Warning: This story contains details of racism that readers may find disturbing. Discretion is advised.
Rebecca Ng is breathing a bit more easily now, but Saturday night, she said she had a nerve-wracking experience.
According to her, around 9:30 that evening she was on the Montreal metro orange line heading home after work, when a man boarded the train and saw her.
“Right away he approaches me, he started laughing,” said Ng, who is of Chinese descent.
“He starts putting his hands in my space, like really, really close.”
Ng claimed he almost touched her and she said she asked him to stop, but he continued.
“Each time he just laughs, he just like, ‘Oh, tu es Asiatique, f— la Chine, f— le Japon.'”
Ng explained that she pulled out her mobile phone and started recording him.
“As soon as he sees me do that he covers his face,” she claimed.
“He pulls down his hat to cover his eyes so you can’t see them. He knew what he was doing.”
In the video obtained by Global News, the man can be seen approaching the camera and making a gesture.
“He makes a gun shape with his hand and pretends to shoot me in the head, basically,” Ng said.
Her friend posted the entire recording to social media, where Charles Xu said he saw it and recognized the man as the same whom he and his girlfriend encountered just an hour before Ng did.
“We parked across from the Beaudry metro station right in front of the SAQ,” he told Global News.
He remembers the man approaching the front of the couple’s car and giving them the finger before leaving shortly after. Xu and his partner exited the car soon after and crossed the street to pick up take-out sushi at a restaurant.
“That’s when I heard from behind me him shouting ‘f— China, f— Japan,'” said Xu.
The man left after the couple returned to their car.
Xu, who was born in Wuhan, China, explained that it wasn’t the first time he’s been the subject of racial slurs.
“No matter where I go racism is always been kind of in the background,” he pointed out.
Both he and Ng are fed up with the rise of anti-Asian hate.
Ng is said she’s especially concerned since the recent killings of six Asian American women in Atlanta, Georgia. According to Montreal police, targeted acts of hate toward the Asian community in Montreal have increased by at least five times over the last year.
According to Ng, she has also been targeted multiple times, so the experience in the metro didn’t surprise her. She stressed that what’s most disturbing is that none of the passengers offered to help her.
“There are people out there who don’t think I am human basically,” she observed. “I’m not as human as the rest of them.”
Both Ng and Xu say they are hopeful that by speaking out, more people will come to understand that the anti-Asian hate is real.