Brampton NDP candidate under fire for derogatory comments about Indigenous woman

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robbie_dee
Brampton NDP candidate under fire for derogatory comments about Indigenous woman

Quote:

The NDP has some explaining to do after derogatory comments from a Brampton candidate surfaced online yesterday. 

Jordan Boswell is the NDP candidate in Brampton Centre, and he apologized on Twitter yesterday for a comment he made at the expense of an Indigenous woman back in 2012. 

About six years ago, Boswell tweeted a photo of a story on the cover of a newspaper about sex trafficking in a group home for teenage girls. 

The front page blurb includes a photo of an Indigenous woman who was a former teenage prostitute and reads, "Former teenage prostitute says more can be done to help vulnerable girls avoid life in the sex trade."

Along with the photo of the story, Boswell wrote "Geez they're really letting everyone into that business these days #gottagetmesomeofthat #shejustmissedbeingpretty."

"I deeply regret the hurtful and wrong comment I made on social media. I understand this type of language is offensive and harmful. I apologize unequivocally," Boswell wrote on Twitter last night.

Many Canadians are absolutely outraged by the comment, and they're saying his short, three-sentence apology is far from enough.

BlogTO story

According to his campaign website: "Jordan first became involved in politics as a volunteer for Jagmeet Singh during his time as a Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario... After graduating from the University of Toronto and earning a Masters Degree in Political Management from Carleton University, Jordan joined Jagmeet’s historic leadership campaign and later worked as part of the Leader’s team in Ottawa."

Jagmeet was scheduled to campaign with Boswell today.

Misfit Misfit's picture

What a creep!!!

brookmere

https://globalnews.ca/news/6045580/ndp-brampton-centre-jordan-boswell-tweet/

Singh said he had not spoken with Boswell about the tweet, but said the candidate has accepted that they did something wrong and displayed evidence that he has changed and is moving forward “in a new way.”

Singh said for those reasons, Boswell is allowed to remain a member of the NDP.

“If those things are satisfied, I’m happy to continue to have people on my team,” he said.

 

NDPP

WRONG decision Jagmeet.

robbie_dee

brookmere wrote:
Singh said he had not spoken with Boswell about the tweet, but said the candidate has accepted that they did something wrong and displayed evidence that he has changed and is moving forward “in a new way.”

Singh said for those reasons, Boswell is allowed to remain a member of the NDP.

“If those things are satisfied, I’m happy to continue to have people on my team,” he said.

Well, at least Jagmeet is being consistent?

Misfit Misfit's picture

I think it is the wrong decision. You need to set a clear example here.

NDPP

If it was a criticism of Israel or another party's candidate Singh would be calling for his head and everybody knows it. What contemptible rank hypocrisy to give the NDP a free pass here.

 

"Reconciliation cannot be achieved if its lifespan is dictated by what carries political currency in each election..."

'Indigenous Issues Slowly Disappear From Election 2019'

https://twitter.com/Pam_Palmater/status/1184584963821359106

robbie_dee

For further context here is the back story about the woman Boswell casually mocked for being unattractive to him. Article below is from CBC but at least some of the salient details would presumably have been in the  Toronto Metro article Boswell was referring to:

Quote:

At the age of five weeks, a baby born in Thunder Bay to an Anishinaabe woman from Northern Ontario was adopted by a non-Indigenous family. It was 1976.

Thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed into non-Indigenous homes from the 1950s to the 1980s, known as the Sixties Scoop.

Bridget Perrier says she had a good childhood until she was molested by a family friend at age eight. She began acting out and was relinquished by her adoptive parents to the Children's aid society when she was 11. She was placed in a group home, from which she would be lured into a path of sexual exploitation and violence for a decade. 

***

One evening when she was 12, some of the older girls in the group home told Perrier they were going to go make some money. 

"I asked how, and they told me to 'just laugh.'"

The girls sat around an old man and "manually stimulated" him.

"The more you laughed, the more $100 bills were left under the Kleenex box," she said.

"For a little girl, that's a lot of money."

She ended up running away from the group home with the older girls and says that no one really looked for her. Sometimes the police would bring her back but she says that she would just run away again as soon as the car was out of the driveway. 

