Here's yet another lesson that racism isn’t just an American problem. A Filipina-Canadian woman has reported being the victim of a Toronto park racist verbal assault while reading. Justine Yu shared a video of the incident to social media on July 27.


This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.


The video shows Yu, a Filipina-Canadian activist and educator, explaining that, while waiting for her father on Saturday, she decided to read in a park across the street.

While reading, she says she was approached by a white woman who told her that she was on private property and that trespassing was not allowed.

Yu told the woman that she did not see any "No Trespassing" signs, but the woman continued to loiter near her just outside the park.

The woman allegedly told Yu to "go back to China," and can be heard yelling "all Chinese people should go to jail" in the video. 

She also allegedly accused Yu of not being able to read English. The woman claimed to be a teacher.

Yu wrote on social media that she didn’t know what to do, whether she should leave, or what she would do if the woman called the police on her.

Yu left a powerful comment under the post featuring her video.

"I am privileged to be an Asian woman. If this happened to a Black person and this woman called the police and they came, this could have ended in straight up murder."

Yu is the founder and editor of Living Hyphen. She defined that to Narcity as a magazine and community "that explores the experiences of hyphenated Canadians — that is, individuals who call Canada home but who have roots elsewhere."

She said that Saturday's incident shows exactly why these kinds of communities are needed.

"I created this space PRECISELY because of racism like this and I feel a responsibility to speak up about it," Yu told Narcity by email.

This is just the latest notable incident of public racism in the Toronto area.

Earlier this month, a woman was filmed launching a tirade apparently aimed at Muslims on the TTC in the city. The transit commission called it "unacceptable."

And also in July, over in Edmonton, a man recently threatened to "decapitate" Filipino-Canadians and accused them of bringing COVID-19 into Canada.

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