`Tipping' victims fear reporting it, activist says
Hotline for hate crime against Asians closes after logging 30 calls
Dec 08, 2007 04:30 AM
A hotline set up by the Ontario Human Rights Commission for victims of lakeside assaults logged only about 30 calls, even though there are believed to be dozens more victims, officials say.
"I know, definitely, people who phoned into Chinese language call-in radio shows with reports. They emailed the host, Simon Li. And those people never called us," said lawyer Avvy Go, director of the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, which operated the hotline.
"Over the last couple of shows he (Li) was giving his audience an earful: `Why aren't you guys calling the hotline?'" Go said. "People are afraid to come forward.
"Even with my clients, I come across it," Go added.
"They feel in a way, by questioning the authorities, it's like saying they've failed you."
The hotline, which closed this week after a month, was the first phase of an inquiry launched by the Ontario Human Rights Commission early last month. There was also an online survey available at the commission's website.
In total, commissioner Barbara Hall says "less than 100" messages were logged in total.
What really bothers me about this is that this appears to be a "white bogeyman" witch hunt in Salem like fashion. It also seems to be another exercise in painting minority groups as the perpetual victims, babes in the woods who did nothing wrong. All they wanted to do was relax and do some fishing even thought some local testimony suggests these Asian fishermen were doing more than that.
What is even more irksome about this is that it appears Avvy Go and Simon Li are disappointed that more complaints were not logged and more finger pointing wasn't made to reaffirm their biases that much of Canada is racist towards Asians. I guess 30 calls and less than 100 complaints are not good enough for them. How many do they want? How many is enough?
I have blogged on this before and I will restate it here: there is more to this than the black and white picture of white racist bogeymen and poor innocent Asian victim. It is possible, likely even, that many of these Asian fishermen were acting like, well, jerks. They were likely fishing illegally and engaged in poaching activities. What this hot-line did, and Avvy Go as well, is shift legal attention away from the illegal behaviour of the Asian fishermen and onto the the uncivilized behaviour of some locals leaving the Asian fishermen unmolested to continue to do what caused all of this in the first place.
Next week, the commission will release a preliminary report that will contain victim testimonials, possible recommendations and a timeline for the next stage of the inquiry.
I doubt this inquiry will contain any testimonies from the locals regarding the activities of the Asian fishermen and I doubt any investigation into these fishermen will happen either. This whole inquiry is one sided and because of it this whole thing is a mockery of justice. It just reinforces victimhood status for Asians who have done more than their fair share of criminal activity in this country, some of it with deadly consequences, seized control of the illegal drug trade as well as abuse Canadian citizenship laws and Canadian hospitality yet Avvy Go, Susan Eng, and the OHRC think hunting down some people who pushed Asians into the water is a good use of our police resources. God help this country.
Until a full inquiry is made I refuse to believe that mere racism is at the root of all this.