The Real Toronto
Paul Nguyen
October 18, 2005
Listen to the original CBC radio broadcast here (MP3, 2:55, 0.5 MB)

ďToronto donít have no clown niggas anymoreĒ

Thatís what these new underground dvdís are basically saying. You see, south of the border in places like Atlanta, Cali and New York, thatís how the people involved with thug life over there perceive the thugs over here. We got less ďstreet credĒ here. So these dvdís are basically made for them AND for us. To show that we DO have the street credibility and that weíre just as hard at they are.

These new dvdís shock people who arenít aware of the street life in Toronto. The people living outside the projects, who live in their own suburban worlds, do not see the gritty reality that street people face. Youíve got upper-class folks in Forest Hill and Davisville who hire dog walkers to walk their pets. These are the people that would be most shocked about the widespread existence of guns in their city. Itís the same as people in poorer neighborhoods. They would be shocked to hear about people spending money to hire someone else to walk their pet. Both worlds are SO divided, they donít even see each other.

As a person who isnít involved with the gang life, but who lives in a poor neighborhood and sees things, these DVDís donít shock me. Itís actually about time that these videos came out. Itís a wakeup call to the media and politicians, to show them that a bigger problem exists in their backyards. Not that there are BAD people among the streets of Toronto, but that there are places in the city where people are left to defend for themselves. These so-called thugs live in really bad conditions, where education, money and security are not things taken for granted. We donít have dog walkers. We donít have parents that can buy us cars or send us to college. The guys, AND girls, in these videos are just expressing themselves. Some of them have busy parents working 2-3 jobs, so the TV and internet raises us. Weíre just copying the States.

Instead of branding these people as public enemy no. 1 to the city of Toronto, the politicians who REALLY want to help should see the bigger picture, and thatís of a picture of a people in need. The politicians need to stop talking and start walking. These politicians should start by coming to the Ďhood and taking a look around before they can start thinking of what needs to be done.

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