The story of an 11-year-old girl who claimed to have been attacked by an Asian man while walking to school wearing a hijab had gone viral and elicited responses from Toronto mayor, Ontario Premier and even PM Trudeau. But as the police announced the result of their investigation that the alleged incident didn’t happen, it has provoked a strong sentiment from the Chinese community.
“Today, our Chinese community is in outrage. You don’t just create a story of hate crime and pin it on your Asian neighbour next door… The Chinese community is angry and hurt!” Wrote one columnist from the community. “It was a carefully crafted plot to frame Chinese Canadians, with an intention to put Asians in the crosshair of public backlash!” wrote another, who urges Tan Geng, Chinese Canadian MP to petition the police to continue its investigation until they find out the mastermind of the incident.
Anger and outrage seems to be a natural emotional reaction to an incident that using fabricated story to defame a community member, but it is crucial that we stop letting negative emotions carry us away on a stream of overreaction and hatred. At the time when the allegations of adults’ involvement in the incident lack facts to support, we should be more rational, refraining from aggravating the situation and avoiding from turning it into an attack in the Cultural Revolution style. In the end, forgiveness and compassion for children who make mistakes, no matter how publicly, is an essential Canadian value.
In fact, if we had allowed evidence based logical thinking to dominant our thoughts, we wouldn’t have fallen for the hoax in the first place! While the girl’s one-side allegations were widely reported by media outlets, this paper chose not to rush to jump onto the bandwagon, but had calmly waited until the police released their findings after a thorough investigation.
The girl’s family has made sincere apologies to every Canadian for the incident, saying it has been a very painful experience for the girl and the family. At the time when they are looking forward to public support and closing this difficult chapter, let’s stop holding onto a grudge and embrace the power of forgiveness.
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