Hello Trolls, Welcome To Rexdale

Thank you National Post. Just thank you.

Thank you National Post. Just thank you.

Imagine my relief when one of Toronto’s major newspapers ran a story called Fatal Toronto shootings a reminder what the real election issues should be. It was everything I’d been saying, just with more eloquence, more backing, a bigger readership and a platform that I could only dream of. I was so happy I actually got kind of teary. SOMEONE CARES. Someone is listening! Our kids warrant consideration and votes and column space on a page!

Then I broke the cardinal rule of the Internet. I read the comments. I mean ALL the comments. And they were horrible.

Now, everyone who has half a brain knows you don’t feed the trolls, but in this case, I think I may have to, because perhaps a lot of Torontonians are trolls without knowing. While they would never go on a forum and espouse the views of the trolls on the National Post article, somewhere in the back of their brain is a vague sense that the vitriol spewed by the trolls might be a little bit true. So here, just this once, I throw on my armour, hop under the bridge and feed the trolls.

Picture 26

You will notice that this clever fellow has 50 up-votes and no down-votes, so it’s a fair guess that folks agree with this sentiment. Can I say, right off the bat, that starting a statement with “Racism aside” is painful? I mean, lord, when we are talking about Rexdale, we can NEVER leave racism aside. I was once pulled over with my then boyfriend, who was searched by the cops (I wasn’t.) Afterward, they asked me if my “mother knew I was out with a boy like that.”

In case you aren’t quite sure what the cop was talking about, in regards to a boy like that, I provide this helpful chart:



There are examples from school, work and everyday life to back this up as well. You can’t talk about Rexdale and leave racism aside. It won’t work.

But on to your next point, high birth rates (because more Canadians is a bad thing? Or is it that you don’t consider them Canadians?)

My mom was an immigrant. She came from Germany in the 50s. She came from a family with five kids. As a first generation Canadian on my mom’s side, I had two siblings. Being an immigrant didn’t determine how many kids my mom had. Her health, her ability to care for us and her own choices did.

My own experiences aside, the actual statistic for immigrant birth rates is 20% higher than the national average. And since the national average is 1.7 kids per household, that means a whopping total of 2.04 kids per household. Oh yeah. That’s gonna ruin us. And would you like to know how many generations it takes for that number to equalize with the national norm? One. Oh, and the real kicker? The number of children we need per household to maintain the national population? 2. So if you take it down to the actual numbers…you’re still wrong.

And even if you weren’t, I don’t think this is really about how many kids immigrants have. It’s about xenophobia and tribalism and good old fashioned human fear of the unknown.

Which brings me to your third point – that immigrants don’t want to integrate. Let’s start by saying that that’s a mighty big brush to paint a huge group of people with and finish with this awesome graph that shows literacy among first generation Canadians:


I mean, sure this isn’t representative of the entire immigrant experience, but it’s a micro picture of the learning curve and it’s an impressive curve. This does not, to me, say that kids aren’t trying to learn, fit in or better themselves. It says just the opposite.

On to the next troll:
Picture 28

I’m going to skip the low hanging fruit that a person complaining about uneducated people can’t spell bringing…but this is still an easy one. Statistics bear out that immigrants are less likely to use EI, social assistance or subsidized housing. Less likely. And, on average, over a lifetime, immigrant households put $40,000 more into the social pot than the national average. That’s it. What you are saying is patently false. Saying it out loud doesn’t make it true and it isn’t. Next?

Picture 29

Oh. Well you’re just a horrible racist. Or a full-on troll. Either way, it should still be noted that s/he has 11 up-votes, so s/he’s not alone.

What it comes down to is that these voices are not uncommon and the kids living in these neighbourhoods are not clueless. We knew all this stuff. We knew that people hated us or ignored us or blamed us for things we couldn’t possibly be logically blamed for. If you think these opinions are helping – you’re really, really out of touch.

I guess that’s it, isn’t it? Folks are out of touch with neighbourhoods like Rexdale.

And they’re happy about it.


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