Kicking Patrick Brazeau out of the senate is racist

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Halq’emeylem
Kicking Patrick Brazeau out of the senate is racist

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.

6079_Smith_W

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 Ken Burch's picture

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.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

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

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

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Just the guy charged with assault and sexual assault.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

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

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

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

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

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

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

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

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 Maysie's picture

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

Thank you, Michelle. Yes. Exactly.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

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

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 epaulo13's picture

..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 Boom Boom's picture

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 epaulo13's picture

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

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

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 epaulo13's picture

..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

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

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 epaulo13's picture

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

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 Boom Boom's picture

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

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 kropotkin1951's picture

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

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 kropotkin1951's picture

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/

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The fact that part of the treatment of Brazeau is based on racism is highlighted by Topp's new partner.  One sexual harasser, Boessenkool gets whitewashed and the other, Brazeau gets the bums rush.

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The fact that part of the treatment of Brazeau is based on racism is highlighted by Topp's new partner.  One sexual harasser, Boessenkool gets whitewashed and the other, Brazeau gets the bums rush.

Another exercise in contrasts: Gordon Campbell arrested for drunk driving with no demand on his seeking treatment or resigning while the media made Romeo Saganash's flight intoxication into a lead story.

I have little sympathy for Brazeau, dating back to his CAP days, but the past two months have demonstrated just how deep racism runs in this country and even with his being party to the racist mud-slinging, he is still being treated differently than if he were white. From what I understand, his own former caucus fed him to the media wolves.

Bacchus

I dount anything will happen to Duffy. The latest article I read on CBC states there is no precise definition of what reside means. Might mean they change the rules to create a precise definition but for now they seem to be accepting that 60 days or more living there can be a residence.

MegB

Halq’emeylem wrote:

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

This is an unsavory comment, at best. It's one thing to point to a double standard when it comes to settler and FN people, since it's demonstrably true. Another thing entirely to bring "Arab" senators into the conversation (???). Stop with the inflammatory red herrings. Please.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Harb is a Lebanese immigrant and over 90% of Lebanese are ethnically Arab. 

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Harb is a Lebanese immigrant and over 90% of Lebanese are ethnically Arab. 

The guy's been in Canada for 40 years. When does he get to stop being called an "Arab", especially in the context of someone who allegedly has some privilege?

Nobody in the union ever introduced me as "the Jew". Perhaps it's because they knew what kind of warm response they'd get?

We can have this conversation without sticking people in categories.

 

Bacchus

The 'jew' has a point

 

(sorry Unionist I couldnt resist that)

 

But unionist does have the point.

 

We dont say the Irish senator should go next or whats up with the norwegian one

mark_alfred

It's unlikely he'll be kicked out of Senate.  I believe he was charged with a couple of hybrid offences (IE, those that the Prosecutor can pursue as either summary conviction or indictable).  So, if the Prosecutor is pursuing them as summary conviction offences, then Brazeau won't be required to be on leave (or, if he had been required to be on leave of absence, then he would be permitted to return).  Regardless, he does not need to first be found guilty of even an indictable offence to be required to be on leave from the the Senate.  Read s. 15-4 of the Rules of the Senate. 15-4(1) states how information will be discovered by the Senate when "a Senator is charged with a criminal offence for which the Senator may be prosecuted by indictment".  In essence, the information must be brought forward to the Senate, either by the Senator him/herself or by the Speaker, whereas 15-4(2) deals with what happens --> "the Senator charged is granted a leave of absence from the time the notice is tabled and is considered to be on public business during this leave of absence."  So, it is clearly spelled out what occurs in the circumstances surrounding Brazeau.  15-3(3)(c) covers what I previously wrote, stating that if the hybrid charge is pursued as a summary conviction offence, then the leave ends.

They do seem to be following the rules in the case of Brazeau (though as things stand right now, "suspension" is a misnomer, since at issue now for Brazeau is an enforced leave of absence with pay -- I think he would have to be found guilty first before being suspended -- see 15-4(5) and 15-5(1)).  As far as how others have been dealt with in the Red Chamber, there are very few parallels that I can think of. The only other enforced leave or suspension I can think of is Andrew Thompson, who according to a CBC article was some old sick guy who was suspended without pay because he had piss-poor attendance. 

Given that there's strong evidence of Duffy's principle residence being in Ontario rather than PEI (IE, his tax returns), he's the most likely to be suspended or booted, not Brazeau.  The Prosecutor will likely choose to pursue Brazeau's charges as summary conviction offences rather than indictable, so even if he is found guilty, he'll be an active Senator for many years to come.

MegB

There are some instances where pointing out ethnicity and/or religion is needed. This particular instance, where making a point about a senator's Arab origins, is not, IMO, one of them. Pointing to the privilege of the white settler population relative to the lack thereof for members of FN communities, is relevant and appropriate to the issue. Pointing to the ethnic origin of a Lebanese Canadian as a position of equal privilege is not.

That said, this thread duplicates another discussion, so I'm closing it.

http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/brazeau-booted-out-conservative-ca...

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Brazeau should be kicked out of the Senate along with Duffy and Harb...More to the point,the Senate should be ABOLISHED - period.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

In other words, The Senate should be kicked out of the Senate.