This was her introduction to the sexual exploitation and violence that would encase her life for the next decade.

At 12, she was recruited by a woman who ran a brothel in Thunder Bay. She said the woman spotted that Perrier was a young Indigenous girl who was caught in the child welfare system and had already been abused. She said she bought Perrier nice things and played on her insecurities.

"She never forced me to stay," says Perrier.

Perrier said the madame used manipulation more than force so she would stay, saying that she was the only one who understood her and if she went back to her parents they would just send her away again. 
***

While there were countless horrific experiences, she says that the worst time was when she was 14 in Thunder Bay and was held captive for 43 hours and was raped and tortured repeatedly.

At the time, Perrier was still at the madam's agency but she wasn't getting enough calls so she was going out to make some money.

"He was going to kill me," she said.

"He had these big snip things for my bones, he told me."

She was able to escape and required medical attention and internal stitches. The man was caught and served two years in a federal penitentiary, which Perrier says seems like nothing for what he did to her. 

Her second exploiter was a pimp she met at the Toronto airport. 

In a similar fashion to the madam, the pimp groomed Perrier, sometimes acting like a boyfriend. When they met, she told him she was going to Halifax, which is where he said he was from. They met up again there and when he asked Perrier to come to Toronto, she did. 

The pimp would have Perrier stand on street corners and move her around from hotel to hotel. She stayed under a threat of violence. She says he would beat her and hit her with a scalding metal coat hanger if she wasn't obedient. 

She eventually called her adoptive mom to come get her and escaped the pimp, but later became involved with an organized crime syndicate after meeting a member in Oshawa.

She had a son when she was 16 who developed acute lymphoblastic leukemia at nine months. He died when he was five. 

"I was so encased in prostitution that I didn't even regard that servicing men would put him in jeopardy for a bevy of childhood illnesses," said Perrier. 

After his death, "I knew I was done," she said.

"My son had died and I just couldn't give it anymore."

In 1999, Perrier was pregnant again. Her daughter was delivered in Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and Bridget then entered transitional housing at Nekenaan Second Stage Housing.

She worked to stay out of the sex-trade, getting her high school diploma then going to George Brown College to study social work. She co-founded the anti-sex trafficking lobbying group Sex Trade 101.

Human trafficking survivor says Indigenous women and girls especially at risk: Now an anti-sex trafficking lobbyist, Bridget Perrier shares her story (CBC)

Obviously Boswell didn’t do any of these things to Perrier. To give him the benefit of the doubt, he may well not have even read the article that closely. He may have just saw her picture, understood from the headline that she had been a prostitute, and decided to seize the opportunity to make a joke about her appearance. Publicly, online. That’s still remarkable poor judgement and lack of empathy. Maybe Boswell has changed since then but I’d need to hear a heck of a lot more from him than a three sentence apology and a frankly dismissive statement from Jagmeet. And again (in case my sarcastic post above is at risk of being misunderstood) the double standard Jagmeet applies for his buddy here compared to others is quite breathtaking.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Those racist and misogynist comments are not worthy of a second chance. Wrong call on Singh's part. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

He should be encouraged to resign and I mean break his fucking arm if he doesn't agree immediately to sign the papers. It seems that all parties are allowed to run candidates that have erred and apologized. Since this is about indigenous issues as well I have to point out that the Greens are still running an Acadian "Metis aboriginal chief". I have to wonder what exactly is the standard in Canadian politics for inappropriate behaviour.

Unionist

Apparently Jagmeet needs Boswell. Apparently he didn't need Weir. Are there any NDPers who give a shit about this unprincipled behaviour (in both cases) and will call their leader to account? Or do they just all play follow the leader? Asking for a friend.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Yeah, this asshole needs to go.  I'd also suggest he find some way of being part of restorative justice for this woman and the hell she has lived.  After what he said, he OWES her, big time.

Misfit Misfit's picture

It goes beyond Indigenous issues. It is about violence against women and children. 
 

I know that Jagmeet Singh has been abused himself as a child. But you can't talk to children about understanding the seriousness of childhood abuse and then let this go.

