A new report discovered that seventy-one percent of Black Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC) experience in the Greater Victoria area – Victoria News reports. The report highlights the discrimination and harassment BIPOC people often experience in the area.
The survey was conducted in late 2020, and the majority of respondents (seventy-one percent) said they have experienced racism in the last five years. “People seem to think that there is no racism here, but the only people I’ve heard that from are white folks who tend to spin it as, ‘well it wasn’t really racism … they were just overreacting.’ Having our experiences of racism belittled and dismissed does even more harm,” a respondent wrote.
Furthermore, the report revealed that seventy percent of BIPOC residents feel undervalued, alienated and unsafe because of their race or ethnicity. Those experiences were based on online and in-person discrimination to having poor service at a business, refused entry to a place. Some even said that people in Victoria are often surprised when they can do certain things, like speak English.
“It has made me extremely angry and bitter towards the fact that the people of my own hometown will never consider me to be truly Canadian or local, simply based on my appearance,” another respondent said.
Of the respondents, forty-three percent claim they are subject to racism multiple times a year, while eighteen percent said monthly and another eighteen percent said weekly. Additionally, sixteen percent said they experience racism daily, but on the other hand, five percent said they never experience racism in Greater Victoria. Another thirty percent said police had been racist toward them.
The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria created the report. The organization says it confirms the feelings that BIPOC in the area already had – which is that racism is in Greater Victoria, and there needs to be a solution.
BIPOC think there can be ways to improve on the issue by increasing accountability from the government through harsher hate crime and discrimination laws, anti-racism training, and defunding the police, Victoria News reports.
For the people within Greater Victoria, they suggested citizens call out and intervene if they witness racist incidents. There was a strong emphasis on diversity, leadership, and better data collection on racism, including taking a better look at the different types of racism. Respondents said that making the change should not be on the shoulders of BIPOC and that others need to get involved.
Read the survey results here: icavictoria.org.