Mohamed Farah, the man who acted as a broker between the owner of the now notorious Rob Ford crack cocaine smoking video and potential buyers, describes the plight of Toronto’s Somali community:
Now that Mayor Ford has ‘fessed’ up to his actions and more videos are beginning to surface of behavior deemed unacceptable for an elected official, my community still has to carry around the negative label of being a ‘hood’ where gangs thrive.
I don’t hold out much hope for change. I expect our youth will continue to struggle to get jobs even when they have excellent qualifications. Unemployment in Dixon is about four times the national average. High school drop-out rates for Canadian born Somali teenagers will likely continue to hover just under 40 percent if action is not taken soon to reverse the trend. The lack of resources and facilities for our women, elderly and youth will continue to go unaddressed if politicians refuse to intervene and help alleviate the situation.
The jokes and ridicule that seem to dominate the coverage of the Rob Ford saga in Toronto mask some very serious social issues.