Filipino Man Claims Bus Passengers Racially Harassed Him for Speaking His Native Language in Vancouver

canada racist

A Filipino man living in Canada took to Reddit to lament how he was subjected to verbal insults during a bus commute two weeks ago.

 

What happened: Samson James Ordonez, 24, was riding a bus in Vancouver on June 27 when he was reportedly targeted with racism by a couple of passengers.

  • A woman reportedly began harassing Ordonez after hearing him speak Ilocano, a language native to the northern Philippines.
  • Ordonez said he was talking to his brother over the phone when, out of nowhere, the female passenger glared at him, saying, “You f***ing people. Speak in English here.”
  • According to Ordonez, he expected at least a person would stand up for him but no one did.
  • Instead, another man joined the insults, even using his Indian coworkers as examples of people who annoy him with their language and accent. 
  • “One white guy chimed in by saying, ‘Right? My Indian coworkmates (sic) always say ‘boobah, boobah’ and it destroys my appetite for lunch!’” wrote Ordonez.
  • At the time, he was overwhelmed with emotion to the point that he could hear his own heart thumping loudly. 
  • He then got up and responded to the woman: “That wasn’t fair because I always see Western people in my country — they live there, they build their life there, and they always demand people to speak in English to them so that they could understand.” 
  • Instead of saying more, Ordonez decided to get off the bus at the next stop after feeling dizzy.
  • As he was going out, the woman then shouted back: “I don’t let Asians lecture me in my own country.” 

After the incident: Ordonez says he has not experienced anything like this since he and his family moved to Vancouver over a year ago, NEWS 1130 reports.

  • Looking back at what happened, he says he regrets answering back at the racist taunts.
  • Ordonez says that while the incident was “overwhelming” for him, he is now feeling better.
  • “It is still disappointing because it just feels weird that people will judge you with the language that you use, I guess,” he was quoted as saying. 
  • He also expressed in an interview that he was let down by the driver who did not intervene when he got harassed.   
  • Ordonez revealed that he is set to reach out to Transit Police in hopes of getting an investigation started.

Since the pandemic started spreading globally, there has been an uptick of racist behavior toward Asian communities in Canada, Global News reports. According to the Vancouver Police Department, there has been a 600% rise in reports of hate crimes targeting Asians in the country in recent months.

Feature Image via NEWS 1130

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