babble-intro-img
babble is rabble.ca's discussion board but it's much more than that: it's an online community for folks who just won't shut up. It's a place to tell each other — and the world — what's up with our work and campaigns.

Kicking Patrick Brazeau out of the senate is racist

Halq’emeylem
Offline
Joined: Jul 15 2011

Three senators are in trouble; two are settlers (Duffy a white male, and Mac Harb, an Arab male), but only the FN gets fired. Guess what, Patrick Brazeau is INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty, just like the settler senators. Makes me sick.


Comments

6079_Smith_W
Offline
Joined: Jun 10 2010

Know what?  I agree with you. And it is not just because I think they should wear this for as long as possible.

 


Ken Burch
Online
Joined: Feb 26 2005

Was Brazeau actually expelled from the Senate?  I thought he was just kicked out of the Conservative caucus.

Do agree with you on "innocent until proven guilty", and on consistent treatment of the Senatorial accused.


Ken Burch
Online
Joined: Feb 26 2005

OK, so he's suspended.


It would be unfair to expel the guy before he was actually convicted, but suspension-with-pay seems appropriate at this point.

 

 


Halq’emeylem
Offline
Joined: Jul 15 2011

Just the FN senator, or the White and Arab senators as well?


Boom Boom
Offline
Joined: Dec 29 2004

Just the guy charged with assault and sexual assault.


Ken Burch
Online
Joined: Feb 26 2005

It would be unfair to expel any of them until conviction.  I'm not arguing with you, ok?


Ken Burch
Online
Joined: Feb 26 2005

One small point...the most recent issues re: Senator Brazeau are accusations of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Neither of those charges, to my knowledge, have been made at this point against Harb or Duffy.  I believe that it was those accusations, not the common issue of housing expense abuse, that prompted Brazeau's suspension.  If the same accusation had been made against Harb or Duffy, it's pretty likely that those two senators would also have been suspended.  I seriously doubt, at this stage in history, that Harb or Duffy would have been given a pass on those particular accusations just for being "settlers".


Michelle
Offline
Joined: May 10 2001

I'm not completely positive about that, Ken, but I think you and Boom Boom are right that the reason is because of the domestic and sexual assault charges and not the spending charges - there was no move to remove Brazeau until the felony charges were leveled against him.

That said, I agree to a certain point with Halq'emeylem's sentiment as well.  First of all, WOULD Duffy or some other white male with a lot more privilege than Brazeau be suspended or tossed out of the Senate due to a domestic or sexual assault charge?  I don't know.  Living in Toronto, we have a mayor who has had the police at his house at least once or twice because of a domestic dispute.  Now, they didn't result in sexual assault charges, but he certainly hasn't faced any political fallout for it.  Heck, he's managed to turn himself into a martyr/folk hero for the serious transgressions that have both been proven (conflict of interest) and alleged (breaking campaign spending rules) against him.

Basically, what's happened here is, the right-wing has used Brazeau to further their agenda, as a way to say, look, see?  We're not racist against Aboriginal peoples - this guy says exactly what we do about Aboriginal people.  They put Brazeau in place because Brazeau is willing to stand for the interests of the settlers, at the expense of his own people and other Aboriginal peoples.  Brazeau becomes a right-wing settler darling because he's willing to be "out there" and say all the oppressive and colonialist things about his own people in language that the white Harperites WISH they could get away with saying without blowback. 

But suddenly, when the guy they brought in BECAUSE of his combative defence of the white colonialist agenda gets some bad press because of some serious charges brought against him, they dump his ass faster than you can say "comprador".

White male politicians across Canada get away with tons of nasty shit.  Domestic abuse, drunk driving, corruption - you name it, they get away with it, and rarely do you see people resign over it anymore.  But an Aboriginal guy who is charged with something?  Buh-bye.

The only other example I can think of where the Cons actually tossed people who were charged with something was Rahim Jaffer and Helena Guergis.  And, well, in that case it was a woman and a racialized man.  This time it's an Aboriginal man. 

Doesn't mean I don't cheer when these folks go down.  Brazeau seems like a nasty piece of work, and I don't love Jaffer and Guergis either.  But I think amidst the cheering, there should also be recognition in our discourse that they're probably getting some "special treatment", and that we should also be demanding the same consequences for white male cons who go off the rails - and making it clear that WE SEE the difference in treatment.  Not as an argument to save Brazeau, but as an argument to toss the more privileged riff-raff too.


6079_Smith_W
Offline
Joined: Jun 10 2010

I think we have it all wrong..... it turns out that the PM is the real victim here:

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/harper-let-down-by-senator-patrick-brazeau-...

(edit)

And not to imply too much sympathy, but on the 6 pm news it was pointed out that Brazeau did the perp walk all by himself. He had no backup from his office, nor from anyone else. Not what you'd expect for a federal politician.

