A video of a man lashing out at employees of a T&T Supermarket in Mississauga after being told to wear a mask went viral this week, and someone has now started a fundraiser to collect tips for the affected workers.
The video, which was captured and posted to YouTube by a witness of the incident, shows a middle-aged white man yelling racist slurs and conspiracy theories at employees of the Asian supermarket after they pointed out the store's mandatory mask policy.
He can be heard spouting racist things like "Where did we get our Wuhan communist virus? From China. From you guys," as well as COVID-19 conspiracy theories such as ""When you wear the mask, you get sick, it's science."
At one point, the man can be heard asking one employee where he's from, to which he responds "We are Canadian, I'm Canadian" while pleading with the customer to stop screaming.
Peel Regional Police are now investigating the incident, though they have not yet decided whether any charges will be laid.
Meanwhile, one concerned community member decided to start a GoFundMe campaign to thank the essential workers for selflessly serving their community throughout the pandemic, and as way of acknowledging the brutal racism they experienced.
"Watching the video was really painful and my heart went out to the employees," said Cindy L., the woman who started the fundraiser. "As essential workers, they're already putting their health at risk during these tough times. To be the subject of racism is beyond awful."
The GoFundMe page has a target of $1,000, and it has raised $340 as of Thursday at 12:30 p.m.
Cindy said she received approval from the T&T management team to start the campaign, and the description indicates that all donations made to this GoFundMe are considered to be personal gifts to the T&T store team.
"I am starting this fundraiser to raise tips for the store employees as a thank you for their hard work through this pandemic, trying to keep everyone safe," she wrote in the description.
"It has been an exhausting and difficult time for all of us, in different ways. Let's continue to keep ourselves and others safe because this is what part of being Canadian is all about. "
Cindy said she hopes the fundraiser is spread widely throughout the city so the workers know they are valued here in Canada, and so they, too, can feel as proud to live here as the man who verbally attacked them.
"The only way we are going to get through this is by treating each other with respect, kindness and understanding. The staff handled themselves with such calm in what would have been an incredibly scary situation," she said.
"We are all Canadians. And we as Canadians need to be looking out for each other and help keep each other safe."
by Mira Miller via blogTO