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Banerjee said in white-dominant societies, though no formal research has been done on the topic, “there is more resistance to masking from conservatives.”

“Social conservatives also align with majorities . .  align with certain ideals of white superiority, so I think these are really correlated. These outbursts are more and more demographically from white people who may be mentally misbalanced or may be going over the edge because of the stress and frustration,” she said. “It could come out through other kinds of outbursts, particularly on small businesses that are owned by people of colour, so there is an underlying entitlement issue where they may see that you have a job and I don’t, or my job is at risk but your business is open.”

A screen capture from a video shows a man hurling racist insults and obscenities at the clerk of a northwest Calgary liquor store. The video was posted the night of Sept. 19, 2020.

Calgary police senior Const. Craig Collins said there has been an increase in the number of hate crimes in the city, something he said isn’t unique to Calgary.

“We’re seeing this pandemic across the world, so it doesn’t matter where you look or where you research, you will see an increase in calls for service from our Asian community because of COVID-19 and perceived offences,” he said, in reference to the fact the pandemic’s origin has been linked to China. “We’re affected by world trends, by world situations so, yes, there has been an increase.”

Collins encouraged people to report any and all perceived hate crimes or hate bias to ensure a proper investigation can be carried out.

“We know that there is underreporting from segments of the community, whether that’s because of trust in the police or just trust in the system,” he said. “We are working hard to try and educate and advise people that if they feel they are a victim of something they should come forward even if they don’t think there’s a criminal offence involved, because as a service we do track the incidents.”

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