My town is totally unfamiliar to me. The Pizza Hut where my busboy friends stole pies for our drunken parties is now an Indian sweets shop with a completely inappropriate roof. The A&P I shoplifted from is now an Indian grocery. The multiplex where we snuck into R-rated movies now shows only Bollywood films and serves samosas. The Italian restaurant that my friends stole cash from as waiters is now Moghul, one of the most famous Indian restaurants in the country. There is an entire generation of white children in Edison who have nowhere to learn crime.[...}
After the law passed, when I was a kid, a few engineers and doctors from Gujarat moved to Edison because of its proximity to AT&T, good schools and reasonably priced, if slightly deteriorating, post–WW II housing. For a while, we assumed all Indians were geniuses. Then, in the 1980s, the doctors and engineers brought over their merchant cousins, and we were no longer so sure about the genius thing. In the 1990s, the not-as-brilliant merchants brought their even-less-bright cousins, and we started to understand why India is so damn poor.
Unlike some of my friends in the 1980s, I liked a lot of things about the way my town changed: far better restaurants, friends dorky enough to play Dungeons & Dragons with me, restaurant owners who didn't card us because all white people look old. But sometime after I left, the town became a maze of charmless Indian strip malls and housing developments. Whenever I go back, I feel what people in Arizona talk about: a sense of loss and anomie and disbelief that anyone can eat food that spicy.[...]
Unlike previous waves of immigrants, who couldn't fly home or Skype with relatives, Edison's first Indian generation didn't quickly assimilate (and give their kids Western names). But if you look at the current Facebook photos of students at my old high school, J.P. Stevens, which would be very creepy of you, you'll see that, while the population seems at least half Indian, a lot of them look like the Italian Guidos I grew up with in the 1980s: gold chains, gelled hair, unbuttoned shirts. In fact, they are called Guindians. Their assimilation is so wonderfully American that if the Statue of Liberty could shed a tear, she would. Because of the amount of cologne they wear.
Heh, heh. Guindians.
I laughed when I read this becuase it is so damn true. What's even funnier is that it is published in Time, an allegedly progressive, left of center current affairs magazine.
Instead of Edison, New Jersey you can substitute the place for any city in a western (typically English speaking) nation where Indians have amassed. Like Brampton, Ontario and Malton just to the south of it or Surrey, British Columbia.
Traveling north through Malton up to Brampton you are met but a seemingly endless vista of charmless housing developments populated by Indians that provide business to equally charmless Indian strip malls. Traveling north you pass through industrial parks into banal urban sprawl Brampton whose Indian inhabitants haven't enriched the area with their culture but robbed it of its once rural charm with their contribution to rapid population growth and demand for cheap single family housing. I don't know about Edison, New Jersey but there is enough Indo-Canadian criminals in Canada (or fashionable pseudo-criminals who listen to banghra instead of hip-hop) that can teach a white kid a thing or two.
Joking aside, the article does bring to light the pressing problem of family reunification and how it is more burdensome then beneficial. The Indian "geniuses" entered the United States as skilled immigrants and did well for themselves. The imported family members did not which contributed to what the writer perceived as a dumbing down effect. It is an over exaggerated racial stereotype to ascribe high intelligence to south Asians, an exaggeration they are not willing to dispel. It is true that they do well in school but for every "genius" there are more than enough of average intelligence, even idiots, to go around. They are typically no smarter or dumber than the next guy.
Also important is the sense of loss the writer is expressing. The loss he is lamenting is not one brought about by progress but by the destruction of what he remembered by the mass settlement of an un-assimilating immigrant group. If this is what is meant by cultural enrichment and multiculturalism then I don't think many Canadians want any of it.