KarlL

Quite aside from the Boswell issue, that story is just heartbreaking.

bekayne

Unionist wrote:

Apparently Jagmeet needs Boswell. Apparently he didn't need Weir. Are there any NDPers who give a shit about this unprincipled behaviour (in both cases) and will call their leader to account? Or do they just all play follow the leader? Asking for a friend.

This may be why.

https://carleton.ca/politicalmanagement/people/2587/

Jordan is currently the Executive Assistant to the Leader of the New Democratic Party. After completing his Masters of Political Management degree at Carleton University, Jordan worked as the Peel Region Campaign Coordinator for Jagmeet Singh’s historic NDP leadership campaign. 

Misfit Misfit's picture

I met a Dene woman from northern Saskatchewan who had been scooped as a child by Family Seevices. She said that the trauma of that was extreme. The abuse she suffered by white people was greater than the abuse by her parents but that was somehow ok because they were white and therefore were seen as a positive influence on her life. 
 

She told me that her parents drank heavily so they lost their children. The adults in the foster homes she went to abused alcohol. It wasn't seen by family services as being a serious issue if white people did it. This was the racism they faced and still do face today.

We have a lot to live down. It has to start by taking child abuse and Indigenous injustice issues seriously. The NDP needs to set a strong example and they are not.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The Dippers only took 15% in Brampton Centre last time.  This could not exactly have been a target seat.

Aristotleded24

Unionist wrote:
Apparently Jagmeet needs Boswell. Apparently he didn't need Weir. Are there any NDPers who give a shit about this unprincipled behaviour (in both cases) and will call their leader to account? Or do they just all play follow the leader? Asking for a friend.

I was going to leave this commentary until next Tuesday, but in this particular instance, you're absolutely correct.

Here are a few things I don't understand:

Why did whoever was responsible for vetting this guy not catch this before the NDP's opponents did?

Do people not think about the reprecussions of posting things online anymore? Privacy schmivacy, if you post something online that is public for all the world to see, it's your fault and yours alone for any reprecussions you face.

Likewise, if this guy was running for public office, why would he not have understood in advance that the tweet would be a problem in this day and age, approached the NDP vetting committee, and said, "this is what I tweeted, here is why I am no longer that same person."

It may be too late, but I agree this guy needs to be dumped. In the unlikely event that he wins the election, he should not be allowed in Caucus.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If nothing else, it sets a really weird precedent if candidates can get turfed for making principled statements against what the Israeli government does to Palestinians, but comments like this, which are not only objectively misogynist and deeply insensitive but also deeply insulting to one of the NDP's core constituencies are taken as no big deal.

The candidate needs to do what's right and stand down.  NOW.

Aristotleded24

Now that I think about it, I kind of wish Christine Moore was running again. What kind of e-mail would she write to this guy?

NDPP

A Brampton NDP Candidate is Facing Backlash After Shaming a Sex-Trafficking Survivor

https://www.narcity.com/news/ca/on/toronto/ndp-candidate-jordan-boswell-...

"...Not good enough. I vote NDP, and you should resign from the campaign. Comments are made based on values and opinions. Yours have no place in government' wrote one user. 'Unfortunately no apology will make it right."

Apparently it will for Jagmeet Singh...

jagmeet@ndp.ca

bekayne

NDPP wrote:

A Brampton NDP Candidate is Facing Backlash After Shaming a Sex-Trafficking Survivor

https://www.narcity.com/news/ca/on/toronto/ndp-candidate-jordan-boswell-...

"...Not good enough. I vote NDP, and you should resign from the campaign. Comments are made based on values and opinions. Yours have no place in government' wrote one user. 'Unfortunately no apology will make it right."

Apparently it will for Jagmeet Singh...

jagmeet@ndp.ca

Being a friend of the leader has its privileges.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Why does that idiot not see the damage he could potentially do to the party by staying in the race?

And the stupid thing is...the NDP only took 15% in that riding last time, so it's not as if the guy could have seriously thought he was going to win.

robbie_dee

This is a very bad look for Jagmeet both because of how obviously offensive the comment was and because now he looks like a huge hypocrite for not turfing the candidate. It's a terrible way to end an otherwise pitch perfect campaign. I guess we will see soon if this issue ends up doing any real damage outside of the riding in question.

