A recent poll from BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner (BCOHRC) shows one in four British Columbians have experienced or seen a hate incident since the pandemic began.
The poll conducted by Research.co for BCOHRC surveyed 800 B.C. adults in December. The survey found that around nine percent of respondents experienced a hate incident directly.
Of the nine per cent, 20 per cent were Indigenous and 15 per cent were of East Asian origin, according to the poll.
A further 26 per cent of respondents witnessed hate incidents during the pandemic. Half of them (50%) were between the ages of 18 and 24.
Commissioner Kasari Govender said the trend is disturbing, but hate is not inevitable.
“It is an ugly and disturbing trend. Some members of our communities are being treated as less than human and therefore somehow deserving of vitriol and violence. It is devastating and unacceptable,” said Govender.
She says getting responses from those who have experienced hate first had will be key to preventing hate in the future.
Sixteen per cent of those polled have been affected by hate incidents involving racism and 80 per cent of British Columbians were concerned about the rise in hate incidents.
A confidential survey can be found on the BC Human Rights website. It can be filled out from Jan. 31 to Mar. 6 in 15 languages.
It is also available by phone at 1-855-412-1933 or email at [email protected].