Man who told NDP Leader Singh to remove turban was racist, Legault says

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NorthReport
Man who told NDP Leader Singh to remove turban was racist, Legault says

Man who told NDP Leader Singh to remove turban was racist, Legault says

"It's not a systemic racism but some people are racist and we have to fight against that," the Quebec premier says.​

QUEBEC — Premier François Legault has denounced as racist an incident in which a man told NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to cut off his turban to look Canadian.

“It’s unacceptable,” Legault told reporters arriving for question period. “With Bill 21, it’s clear that people can wear religious symbols in the street, like Mr. Singh.

“It’s unacceptable that somebody said something like that.

“There are some people who are racist in Quebec. It’s not a systemic racism but some people are racist and we have to fight against that.”

Asked if it is clear in his mind the man who approached Singh was racist, Legault said, “Yes.”

And Legault said Bill 21, the government’s secularism law, which bans some public workers in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols, will actually fight racism because it makes it clear people can wear symbols in public.

“In putting parameters, it is now clear,” Legault said. “And I can tell everybody people can wear a religious sign on the street. Come on. That’s clear.

“What we’re saying is people in positions of authority, civil servants in positions of authority, must not wear religious signs, but in all the other cases they can wear them.

“Now it’s clear. In putting parameters, we make sure that racist people cannot have support in our society.”

The incident took place Wednesday. While Singh was campaigning in the Atwater Market, a man approached him and told him to remove his turban.

The man told Singh he would “look Canadian” if he “cut off” the religious head garb.

 

https://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/man-who-told-ndp-leader-singh-to-remove-turban-was-racist-legault-says

NorthReport

This behaviour is very embarassing and severely tasrnishing Canada's image!!!

Jagmeet Singh incident a 'sign of the times' for Sikhs in Quebec

"To some people, no matter how much you integrate, no matter how hard you try, you'll never be Canadian"

 

https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/jagmeet-singh-incident-a-sign-of-the-times-for-sikhs-in-quebec

NorthReport

Jagmeet Singh and the costs of being Canadian

 

Jagmeet Singh deserves a Luther. A fictional character played by the American comedian Keegan-Michael Key, Luther was Barack Obama’s “anger translator,” an alter-ego that reacted to racism in a way the first black president of the United States could not. In the real world, Mr. Obama endured years of provocation and lies about his personal life with his trademark calm. On the sketch show Key & Peele, Luther yelled “I am not a Muslim!” through a bullhorn, before staring wild-eyed into the camera, ready for a fight.

The NDP Leader needed a Luther most recently this week, at Montreal’s Atwater Market. There, as seen in a video released by CBC, he was approached by an older white man, who shook his hand and leaned in, as if to tell him a secret.

“You should cut your turban off,” he said. “You’ll look like a Canadian.” His soft voice belied the violence of the words he was aiming directly at an intimate vulnerability: Mr. Singh’s faith, the core beliefs that guide him as he makes his way through the world.

The federal election campaign of 2019 should be remembered as the one where Canadian prejudice stepped into the spotlight – going well beyond bozo eruptions and defaced signs to offer up multiple images of Justin Trudeau in brown- and blackface and a 2005 clip of Andrew Scheer comparing same-sex marriage to a dog’s tail.

This year’s election campaign should also be remembered as the one where Mr. Singh was made to keep demonstrating the way marginalized people in this country are told to act in the face of that prejudice. That is, to be endlessly kind and forgiving, to consider constant, casual denials of our humanity as the price of being, as the man said to Mr. Singh, “Canadian.”

Mr. Singh’s grace in the face of ugliness has been noted ever since he entered the public eye – during the 2017 NDP leadership race, he shut down an Islamophobic heckler by leading a chant of “love and courage." It’s a purposeful approach. In September, after Mr. Trudeau’s embarrassment forced Mr. Singh to once again discuss his ethnicity instead of his policies, he remarked that he used to react like Luther, confronting racism “with my fists.”

