Press Release May 27, 2020

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A public statement by

Maple Leafs Anti-Racism Actions Association (MLARA)

Date: May 27, 2020

  • We are a not-for-profit society formed by a group of Canadians and permanent residents. The association was registered under the BC Societies Act on May 14, 2020 under incorporation number S0073177.
  • One of the purposes of our society is to fight against racism and end hate crimes in Canada.
  • The society was formed by a group of people who felt they were unfairly portrayed in a report written by Mr. Sam Cooper that appeared on Global News on April 30, 2020. 
  • While the central thrust of the report was about the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party of China, and the United Front Work Department of the PRC, the use of a provocative graphic and an inaccurately translated caption conveyed a damaging portrayal of Overseas Chinese and Canadians of Chinese descent.
  • Mr. Cooper’s report, either intentionally or un-intentionally mischaracterized ChineseCanadians’ humanitarian efforts to support their relatives in China as some sinister actions taken on behalf of a secretive foreign agency.
  • As Canadians, we know the important work of media across the country.  We are not attacking the integrity of Mr. Sam Cooper or calling him a racist.  What we are trying to do, however, is to point out that Mr. Cooper’s report, in tone and effect, has created an impression on the report’s readers and viewers that Chinese-Canadians had, on the order of a foreign country, bought up critical medical supplies to the detriment of Canadians. 
  • One of the most critical aspect of Mr. Cooper’s report concerning the alleged actions of a Chinese-Canadian organization was based on a report published by Xinhua in Chinese. Mr. Cooper admitted in his article that Global News had not independently verified its content.  
  • Mr. Cooper’s report used a caption taken from the Xinhua report but had it inaccurately translated.  We believe this mistake, together with the use of an unverified foreign report mentioned in paragraph 7 above, demonstrated that Mr. Cooper’s report fell short of Global

News’ own principles and practices of “reporting news without distortion or misrepresentation” as well as “getting it right.”

  • We believe what Mr. Cooper’s article, intentionally or un-intentionally had sow mistrust and dare we say, hatred on the minds of Canadians towards Canadians of Asian heritage.  We have noticed a sharp increase in hate crimes and verbal harassment towards Asian Canadians.  We firmly believe that the type of biased and unbalanced portrayal of ChineseCanadians by Mr. Cooper has to be stopped.
  • An independent journalist and who is unaffiliated with our association, Mr. Weng Hoong Ng had written to the Global News complaining Mr. Sam Cooper’s report.  As a result of his action, Global News had removed the offending graphic but has not amended the mischaracterization of the actions of Chinese-Canadians or mention the positive contributions of Chinese-Canadians towards Canada’s efforts to fight the pandemic. 
  • We are, therefore, asking Mr. Cooper and Global News to retract the portion of the report that deals with Chinese-Canadians and to apologize to the Chinese-Canadian community.
  • We are exploring the option of whether to take legal action against Mr. Sam Cooper and Global News not because we want to silence them.  We are doing so because we genuinely felt we were being maligned by Mr. Cooper’s report.
  • We expect that some Canadians of Chinese heritage may not feel the same way as we do towards Mr. Cooper’s report.  The Chinese-Canadian community is not a monolithic community but rather a complex one. We do not claim to represent the entire ChineseCanadian community.
  • We are committed to the Canadian value of freedom of the press and we regret that we have to take this action to protect our community’s image and integrity.  
  • We offer our apologies to Minister Joyce Murray for the inadvertent action of one of our overly enthusiastic members who posted a funding appeal in a WeChat group of Ms.

Murray’s supporters. But her actions demonstrated her deep concern about Mr. Cooper’s unbalanced article and her feeling is shared by all of us at MLARA.   

CONTACTS:

Name: Mr. Jason Xie, Spokesperson                       Name: Mr. Ivan Pak, President

E-mail: jxie@mlara.org                                     E-mail: ipak@mlara.org

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