One racist act begets another on Vancouver bus as Filipino man told to ‘speak English’

 

Another racist incident that could go unsolved

Opinion

 

Teodoro Alcuitas

Editor, philippinecanadiannews.com

A Filipino passenger on a Vancouver Transit bus was subjected to a racist slur and told to speak English by a woman passenger.

“You f***ing people. Speak in English here,” the woman shouted at Samson James Ordonez while he was bus no. 20.

Ordonez told NEWS 1130 he was speaking in his native ‘Ilocano’ dialect in his cell phone to his brother.

The incident happened last Saturday, June 27, 2020.

Another man then chimed in, degrading his own Indian coworkers by mocking their language and accent, allegedly saying it “destroys his appetite for lunch, ” NEWS 1130 reported.

Ordonez recapped his experience on social media platform Reddit, writing “One white guy chimed in by saying, ‘Right? My Indian coworkmates (sic) always say ‘boobah, boobah’ and it destroys my appetite for lunch!’”

“I could really hear my heart thumping, really, really loud. So, I just went up and said that wasn’t fair because I always see Western people in my country — they live there, they build their life there, and they always demand people to speak in English to them so that they could understand,” he recalls.

Ordonez adds he wanted to say more in the moment but started to feel dizzy, getting off the bus at the next stop instead.

“When I was going out this lady told me, she shouted actually, ‘I don’t let Asians lecture me in my own country,’” he explains. “I didn’t respond anymore because I was already out of the bus.”

He notes the only other couple on the bus at the time was an elderly Asian couple.

It’s unclear if the bus driver heard what had happened, but Ordonez suspects he did, adding he was standing at the front of the bus near him while responding to the racist comments.

“When I was going off the bus, this white driver, he just smiled at me and basically told everyone, he said everyone enjoy their day. I took that as him fighting with me,” Ordonez says.

The 24-year old arrived in Vancouver with his family just a year ago, according to News1130.

Ordonez says he’s feeling better since what happened. Looking back, he thinks it was best that he didn’t say more.

“It is still disappointing because it just feels weird that people will judge you with the language that you use, I guess,” he tells NEWS 1130, adding he’s not experienced anything like this directly in the year and a half he’s been in Canada.

“It was pretty overwhelming for me.”

While he’s not sure if it’ll lead to anything, Ordonez says he plans to reach out to Transit Police to see if they can investigate what happened.

Philippine Canadian News.com (PCN.com) tried to contact a ‘Samson Ordonez’ on Facebook but did not receive a reply by posting date.