Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Why Does Jason Kenney Believe Ethnic "Ghettos" Incubate Crime and Gangs???

Jason Kenney - laying low as is his troglodytic style - has recently been quoted (Calgary Herald) as claiming ethnics in "ghettos" incubate crime... What???

We live in Surrey, BC. A city that racists like to claim is a crime-ridden ghetto. Couldn't be further from the truth. Surrey is the size of Vancouver (roughly, and we'll be calling the region Metro Surrey in about 10 years), and has a lower crime rate than: Vancouver, Maple Ridge, Langley, and Abbottsford in the Lower Mainland (while being the most diverse city of that bunch). Surrey also has lower crime than Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg (all from the "peaceful and quiet" prairies). Surrey and Richmond BC BOTH score better on crime than all these other cities... and BOTH are more diverse. Seems to say the opposite of what Kenney is trying to say to voters.

Living in one of the single few "ethnic enclaves" of any sort (and we resent that description, because Surrey is VERY diverse - and it has the kind of diversity all of Canada should have), we cannot say straight-faced that this is a "ghetto" that creates more crime and/or gangs. If it were, we wouldn't be seeing so many residents of North Vancouver moving here to escape the mud slides (and be more centrally located). The high end neighborhoods of Morgan Creek, South Surrey, Crescent Beach (yes - ocean front homes), Panorama Ridge, Tynehead, Fleetwood, and Fraser Heights ALL have many hundreds of homes in the $1 Million to $3-4 Million range. Surrey is a city of parks and beauty, with some of the best nature trails, urban forests, salmon habitats, bird sanctuaries, "urban farms", wineries, golf courses (Northview, for one), anywhere.

Mr. Kenney's views on this are simply bigoted, biased, and wrong, and show absolutely no sensitivity of the type required for a cabinet minister in the role he is in...

From the March 27th Herald article:

"He notes that right immigration policies will accelerate our recovery from the recession while getting it wrong can result in ethnic ghettos that incubate gang warfare."

For a Cabinet Minister in the Canadian Parliament to be making such statements is APPALING. He is simply appealing to the lowest common denominator - the slack-jaw vote that forms the hard-right base of the Reform movement. What are his definitions of "right policies" and "wrong policies"? Doesn't look like he's ever studied urban sociology.

We've commented over the years on Kenney's anger/hatreds and biases, but when we came across this statement, it simply reinforced everything we've ever thought of him.

Jason Kenney should resign as the Minister of Multiculturalism and Immigration. He is a fifth columnist put in the role by Harper to pander to immigrant groups (without doing anything substantial to help them at all), while slowly killing the idea of multiculturalism from within...

Of course, with Kenney's attitude to be called a "racist", he responds: ""It doesn't bother me," he shrugs. "Heck, I can hardly sneeze without being called a racist."" Oh joy! A federal cabinet minister who doesn't get bothered by being called a racist! One can only be offended by being called such if you are clearly disgusted and angered by the assertion. Apparently Mr. Kenney is not.


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kirbycairo said...

Unfortunately it seems that Kenney's attitude has become almost acceptable by many Canadians. There certainly is not the public outrage I would like to see by this man's despicable behavior. Let's just hope that he is defeated in the next election along with his terrible boss.


Koby said...

This is what he said. "We can't afford to be complacent about the challenge of integration,"

"We want to avoid the kind of ethnic enclaves or parallel communities that exist in some European countries. So far, we've been pretty successful at that, but I think it's going to require greater effort in the future to make sure that we have an approach to pluralism and immigration that leads to social cohesion rather than fracturing."

In other words, he is not saying ethnic ghettos exist now, but that the potential exists, if his agenda is not pushed.

Harper on the other hand has said in the past that they do exist.

Stephen Harper 2001: “West of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from Eastern Canada: people who live in ghettos and who are not integrated into Western Canadian society.”

Anyway, Kenney seems to think that ethnic ghetto is merely a consequence of immigrants failing to "integrate" into Canadian society. He could not be more wrong. An ethnic ghetto is simply the meeting of class and race. It does not matter if the population of the ghetto is native to the country or not. The Lower Ninth Word in New Orleans is ethnic ghetto but most of those living there have been living there for generations. They just happen to be poor and black. Canada does have ethnic ghettos; they are called reserves and if the government had of had a brain they would have abolished reserves and native rights a generation ago before the judges screwed things up.

If potential for ethnic ghettos exist, it is because social mobility in Canada is declining, Canada continues to let in large number of immigrants (e.g., refugees) that are much more likely to fail economically and because Jason Kenney thinks importing reems of unskilled guest workers will not have any social consqunces beyond exploitation of that class of workers. Europe's ethnic ghettos, which by the way are no where near as violent as ethnic ghettos in the States, are a by product of Europe's guest worker problems. If what Kenney really wants to avoid the creation of ethnic ghettos, he should stop allowing the importation of people to perform menial tasks. It does not take a genius to figure out that pursuing an immigration policy that will result in every single groudskeeper, and maid to be a person of colour who does not have much education or the ability to speak English, a la, Palm Springs, is not good for race relations. Race can not be allowed to signify class and with the exception Canada's native peoples it has not so far.

By the way, you make it sound like North Vancouver has slides the way Rio does. I have lived in both and assure you that North Vancouver does not.

KNB said...

You make a really good point. There are few things worse than being called a racist and no matter how thick your skin, that should strike genuine indignation shouldn't it?

Good post.

Adam M said...

Unfortunately I believe his calculus goes like this: ethnic people and "ghetto" people (in his understanding) are not paying attention to what he is saying and will never hear of it. And they're not likely to vote.

But people who agree with or SECRETLY agree with what he is saying are listening. And they are likely to vote because they want to see people say words like "tough on crime" and take action against ethnic groups that they feel represent a criminal threat because of their ethnicity. This belief is more widespread than we usually like to think and a lot of people harbor it subconsciously but would never say so out loud.

Those are soft Conservative voters and the party knows they're listening to comments like that and they can scare them into action. It's very clever how the Conservatives do this, expertly playing on peoples' inner prejudices and ignorance. They do it very well.