 

 


lagatta
Offline
Joined: Apr 17 2002

Michelle, you are right - Indigenous or racialised people playing the white man's game against their own people get tossed with alacrity. The other side to this is that the power structure, including the police, simply doesn't SEE what is going on in the case of privileged, powerful white males. Just look at the Russell Williams case.

Brazeau is accused of heinous crimes against a human being. Yes, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but you can't have someone accused of such very serious crimes against a person in the work environment as before. Often workers (who have union rights or other coverage) are suspended - and in this case it is with pay - until the verdict.


Michelle
Offline
Joined: May 10 2001

He's suspended with pay?  How is that any different than what he was doing before?  :D  He's suspended with pay now; before, he basically had constant vacation with pay.  Heh.  Must be nice to have a high-salaried job where you never have to show up for work!  I'd be travelling the world - heck, I wouldn't even HAVE a residence, in Ottawa or elsewhere. :)


Sineed
Offline
Joined: Dec 4 2005

This:

Quote:

Brazeau has been critical of Spence and the Idle No More movement, saying some aboriginals simply expect to live on the taxpayers’ tab.

“To sit back, wait for the government to give me handouts,” he told Tuesday’s gathering. “Maybe be on welfare, maybe drink, maybe take up drugs.”

He later added: "The best way to get our land back, is to buy it back. Just like every other Canadian."

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/sen-brazeau-mocks-chief-spence-idle-no-more...

And this:

Quote:

OTTAWA — Two members of Stephen Harper’s Conservative caucus — an elected MP and a senator — publicly disparaged the Idle No More movement and Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence at a fundraising dinner for a provincial candidate Tuesday.

Sen. Patrick Brazeau referred to Spence’s “so-called hunger strike” in addressing about 80 people at a Legion hall in the Ottawa suburb of Orleans, and mocked her physical shape. “I was sick two weeks ago,” Brazeau said. “I had the flu and I lost five pounds.

“I look at Miss Spence, when she started her hunger strike, and now?” Brazeau added as a voice in the hall called out, “She’s fatter,” which drew laughter from much of the audience.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/01/30/conservative_mp_and_senato...

 



Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/sen-brazeau-mocks-chief-spence-idle-no-more-movement-1.1138545#ixzz2KL2FflvC


Maysie
Offline
Joined: Apr 21 2005

Sineed, his being a jackass isn't in question.

Thank you, Michelle. Yes. Exactly.


Ken Burch
Online
Joined: Feb 26 2005

Then there are more issues to look at in this than I thought.   Perhaps this is about a right-wing party disposing of a token-of-color when said token has outlived his usefulness.


NDPP
Offline
Joined: Dec 27 2008

Patrick Brazeau Not Credible, Says Manitoba Grand Chief

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2013/02/07/mb-patrick-braze...

"Grand Chief Derek Nepinak says his organization does not consider Brazeau a leader or role model in the aboriginal community. 'I can say, I think with a lot of confidence that nobody would recognize him as a leader in the aboriginal community, 'Nepinak said Thursday.

'I'm satisfied that he doesn't have any credibility in our community. We know that he has a questionable history when it comes to some of his past activities amongst our people,' Nepinak said. 'In terms of any sympathy, you're not going to find it from us."


epaulo13
Online
Joined: Dec 13 2009

..it is my belief that it was a racist act that placed brazeau into the senate in the first place. as a stick to beat on his own people. a way to diminish aboriginal claims to the land and sovereignty. that act didn't end once he took the position and will continue throughout his connection to the senate.

..the laws he is being accursed of breaking is settler law, the media is settler media, the government is settler and racist by it's very nature in the relationship with the first peoples. this can't help but be a racist issue even if we, for whatever reason, don't see it.


Boom Boom
Offline
Joined: Dec 29 2004

epaulo13 wrote:

..the laws he is being accursed of breaking is settler law,

Assault, and sexual assault. Aren't those both pretty universal in terms of being crimes?


epaulo13
Online
Joined: Dec 13 2009

..he is not facing other jurisdictions, he's facing canadian settler accusations and will be facing canadian settler courts.


Boom Boom
Offline
Joined: Dec 29 2004

Assault and sexual assault would be the same in whatever jurisdiction you may want to try him in - that's my point.  Calling these charges "settler accusations" doesn't change the fact that they are serious.


epaulo13
Online
Joined: Dec 13 2009

..and it doesn't change the fact that canadian racism is systemic and structural. i'm not debating the charges against him i'm saying from the begining of the process, his appointment to the senate, is and continues to be racist.


voice of the damned
Offline
Joined: Sep 23 2004

epaulo:

For the record, you didn't originally refer only to the justice-system as being settler, you referred to the specific laws as being such.

..the laws he is being accursed of breaking is settler law

For what you were apparently trying to say, I think you should have written something like "The courts that will be trying him are settler courts".  

