Community outraged over ‘racist’ poster making rounds in Brampton

Published: April 24, 2014
Canada-India-Sikhs-Whites

Racist poster

VANCOUVER DESI

Members of the Brampton community have taken to Twitter to express their outrage over a crude and “racist” poster filtering through the city.

The poster, which surfaced on social media this week – following Vaisakhi celebrations and during Ontario’s Sikh Heritage Month – reads “The Changing Face of Brampton,” with a picture of a group of mainly white people , and below it a group of Sikhs at a rally. In between the two images it reads, “Consider this: according to 2001 Census City of Brampton, Mainstream Canadians made up 59.6 per cent of Brampton’s social fabric. In 2011, it dropped to 32.9 per cent. What will the Census findings be in five, 10, or even 15 years from now?”

At the bottom of the flyer it asks “Is this really what you want?” directing readers to the website for Immigration Watch Canada, a group seemingly advocating for a reduction in the country’s intake of immigrants.

While it’s unclear when and where the flyer is from, Twitter user Demi Caruso posted it Tuesday morning, which quickly got picked up, retweeted and referenced by other users.

“Nothing like horrifying racism from (Immigration Watch Canada),” a @LadySnarksalot tweeted Tuesday.

“What can be done about (Immigration Watch Canada)? Can we get the site taken down for promoting hate?,” Septembre Anderson posted on Wednesday.

“Whoever is making anti-immigration posters in Brampton should be ashamed of themselves,” Steven Lee tweeted Thursday morning, alongside a photo of the flyer.

Another Twitter user also identified the group’s photo choice as “bizarre,” identifying it as a rally protesting execution in Delhi – not even Brampton.

Immigration Watch Canada describes itself as “an organization of Canadians who believe that immigration has to serve the interests of its own citizens.”

It goes on to state that Canada’s immigrant intake is “far too high” which has “obviously been destructive and senseless.”

The site also directs its readers to reference a book by a Doug Collins, called “Immigration : The Destruction Of English Canada.”

The World Sikh Organization of Canada sent out a release on Thursday condemning the “racist flyers,” but insisted the blatant racism was not a reflection of the city.

“These flyers are the work of an isolated fringe group and don’t reflect the view of the vast majority of Bramptonians or Canadians,” WSO Ontario president Prabhmeet Singh Sarkaria said in the release. “Canada is an example of how diversity and multiculturalism can work so beautifully. This is an opportunity for all of us to stand together and say that this type of message is not welcome in Canada.”

WSO president Dr. Amritpal Singh Shergill added that the flyers are simply “ignorance and fear-mongering.”

“Despite Immigration Watch Canada’s claims, Sikhs are proudly ‘mainstream’ Canadians,” Shergill said. “We have been in Canada for well over 100 years and Sikhs are an integral part of their communities in Brampton and across Canada. We are Canadians. Period.”

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