About a week ago, an article appeared in Canada's self-styled national newspaper, the Groan and Wail, calling to readers' attention the fact that Brampton -- a bedroom community northwest of Toronto -- has become something of a south Asian ghetto. The writer was a Pakistani immigrant who had lived in Chicago and then moved to Brampton where, she said, she felt right at home amongst her own kind.
The article got a lot of readership, and apparently inspired many people to check out "Saying the unsayable about the unspeakable in Brampton, Canada", posted here well over two years ago. In that piece I made essentially the same point, without the positive, politically correct spin that the Glob's contributor put on it.
Imagine the surprise of the writer (not to mention the newspaper's PC censors) when the most-liked comments were... how to say it... not racist but, errr, not overly pleased to see Brampton turned into Bombay. Here are the top three.
(Jenn-Jenn) Immigration was never meant to balkanize Canada. Too much immigration is never good for the host country. It is past time to give mass immigration a long breather, and let the newcomers here assimilate into Canadian culture. Canada is in jeopardy of being overwhelmed by these different cultures. Let's keep our Canadian culture and history intact. It is worth preserving.
(Meatball) I was born in Toronto, raised in Brampton from the time when the town had one (1) stoplight at the "four corners" (Main and Queen Sts). I watched as the town turned brown, so to speak, and finally sold out in the mid-1990s. Was it because I'm a racist? I like to think of myself as a realist, not a racist. I didn't want mine to be the last white family in a neighbourhood where most people don't share my religion or even my language. And I didn't force the south Asians to come live in myh neighbourhood. They came of their own accord, and voluntarily created their own ghetto, where people like me are not welcome. So who's the racist?
(Asterix111) My friend lives in Brampton and is Caucasian. Is he a visible minority? Can he obtain funding from the government to open a "Caucasian Association of Brampton"?
Mind you, several commenters took issue with the characterization of Brampton as a "ghetto". Brampton's not 100% south Asian, said one, not even 50% -- only about 45%! And there are black folks there too, even a few whites who haven't headed for the hills -- Caledon Hills or Halton Hills, that is. How dare the writer call it a ghetto, they protested.
Just by coincidence, the city's own alleged newspaper, the Brampton Guardian, today features an article headed "Made-in-Brampton web series Anarkali rides the wave of success". Here, without further comment, is the accompanying photo.
Further reading (added 22/6/16): "Is this Peel's Year of the Gun? Shootings are up 130 per cent in Brampton and Mississauga", Brampton Guardian. Sure sounds like a ghetto to me! The articles referred to above refer to the south Asian ghetto, but an Agent informs me that the northwest quadrant of Brampton is pretty much a black ghetto, just like northwestern Toronto.