13 August 2005

The Underclass and Its Bosses, Ukraine

I live on the Canadian Prairies. One branch of my family has been here over 120 years. Another, going on more than a century. My heritage is Romanian and Ukrainian.

In Western Canada, it's like the opposite as it would be in the United States: whereas Whitey America's stereotype is that blacks are dangerous and Asians generally carry around calculators, here in Canada I doubt I've ever been in any sort of conflict with anyone black (except for the guy that was pissing in the middle of the sidewalk a few weeks ago outside of Red Star, right on Jasper Avenue), but Whitey Canada's general fear is of any group of Asians larger than, say, two individuals.

And for some reason, Ukrainians are the quintessential brunt of every racial joke out here. Yet Ukrainian organised crime is some of the most feared in the world. Nothing to be proud of, really, but goddammit sometimes a cracker wants to be ph34red!

Anyhow, these photos are an interesting look at this life in tha muthaland. Anyone Ukrainian (read: anyone in the Prairies… or Ukraine) will have heard some sort of stories.

ps — Please don't hurt me.

(NOTE: Asians are generally feared due to the few that do make up the gangs, generally Vietnamese, and they organise most of the heroin importation into North America via Vancouver. And they drive fast cars that look like Transformers. There is also the Lebanese contingent, responsible for bashing Melanie's face in with a rock and stopped only because someone showed up with an ax to save her. But Lebs are more like packs of drunk rhinos, they just charge anything when they're riled up — be it a group of men, young girls, random vehicles, police, miscellaneous Boston Pizza locations, and if confused enough, they may even run into walls. Yes, it sounds as though I may be racist. If you know anything about me, you know I'm not. I dislike an even amount of things about any group. But I will admit to be culturally biased. Though, my friends and roommates are Korean and Chinese, and I work for Lebanese families. So suck my ass.)

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