 

 

 


Michelle
Offline
Joined: May 10 2001

epaulo13 wrote:

..it is my belief that it was a racist act that placed brazeau into the senate in the first place. as a stick to beat on his own people. a way to diminish aboriginal claims to the land and sovereignty. that act didn't end once he took the position and will continue throughout his connection to the senate.

..the laws he is being accursed of breaking is settler law, the media is settler media, the government is settler and racist by it's very nature in the relationship with the first peoples. this can't help but be a racist issue even if we, for whatever reason, don't see it.

Thank you for this post - you said it so much better than I did, and in about a quarter of the words! :)


epaulo13
Online
Joined: Dec 13 2009

voice of the damned wrote:

epaulo:

For the record, you didn't originally refer only to the justice-system as being settler, you referred to the specific laws as being such.

..the laws he is being accursed of breaking is settler law

For what you were apparently trying to say, I think you should have written something like "The courts that will be trying him are settler courts".

vod

..i think the problem lies in pulling the quote out and having it stand alone

..txs michelle!


Sineed
Offline
Joined: Dec 4 2005

Maysie wrote:

Sineed, his being a jackass isn't in question.

My point is the difficulty of determining what is unfairly pejorative coverage given what Brazeau actually says and does.

I recall another person whose level of emotional maturity suggested she was unsuited to a position of prominence and power and was also once endorsed by Stephen Harper: Helena Guergis. At the time of that scandal, some feminists were musing whether Harper was deliberately trying to discredit women in politics. Could FN activists feel the same about Brazeau?


Boom Boom
Offline
Joined: Dec 29 2004

Brazeau has done a good job of discrediting himself over the years. I think a lot of his right wing views started with his association with Tom Flanagan, he's been highly critical of First Nations goals, objectives, management, and especially critical of Idle No More. Brazeau has been discussed in babble threads going back at least to 2008.


6079_Smith_W
Offline
Joined: Jun 10 2010

Boom Boom wrote:

Brazeau has done a good job of discrediting himself over the years.

Sure. All the more reason to have a clear standard, or at least a bit of process when it comes to a a party's ultimate punitive measure - throwing someone out of caucus. After all, these charges are unproven.

I'm sure there are a number of things that went into Harper's decision, but I'd say it is a fair bet that if Brazeau were in caucus, or part of the inner circle, he wouldn't have been tossed quite so quickly or absolutely. After all, Brazeau didn't DO anything to the party or to Harper. On the contrary, It's a fair guess that he was chosen in part because of his attitude, and I don't think Harper felt let down when he said the things he did about Chief Spence.

 


kropotkin1951
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2002

I agree with these FN's leaders. As well I heard people from the FN he claims to be from that said he did not grow up in their community and has no ties other than maternal blood ties that allowed him to regain his status as an adult. He then sold his heritage to the highest bidder but he is such a greedy settler he wanted more. I call him a settler because that is his upbringing and his world view. 

Quote:

An organization representing Ontario First Nations chiefs has written all MPs and Senators asking them to no longer consider Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau as a “legitimate representative” of First Nations.

The Feb. 8 Chiefs of Ontario letter signed by nine chiefs representing tribal councils and band councils stated that identifying Brazeau as a representative of “the Indigenous Peoples in Ontario” violated the human rights of First Nations in Ontario.

“Senator Brazeau was never elected to lead or to represent a First Nation in Canada. He has no authority to speak to our issues. Such authority can only come from our people,” the letter stated.”We are therefore deeply concerned with the misperception that Senator Brazeau has any authority, or right, to speak to our issues.”

The letter also stated that while the Conservatives had appointed Brazeau to the Senate, the government had no ability to grant him the authority to speak for First Nations people.

“We have never given up our right to govern ourselves nor to determine our own citizenship … and while it is the current Conservative government’s prerogative to appoint anyone they wish…we simply ask that these choices do not effectively violate our rights,” the letter stated.

Under international law and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, recently endorsed by Canada, Indigenous peoples have a right to maintain their own “distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions…and our right to choose our own representatives,” the letter stated.

http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2011/02/09/brazeau-not-legitimate-represenativ...


Ghislaine
Offline
Joined: Feb 15 2008

kropotkin, it is not up to you as a non-FN to call an FN person a settler. Lots of FN people did not grow up on reserve and they are still FN and definitely not settlers! 


kropotkin1951
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2002

I was repeating what the people from the FN he claims to be from have to say about him. It is for them to say if he is a member of their FN or not and they reject him. He didn't grow up in the culture and has made a career out of spewing the worst racist shit imaginable against FN's people.

Many of us also have some aboriginal ancestors but I do not self identify as a Metis because I was not raised in an aboriginal culture.  It is not just some ancestry that make one an aboriginal person.  I will go with what the Chief of that FN has to say.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/As+It+Happens/ID/2333258816/


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or register to post comments