Shocking Video Shows International Student Attacked by Group of Teens for Speaking Punjabi

Hate crimes are disproportionately committed by teen boys, according to Statistics Canada. 

Canadian Anti-Hate Network

Source: Google Maps

An international student in Winnipeg says he was threatened with weapons and his car viciously vandalized after a large group of teens heard him and his friends speaking in their first language.

According to CityNews, on October 15 an international student who chose not to be identified was meeting a group of friends in the city’s Crescent Drive Park. He told the news agency he and his friends chose to speak Punjabi. 

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It was during this time that he reports being approached by a group of teens.

"They pulled out their weapons and showed me their knives and things,” the student told reporters. 

Suspecting they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the unidentified man says the alleged assailant used racist and hateful language, including telling him, "if you can't speak in English, don't stay here, go back."

"[It] hurts me a lot," he told City News

Video obtained by CityNews shows multiple figures surrounding a vehicle at night. Footage of the vehicle in question after the incident shows smashed windows and destroyed seats. 

Police said they conducted a “thorough investigation,” when reached for comment by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, adding that “one person is facing mischief-related charges for the vehicle damage.”

Police did not indicate if they are pursuing a hate motivation for the charge, or if a hate investigation is underway when asked on follow-up. 


Teenage Boys Disproportionately Commit Hate Crimes: Statistics Canada 


The incident in Winnipeg is one more addition to the string of incidents contributing to the growing evidence that Canada is in the midst of a hate crime epidemic, and according to the available data, this epidemic is disproportionately driven by young men.

Between 2010 and 2019, 86% of persons accused of committing hate crimes were male. The median age for persons accused of hate crimes is 28, though this statistic varies depending on the accused’s motivation. For crimes targeted towards 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, the median age of accused persons is much lower, at 23.

Concerningly, 23% of persons accused of hate crimes in this time period were teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17. 

Statistics Canada estimates that 223,000 self-reported hate crimes took place in 2019 alone.

In an extremely online world, youth are at an increased risk of coming across hateful propaganda and racist content on social media platforms. Though Youtube has been described as a primary cause of right-wing radicalization, several hate groups maintain accounts on a variety of other platforms used by young people, notably Instagram. 


Confronting Canadian Hate 

The new frontlines are the dinner table and the classroom. That is why the Canadian Anti-Hate Network has developed a practical guide aimed at helping students and faculty identify and intervene in harmful situations before hate becomes violent. 

Confronting Hate in Canadian Schools, is based on the acclaimed Confronting White Nationalism toolkit, by the Western States Center in the US, with their permission. Confronting Hate in Canadian Schools looks at the problem through a Canadian lens, with Canadian examples, and provides real-world, practical steps that students, educators, administrators, parents, and community members can take when these issues arise. From the symbols, terms, and themes traded online, boosted by hate spreaders and repeated in our classrooms, the goal is to get tools into the hands of those who need it most -- and to empower youth to lead that fight.

Our online education portal with the toolkit and other resources will be launched soon. 

If you’re an educator or staff member and interested in learning more about our new toolkit, reach out to us at [email protected].

With files from Sébastien Roback.

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