People often like to point the finger at each other quickly without taking the appropriate time to digest the facts.
An example presented itself with the four import rule used in the Indo-Canadian Soccer tournament in Surrey.
Surrey's Debbie Christiansen is the soccer mom who lodged a complaint after her son's team was challenged by the opposing team's coach at the semi-final stage of the tournament for having too many import players.
The team her son was on went to the final but gave the win to the opposing team to avoid the $500 fine.
During some of the discussions I've had about this controversial rule, people like to jump the gun and make unfair accusations ("look at them, they're racist, too").
Pointing fingers at each other is not how we're going to overcome discrimination.
Unfortunately, doing so only creates more hate and bad feelings towards each other.
In the past, I have spoken about this particular topic on many occasions and encouraged ethnic leagues to reach out of their silos and become more diverse.
I recall a conversation with a former Canadian National soccer team staff member.
He shared with me that the Indo-Canadians are some of the best soccer players in town and should be representing Abbotsford instead of their own leagues.
I remember playing on an Indo-Canadian soccer team in Abbotsford that played against other local mainstream teams.
I enjoyed being part of the team and I have no regrets.
But the issue remains that having ethnic leagues, or any form of ethnic clubs, is that it limits our reach into a multicultural society.
Frankly, living here in the Lower Mainland and thinking like we did 30 years ago in how we celebrate our diversity is not going to work in today's environment.
I understand that ethnic groups want to maintain their own sense of culture and community and that's a beautiful concept.
The South Asian ethnic community is one of the fastest growing populations in British Columbia. I personally believe that organizers need to recognize that South Asians are not the minority in many occasions on or off the field, and need to be more inclusive in how we engage with each other.
If we're going to celebrate our diversity in Canada, no one should be referred to as an "import."
I had the opportunity to speak with Rav Dosanjh on this topic. He said, "I started playing as a kid in Abbotsford in 1975 and started coaching in the Abbotsford Soccer Association as a teenager in 1983.
"Regarding the soccer league, it is open to everyone. I have kids playing in that league. All types of kids playing in the league from various backgrounds.
"There are even teams that are predominantly Caucasian with a couple of Indo-Canadians.
Originally the temples started the tournaments as far back as I can remember going back to the mid-1970s.
"There is a restriction on some of the tournaments taking place. Originally the intention was for the good of the Indo-Canadian youth. It was not meant with any malice towards the rest of the community."
Dosanjh states that there are other communities that do the very same thing that the South Asian community has done in Surrey, and he wonders why there is so much focus and sensationalism directed towards South Asians.
- Ken Herar is a freelance columnist with the Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.