There has been another Asian race-motivated assault in Vancouver. Except for this time, the victim wasn’t actually Asian.
Don Bain, a prominent member of Vancouver’s Indigenous community and special advisor at the Government of British Columbia, issued a tweet on Saturday featuring an image of his daughter, Dakota Holmes, stating that she was attacked while walking her dog.
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“This is my daughter, Dakota. We are Indigenous,” the tweet explains. “She was walking her dog last night in #Vancouver when a #racist guy heard her sneezing.”
This is my daughter Dakota. We are Indigenous. She was walking her dog last night in #Vancouver when a #racist guy heard her sneezing. He yelled at her, punched her and walked away. He thought she was Asian and her sneezing was #COVID19. @VPD attended. #racism #RacismIsAVirus pic.twitter.com/mBhVgdFaBk
— Don Bain (@lheidli1) May 17, 2020
According to Bain, the assailant proceeded to yell at his daughter before punching her and walking away.
“He thought she was Asian, and her sneezing was #COVID19.”
The image attached to the tweet features its own text in which Bain’s daughter, with visual bruising on her face, urges people to stay safe.
“I got punched in the face for sneezing, and buddy thought I was Asian. Yelled racist slurs and told me to go back to Asia,” the caption states. She continues that she has allergies as well as a throat infection right now, and simply went to walk her dog.
BC’s Multiculturalism Minister, Anne Kang, stated on Friday that she could not remain silent regarding the issue of increased violence targeted at the province’s Asian population. She explained in a statement that she is “deeply saddened by the recent rise in racially motivated physical and verbal attacks and vandalism against people of Asian heritage in our province since the COVID-19 outbreak.”
In an update posted to her Instagram story, Holmes expressed her appreciation for the outpouring of support that she has received.
“Wowowow. What a day. Thank you all for the support and love,” she stated. “Kato and I are both well. I’m glad I shared my story.”
Bain posted an update tweet today stating that Vancouver Police had yet to respond regarding the assault.
Later, VPD responded stating that an investigation is currently underway, including a canvas of the neighbourhood for potential surveillance footage.
Hello, Don. We are so sorry this has happened. Please be assured the investigation is underway, including a canvas of the neighbourhood for possible surveillance video, and our hate crimes investigator has been notified. Investigators will be contacting Dakota again very soon.
— Vancouver Police (@VancouverPD) May 17, 2020