Saskatoon restaurant rallies support against anti-Asian racism

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon restaurant rallies support against anti-Asian racism' Saskatoon restaurant rallies support against anti-Asian racism
WATCH: A Korean fried chicken restaurant is receiving a lot of community support after being on the receiving end of some anti-Asian discriminatory comments posted to Facebook – Mar 30, 2021

A Korean fried chicken restaurant was on the receiving end of some anti-Asian discriminatory comments after a feature in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix newspaper was posted to Facebook.

“We were pretty shocked,” Hey! Fried Chicken co-owner Estelle Yang said Tuesday.

Read more: Hundreds attend Vancouver rally against anti-Asian racism

Yang said she and her husband consider Saskatoon a “warm” and “welcoming” place “full of loving people” and seeing the hurtful comments online, which referenced harmful stereotypes about Asian people, was heartbreaking.

“We didn’t expect such a stereotype for us (to) still happen,” Yang said. “So it’s really sad.”

Executive director of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan Rhonda Rosenberg says the spike in anti-Asian racism during the pandemic is part of a larger shift.

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Read more: Calgary joins rallies across Canada calling to ‘Stop Asian Hate’

“People feel more free to make comments that are racist or are discriminatory in one way or another,” Rosenberg said. “But we also see people more ready to step up.”

Sure enough, community members online condemned the inappropriate comments and rallied support for the Saskatoon restaurant and its owners.

“A lot of people keep saying sorry for us having such an experience.” Yang said. “And that they love us and they love our chicken.”

Yang added the biggest surprise was when more food orders started to roll in. She said they sold out every day for three days straight, with people taking time to share their support and solidarity with restaurant staff.

“We’re so touched and moved,” she said.

Rosenberg says she’s thrilled seeing the community take action and encourages more people to try to educate rather than shame in situations where it may be appropriate.

“Take the time to actually engage in a personal message conversation about it,” with a friend or relative, Rosenberg suggested.

Read more: Managing mental health amid ongoing anti-Asian hate

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Yang and her team are looking to reciprocate the show of solidarity, and say they’d like to also help others in whatever way they can.

“I think it’s just really important for us to just speak loud,” Yang said. “To make sure these things don’t happen to somebody else.”

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