An unidentified woman was filmed telling Chinese grocery store employees to "go back to China" on June 2 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (video below).
Frank Hong, a teenager, filmed the incident at the Foody Mart and posted it on Facebook with a caption:
"GO BACK TO CHINA, Go back to CHINA." I never thought I'd hear those words in real life but this just happened as I was trying to get some food at a Chinese speciality store. After three minutes of constant, racist verbal abuse and after trying to intervene, I started to film this video.
Racism and xenophobia isn't far from us nor has it gone away. As Canadians we think we are safe from these disgusting attitudes and behaviours but we aren't. It has only gotten worse recently. It seems like some people want to reinstate the Chinese Exclusion Act.
In the video, the woman tells the workers that they must speak English per the law:
They should go back to China. Go back to China. This is Canada. English country... If they’re going to work here, it’s the law to know English. It is the law to know English, and you know that. You look like a businessman, and you know that it's the law. I'm sorry it is the law in Canada that if you work here you need to know the English language. Not one of these people speaks English.
Another customer offers to translate for the woman, but she rebuffs the offer.
Hong told CTV News Toronto: "It’s really my first time ever in Canada really hearing such words, so it was shocking. ... I put this video out to show the world that racism, and xenophobia and bigotry still exist in Canada and we really need to work together to stop it."
Employees told the news channel that the angry woman shouted for 15 to 20 minutes, and did not buy any products.
She was wrong about Canadian law, which does not require people who work for private companies to know English. However, people who work for federal institutions must speak English.
Hong also called for stopping bigotry in his Facebook posting:
Let's raise awareness and make sure this never happens again in Canada. We, as Canadians and as the World, need to stand up to this bigotry, xenophobia and racism. Myself, as a student leader in Toronto, will do everything I can to stop this kind of racism. We all need to do something about this so that people won't have to witness such situations ever again. EXPOSE RACISM!