He has credited his Sikhism for helping him develop a different reaction. His turban symbolizes just where he finds the generosity that allowed him to refer to the ever-so-gentle attacker in the CBC video as “sir.”

“I think Canadians look like all sorts of people,” he said, walking away. “That’s the beauty of Canada.”

His reaction was right for him, since dismantling prejudice isn’t the job of those that experience it. My own inner Luther, though, immediately clenched her teeth. “Who do you think you’re fooling? Because it’s not me,” would have been her response, as her eyes narrowed to slits. “Even without a turban, or a hijab, or dreadlocks, you wouldn’t see me as Canadian.”

Consider that Mr. Singh’s hair underneath his turban is very long, as seen in a video he made weeks ago, for all the good that it did. And remember that cutting off long hair, especially on boys, is one of the oldest attempts to make people “Canadian,” an act of forced assimilation imposed on thousands of Indigenous children in residential schools.

This week, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation unfurled a banner with the names of 2,800 Indigenous little ones who died at those schools after being taken from their families. I don’t doubt that many of them had their hair cut off. And I don’t believe that if Mr. Singh did remove his turban, his historic campaign for Canada’s highest political office would be unencumbered by prejudice.

Mere hours after the Atwater incident, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet faced Mr. Singh in a debate, and saw fit to repeatedly mention that the province’s voters need a leader who "resemble[s] you.” Interpret that how you will, keeping in mind that Quebec’s Bill 21 prohibits some of those in government jobs from wearing religious symbols.

Mr. Singh has repeatedly said that while Bill 21 – which is being challenged in court by three teachers – makes him “sad,” he wouldn’t try to dismantle it as prime minister.

I think Luther would have a different answer. In the end, though, both anger and decency in the face of prejudice come at an emotional cost, the annual, weekly, daily price of being Canadian.

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-jagmeet-singh-and-the-costs-of-being-canadian/

NorthReport

How many of our white federal leaders have already apologised to Jagmeet for being subjected to such racist behaviour as he was yesterday? Just askin'

NorthReport

Singh says turban comment shows what many Canadians face ‘all the time’

https://globalnews.ca/news/5987290/jagmeet-singh-turban-response/

voice of the damned

NorthReport wrote:

How many of our white federal leaders have already apologised to Jagmeet for being subjected to such racist behaviour as he was yesterday? Just askin'

Why do you keep insisting that other parties' leaders have to apologize for statements that have no connection to them? 

If someone with no visible party-affiliation yells misogynistic slurs at Elizabeth May, do all the other party leaders have to call her up and apologize? Or suppose she has a particularly bad week and gets that kind of thing yelled her way six or seven times? She'll be fielding a few dozen contrite phone calls? 

And anyway, the old man in the video said he hopes that Singh wins, so it looks like he might be NDP. Maybe Singh needs to apologize to himself? 

JKR

NorthReport wrote:

How many of our white federal leaders have already apologised to Jagmeet for being subjected to such racist behaviour as he was yesterday? Just askin'

How many white NDP candidates in this election have already apologised to Jagmeet for Jagmeet being subjected to such racist behaviour as he was yesterday? Just askin'

NorthReport

Do you think we have a racist problem in Canada?

JKR

NorthReport wrote:

Do you think we have a racist problem in Canada?

We have an enormous problem with racism, systemic and otherwise, in Canada.

NorthReport

And we are inviting their leader to our national political debates - are we out of friggin' minds!!!

2 PPC candidates tweet cartoon of Jagmeet Singh wearing turban with bomb on it

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/saskatoon-ppc-candidate-tweets-cartoon-singh-bomb-turban-1.5307607

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

And anyway, the old man in the video said he hopes that Singh wins, so it looks like he might be NDP. Maybe Singh needs to apologize to himself? 

I watched that clip a couple of times and the man does not think he is a racist. He thinks he is giving Jagmeet a helpful hint to help him get elected.  I am impressed with Singh's overall demeanor but then living in Canada while brown requires picking and choosing when to confront the endless stream of minor racist events that randomly occur.