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Opinion: An Asian supermarket giant announced its first Victoria store. People responded with racist garbage

Flurry of digusting comments posted on social media
A cashier works behind a plexiglass shield at a Super H Mart grocery store. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

When I made the decision to move to Victoria from Metro Vancouver, my fiancée (she’s Chinese) warned me that grocery shopping options were different here.

In Burnaby, where I lived, Asian supermarkets are everywhere – from giant T&T mega-markets to small corner stores that offer a wide array of items from around the world.

There isn’t much like that in Greater Victoria. I do shop at Fujiya, a Japanese specialty shop, but have struggled to find many products as most small stores I have found so far only have a few items here and there.

So I was really excited when I heard the news that H Mart, one of the biggest Asian grocery store chains in North America and one that specializes in products from Korea, would be setting up shop in the Victoria area.

H Mart will be taking over the 30,000-square-foot space at Mayfair mall that used to house Toys ‘R’ Us.

I’ve shopped at H Mart many times before because Burnaby has its own Korean enclave of shops on the border with Coquitlam.

They have amazing produce and a big menu of specialty items. It’s a foodie’s paradise.

My excitement, however, turned to disgust when our Victoria News story was posted on our Facebook page.

Some people were as pumped as I was, but some horrible people decided that this was an opportunity to make racist comments along the lines of Asians “taking over” their community.

“Chinada” was one gross comment. These comments have been deleted.

I was disappointed by these comments but was not surprised in the least.

About a year and half ago, a mall in Burnaby opened its new food court and I ended up writing about how some people were whining about how there wasn’t enough “white” food options for their tastes.

These kinds of comments are just thinly disguised racism – like people complaining about seeing languages other than English on business signs.

I just can’t wrap my head around why someone would be bothered that Victoria will have its first Asian supermarket. Are you bothered by restaurants that don’t serve “white” food?

Is this really impacting your life? I’m proud to live in such a multicultural country but ashamed that so many white people make life miserable for others with their disgusting actions.

READ MORE: Opinion: ‘Outrageous’ Victoria landlords ‘jack up’ rents by nearly 20%. When will it stop?

Chris Campbell is an editor with Black Press Media at the Victoria news hub. Follow him on Twitter @shinebox44.

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Chris Campbell

About the Author: Chris Campbell

I joined the Victoria News hub as an editor in 2023, bringing with me over 30 years of experience from community newspapers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
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