I’ve been living in Maple Ridge since 2000 but originally from East Vancouver.
My husband and I moved here with our then eight-month old son from Langley and in 2003 had our second son. We have friends and family in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge. We have established roots and have been accepted into the communities.
I’m aware of the ever increasing hate and violence directed towards Asians in the Lower Mainland in relation to the pandemic.
In particular an incidents in Vancouver. When on the news I read about the assault against an Asian woman at Waterfront Station whereby she was beaten and her head smashed against a metal bench while her (then) unknown male assailant (falsely) accused her of “making my daughter sick,” I attributed it to a crazy, racist misogynist looking for an excuse to attack a woman.
When I heard about the 90-something, Asian man who was pushed down in front of a convenience store by a Caucasian male while being shouted at with racial remarks, I put it down to an ignorant, cowardly bully with more teeth than brain cells.
But then more recently, I was told that a potentially racially motivated incident caused by an older Caucasian woman, happened very recently at Coquitlam Centre to two people close to me.
One of the affected told me afterwards: “I’m fine with being called a b***h, but to have someone want to beat on me for the colour of my skin??? It hurts my soul that I’ve lived here for 50 years and am being made to feel like I don’t belong.”
My reply: “These incidents need to be outed. It’s the only way to spread the message.” So guess what? This affected person was being interviewed by a TV reporter the next week to participate in a segment on the rise of anti-Asian racism during the pandemic and hence, my letter.
In the 20 years I’ve lived in Maple Ridge, I’ve yet to encounter racism.
Even during these turbulent times, people smile at me when I’m shopping, walking my dogs, cycling through Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents have been and continue to be good to me.
I don’t ever want to be looking over my shoulder should someone decide they have the right to tell me, or worse, show me, that I don’t belong because of race.
That something as innocuous as grocery shopping or walking my dogs may become dangerous because of race.
You’ve probably figured it out: I’m Asian – and a very proud Canadian.
My husband is Caucasian, our kids are mixed-race. Those two people that had the incident at Coquitlam Centre: my aunt and her daughter.
So perhaps this is my love letter to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
I hope that my family and I can continue to thrive in your kindness.
Maybo Mui, Maple Ridge
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