A popular tourist attraction in Vancouver’s Chinatown repeatedly targeted by vandals during the pandemic experienced a resurgence of anti-Asian hate on Saturday.
“I’m not surprised at all that it happened,” said Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden custodian Douglas Ferguson.
“It happens all the time here.”
Staff at Vancouver’s Classical Chinese Garden say they were greeted with a racist tirade when they tried to enter the gates to go to work.
“It was just so much hostility in using that ugly slur and for what?” Ferguson told Global News on Saturday.
Ferguson said when he asked two people who were blocking the Garden’s entrance with several bags of bottles to move, racial slurs were hurled in the presence of his co-worker.
“He’s Asian and the one guy just started saying f***’n and then he would say this racial slur repeatedly like an angry mantra,” said Ferguson.
The man, Ferguson said, eventually moved his items across the street in front of the seniors’ care home but the verbal abuse continued.
“He kept saying it over and over again f***’n the word over and over and over again,” Ferguson recalled.
The incident comes after the Chinese Garden was hit with multiple acts of vandalism, including disturbing tags scrawled on its gates in May.
At the time, executive director Lorraine Lowe said the community would not be silenced because “we need to show everybody what’s going on down here.”
Chinatown has been washing away unsolicited graffiti since the early days of COVID-19 when Vancouver Police reported anti-Asian hate crimes jumped 717 per cent in 2020 year over year.
One of the offenders, Yves Castonguay, was sentenced to eight months in jail for defacing four windows at Vancouver’s Chinese Cultural Centre with racist graffiti.
Police told Global News that reports of racial slurs and hate speech are investigated on a case-by-case basis.
“Each case … is always very different but again, we always recommend if you’re ever in an unsafe situation or if you feel threatened or frightened please call our officers,” Const. Tania Visintin said Saturday.
Ferguson hopes Saturday’s incident will cause people to consider the impact of their words.
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