Thursday, March 06, 2008

One man's insult

Surfing the news I came upon this story here in Toronto.

Apparently in a city council session here in Toronto yesterday one councilor made some comments that were taken to be insulting to Asians and he is being asked to apologize. Councilor Rob Ford made these comments yesterday while attempting to speak on how the Asian community was expanding and doing well in the City:

"Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out. They are workers non-stop. They sleep beside their machines. That's why they're successful in life. I went to Seoul, South Korea, I went to Taipei, Taiwan. I went to Tokyo, Japan. That's why these people are so hard workers (sic). I'm telling you, the Oriental people, they're slowly taking over."

OK now obviously he didn't mean to say that or rather he probably didn't mean to put it exactly that way but still insult? What insult? Damn I'd be happy if someone took the same quote and replaced Oriental with black and Taiwan, South Korea and Japan with a Jamaica and Barbados or a Trinidad or a Nigeria. Hell I'd be positively overjoyed even.

Damn he called us black folk hardworking. Sweet! I'd be like Ford for Mayor! You got my vote!


OK onto something else.

Toronto City Council has decided to sell a prime piece of land on Bloor Street to McDonalds for 3.3 Million dollars. Now I've followed this story with interest, and not just because it was the closest McDonalds to my residence when I was in University and I ate there a lot but also because Bloor Street property in that area is gold now and I wondered how much the city would get for it.

Now the McDonalds was working with a long term lease which was ridiculously cheap having been brokered years ago. So when the lease came up for renewal last year the city said buy the land at what its worth or give us market rate rent for this property which was about 200Gs a year instead of the $15,000 they are currently paying. Sounds fair to me.

Now the land is worth at least 5 Mil but McDonalds countered with the 3.3 Mil offer and the Toronto City Council accepted.

Now here's where the fleecing gets even worse. McDonalds has a deal in place with a developer to flip the land for 9 Mil after they buy it from the City.

What da!!

So let me get this straight. Our cash strapped city, always crying how poor it is, soon to implement users fees on garbage, always trying to close down some program or recreational facility, always raising bus fares and begging the Province for handouts and is selling this prime real estate under market value to McDonalds for 3.3 Million after which McDonalds will then turn around and flip it for a 5.7 Million dollar profit.

Are you serious? Can we afford to be doing favor for McDonalds?

Am I the only one who has a problem with that. If McDonalds can get 9 mil for the land eliminate the McDonalds middleman and go straight to the source and make more cash. I mean you are the one holding the marketable commodity in your hand use it wisely. Deal from a position of strength. Even if there is some payout to be made to McDonalds or you end up being sued I think you're still making more than the 3.3 million.

Do I really need to go down to City Council and quote them some Krs-one "
the rich get richer, cause they work towards rich
the poor get poorer, cause their minds can't switch from the ghetto
let go, it's not a novelty........
educate yourselves, make your world view bigger
visualize wealth and put yourselves in the picture!


Miz JJ said...

I think the insulting part is that the implication that they are slowly taking over.

I can't believe that city council is selling the land for so cheap. Politrix at its worst.

Anonymous said...

i dont see the insult either, unless like MJJ sed its the takin over part.

Radmila said...

I think it was more about Rob Ford using the word "oriental" rather than "asian".

I've been told that rugs are oriental, people are asian.

Anonymous said...

You're correct Radmila. Calling an Asian person oriental is considered an insult.

princessdominique said...

You're right, nowadays people get insulted over anything. I say grow up.

Anonymous said...

i heard that comment and had to laugh out loud. that he has to be so ignorant, that he didn't even realise what a HUGE insult he was spitting out. like mizjj said, i read it too, that he feels 'asians are taking over'.

Honest said...

I say the politicians should know better.

Stunner said...

Please, people are just too touchy these days! They take offense to everything!

Re taste bad McDonald's, don't estimate the power of "under the table" money!

GC said...

I'm with Stunner
someone definitely got a big payoff and an even bigger campaign donation.

As for the insult
-Orientals--as mentioned previously
-overgeneralizing a characteristic seen in some as one possessed by all is wrong-headed even if you mean it as a compliment because there's a flip side to it--it suggests Asians are stodgy, boring, lack creativity and don't know how to have fun.
-slowly taking over--can suggest that there is a sinister conspiracy in place by Asians to subvert the society that's already in place.

Abeni said...

Yes, I heard about the Oriental bit too. Not politically correct

Leon said...

Calling an Asian person Oriental is an insult? If I didn't know, then why could he not have known? And I agree, they work HARD. It's not unusual for them to sleep in their shops in Jamaica.

Anonymous said...

I'm Chinese and I've been in Canada for over 45 yrs. I did not know that Oriental was an insulting comment on Asians so I'm sure Rob Ford would not have known. I also took that comment about us being hard workers as a compliment.