anti asian racism toronto

Hundreds show support for Toronto woman who suffered racist abuse in own backyard

A Toronto woman who asuffered a racist verbal assault in her own backyard has had hundreds rushng in to offer support.

Kelly Zhang took to the South Etobicoke Community Facebook group on June 6 to explain how "after 6 years of living in this wonderful community, we have won the jackpot of experiencing anti-Asian racism first hand last night."

Zhang says that after trying to tell a next door neighbour to wind down a non-socially distanced gathering for the third time at 3 a.m., one man told her he "would not want to be dictated by f#*cking Chinese people" and that she "was not in China anymore."

She's lived in Canada for 28 years, and currently lives with her partner and two children ages five and nine.

"I have seen a lot of love, compassion and support from this group in the past year. I know we are better than that and collectively do amazing things. And I would really appreciate the continued support from this group to raise awareness and educate others," reads Zhang's post, which concludes by asking people to share her message.

In less than 48 hours, the community rallied around her, with 570 people expressed moral support, with more than 150 posting messages of outrage, sadness and and cameraderie, with comments like "SOUTH ETOBICOKE does NOT claim those type of people. Miserable and disgusting humans," "Horrible. Disgusting behavior! Not cool" and "It is so sad you had to experience this in a place that you should feel safe in."

"I'm very encouraged to see all the support from y'all. You have shown me that hate and racism definitely don't have a place here," Zhang responded in the comments, later clarifying, "This individual has just moved in the house next door to us, which is a rental property. He's definitely not reflective of our community."

She also mentions in her Facebook post that police had told her anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise and that they had just arrested someone the previous night in a case of physical assault against an Asian woman.

Police came by the next morning and gave Zhang the option to press charges or let the people off with a warning, which she opted to do, though they did open a case on the incident and told her to call 911 immediately if there were any future incidents.

They also went over and spoke to the man and instructed him not to talk to Zhang or her family anymore. Zhang tells blogTO that "he remained in denial and had no grasp of the actions he had done" and that she did not receive an apology from him before or after the police spoke with him.

"To us, the best resolution will be for him be fully educated and reformed. We need a sincere apology from him at the very minimum," Zhang tells blogTO.

"We are also in the process of contacting the landlord to see if there's anything they can do to evict this individual. In the light of what happened in London recently, our level of fear rises knowing a bigot lives right next door to us."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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