Asian Canadian Artist Pens Powerful PSA Against Anti-Asian Hate

Christopher Tse

Asian Canadian artist Christopher Tse wants people to open their eyes amid the rising anti-Asian racism via a powerful new campaign.

About the project: Tse wrote and narrated the spoken word PSA titled “Eyes Open” as part of an initiative of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice (CCNC-SJ) for Asian Heritage Month. 

  • An all-Asian and largely female creative team produced the video, reported Global News.
  • The team reached out to Tse last month and asked him to contribute a piece to the video project.
  • Tse said he was passionate about the project given the “huge increases in racial violence across the board, against all racialized groups but specifically against folks in the Asian diaspora.”
  • On Instagram, CCNC-SJ called on Canadians to act and recognize the “historical and present injustices in our communities and #FaceRace.”

Eyes open: Tse’s approach to the video was tackling “the issue of silence and staying silent,” with a message that silence does not equate to acceptance or staying hidden.

  • “We have gotten used to being the model minority, the quiet minority, not really talking about our issues,” he added. 
  • The video addressed this at the beginning with the intro: “We’ve never been a loud people. Our elders always taught us that actions speak louder than words, so we learned to keep our heads down, keep our grades up, keep our kin close, keep our mouths shut.”

Hate crime capital: Anti-Asian racism is on the rise in Canada, particularly in Vancouver, which Bloomberg recently called the “Anti-Asian Hate Crime Capital of North America.”

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  • Based on police figures collected by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism (CSHE), Vancouver had a total of 98 anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020, an eightfold increase from 2019.
  • In response to the report, the City of Vancouver said it will “respond to ongoing and systemic racism and the rise in racist incidents.”

Featured Image via CCNC for Social Justice

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