openly outlined the province’s accountability for the long and sorrowful legislated history of racism and injustice against Asians which now spans over 100 years. We are also aware of grave injustices which have yet to be reconciled with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and BC and we are acutely aware of the centuries old inhumanities perpetrated against Black people not only in the USA but also in Canada and in other parts of the world. People around the world now are calling for permanent change to finally rid humanity of the evil of racism once and for all – this call despite the convention on human rights being established soon after the Second World War.
Covid 19 has been traumatizing, as you know, for those of Asian ancestry and it is right for you to call attention to this with your comment that these abuses will not be tolerated in BC. Thank you for that. As you referred to history in your address today, Japanese Canadian community members were dismayed that your historical references did not include the dispossession, uprooting, incarceration and exile perpetrated against Japanese Canadians initiated mostly by the politicians of BC.
It is so important to address truth by those in power, and for those communities who have experienced racist injustices, to use voices, stand with one another, be collective in calling for justice. The Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association has a mandate to support the democratic rights of all and to reach out to multicultural communities with recognition that these actions support good citizenship. We are aware that to address and overcome injustice, communities need to be knowledgeable about each other and stand and work together.
We ask you to ensure the history of Japanese Canadians in BC is included when making reference to BC’s history of relations with citizens of Asian ancestry, as we stand together to fight racism today and in the future.
All the very best,
Judy Hanazawa, President
Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Ccitizens’ Association