Sean in Ottawa

Looks like the NDP is not suffering much in other places in the polls. This is devastating for the credibiity of the party and ability to speak when others do something like this. This is a very bad call.

If I were in this riding I would vote for someone else and consider it a favour to the NDP at the same time. Is Singh seriously saying he will sit in caucus with this person if he wins? Obviously yes. Singh should have gotten rid of him. Second best for the NDP is that he lose. Worst for the NDP would be a win in that riding. What the hell was Singh thinking?

What is the point of saying you stand for anything?

I think this is a serious mistake in judgment and I hope NDP supporters in that riding see it for what it is and elect someone else.

I would support NDP candidates elsewhere - but they do not deserve to see this person elected and soemone has to tell Singh that the price for a hope in that riding or anywhere cannot ever be your soul.

And yes, Singh owes an explanation to Weir along with everyone else.

BTW Being loyal to anything the NDP stands for means calling for turfing this guy.

robbie_dee

Well, Boswell finished a poor third with just under 20 percent of the vote. I doubt that this scandal was a major reason why the NDP has disappointed across the country tonight but it certainly didn't help.

NDPP

I doubt it too. There was minimal msm reporting of it  and none of the talking TV heads even mentioned it. Good thing for the leader he lost because it would have been a hell of an albatross around Singh's neck if he had won.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And at the end of that, the guy ended up with just under 20%.  I do hope Jagmeet doesn't give this guy any MORE chances.

NDPP

Let's wait and see if he doesn't score some  nice little gig and follows the leader to  Ottawa...

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

NDPP wrote:

Let's wait and see if he doesn't score some  nice little gig and follows the leader to  Ottawa...

I'm so utterly sickened by the liklihood that that's right.

bekayne

NDPP wrote:

Let's wait and see if he doesn't score some  nice little gig and follows the leader to  Ottawa...

That's where he was before.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

What happens with this person will say alot about the Ottawa headquarters.

Why are people pointing out that he did nearly 5% better than the party did nationally? It wasn't that impressive even if it was better than most ridings.

NDPP

Please monitor this to see if Singh returns him to NDP Ottawa headquarters. Here is some of a further article on Jordan Boswell and further response from anti sex-trafficking actvist Bridget Perrier, including her reaction to NDP leader Jagmeet Singh's inaction.

Woman Targeted By Ontario NDP Candidate's 2012 Tweet Says He Shouldn't Be Running

https://globalnews.ca/news/6057702/ontario-ndp-candidate-tweet/

"Toronto activist Bridget Perrier is speaking out after learning she was the target of an offensive Twitter post made by a man now seeking election in Brampton Ont. 'I don't even know how to even articulate how disgusting it is,' she said.

Perrier is an advocate for victims of sex trafficking, an issue that disproportionately affects Indigenous women like her. She co-founded the education group Sextrade 101, and is a survivor herself. She was exploited starting at age 12 after leaving a group home. 'To ridicule someone for opening up such a big wound...to help other women, is disgraceful,' Perrier said in an interview Sunday. 'You know I've been upset about it all week. Perrier said she feels hate all the time for her work, which has included speaking at the UN and House of Commons committees.

But she didn't know about Boswell's post until it gained attention on Twitter this week and she got a 5 a.m phone call from a colleague. 'When I saw that it was someone from the NDP, my heart sank,' she said of the party, which is known for its socially progressive stance. According to his LinkedIn page, Boswell worked on Jagmeet Singh's campaign for the NDP leadership and later served as his executive assistant.

Singh was campaigning in the Greater Toronto area Thursday and was asked about Boswell at a press conference. He said Boswell was allowed to stay on as an NDP candidate because he accepted that he did something wrong and showed that he has changed. Perrier called Singh's apology, 'typical mumbo-jumbo politicians give out.'

'He showed Canada his true feelings about women by not dealing with that,' she said. 'A real leader would have said, 'I'm sorry, Jordan, I know you've done something wrong, but this is not tolerated."

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

What happens with this person will say alot about the Ottawa headquarters.

Why are people pointing out that he did nearly 5% better than the party did nationally? It wasn't that impressive even if it was better than most ridings.

Agreed. The decision to keep the candidate was shameful and Singh needs to get away from him.