Innocent Bystanders

The Ethnic Aisle

by Navneet Alang

The nightmare that has been Toronto’s political news scene for the past three years seems to have finally reached its awful zenith. With allegations that Mayor Rob Ford may have smoked crack and made homophobic, racist remarks on video, there is no end to the ill effects of this latest head-shaking fiasco: the continued reduction of our municipal political sphere to a never-ending circus; the serious harm done to Toronto’s international image by a man who claims to be raising its business profile; and the simple fact that a city that was finally starting to hit its stride has been seriously set back by its woefully inadequate mayor.

But one more unexpected, negative, and completely unnecessary effect of this mess has been the circulation of a profoundly xenophobic tone about the people who have the video in question. Though the original Gawker piece made precisely no mention of the…

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