The racism against Jagmeet Singh has got to stop!

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NorthReport
The racism against Jagmeet Singh has got to stop!

Justin Trudeau needs to answer for the Burnaby South insult

The PM has warned the next election will be nasty. So why has he said nothing—not even a tweet—about a Liberal candidate’s race-based attack?

 

Couldn’t even get through the first week.

No, just four days into the Burnaby South by-election the candidate of the Liberal Party—the Liberal Party!—launched a race-based political strategy against NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.

Singh is the first non-white leader of a major political party in Canadian history. He is on his first campaign for a federal seat. So congratulations, Liberal Party, you made history—and not in the way Canadians wanted.

In echoes of the U.S. Republicans’ vile Southern Strategy, Liberal candidate Karen Wang made an explicit “vote for your own kind” pitch, contrasting herself—“the only Chinese candidate”—with “Singh, of Indian descent.”

ttps://www.macleans.ca/opinion/justin-trudeau-needs-to-answer-for-the-burnaby-s...

voice of the damned

In echoes of the U.S. Republicans’ vile Southern Strategy

That's a little bit hyperbolic, considering that the Southern Strategy was a centralized attempt by a political party to get white votes across an entire region of the country, by promising to keep alive the remnants of Jim Crow segregation. As opposed to one person on a message board talking trash during a by-election, with no evident orchestration from anyone else.    

Debater

Well, yes, it's an over the top opinion piece.

It makes a couple of valid points, but it's written by Tom Parkin, who usually goes over the top in his advocacy for the NDP.

NorthReport
lagatta4

Racism between people from two Asian groups - the most populous countries in the world, and among the most ancient civilisations - but still viewed as somehow foreign in Canada - is a somewhat different matter from white suprematists. Won't it require dialogue between the two groups, and more broadly between South Asians and East Asians, as well as Southeast Asians, who make up so much of the population in southern BC?

The Liberals should definitely sack their candidate.

Though we must remember that many people have objections to Singh that have nothing to do with race.

voice of the damned

Debater wrote:

Well, yes, it's an over the top opinion piece.

It makes a couple of valid points, but it's written by Tom Parkin, who usually goes over the top in his advocacy for the NDP.

He goes over the top in something, that's for sure.

Wang having set a dumpster fire incinerating the Liberal brand, it seems Liberal operatives did the obvious thing: claim the whole episode had worked out exactly as hoped. One CTV politics host even reported that Liberal strategists were “overjoyed” with their Burnaby South candidate inferno. A National Post columnist asked whether it was “the plan all along to throw the fight?”

"Liberal operatives" makes it sound like Gerald Butts was on TV bragging that L'affaire Wang was a false-flag designed to propel the incompetent Singh into parliament. But the only sources cited are an unnamed CTV host, and John Ivison, neither of whom, I am certain, qualifies as a "Liberal operative".   

 

pietro_bcc

If the Liberals wanted Singh to win they would've just allowed him to run unopposed citing leader's courtesy. They wouldn't tarnish their brand among Sikhs and other minority communities.

The whole idea that this was their plan all along is pretty dumb.

R.E.Wood

pietro_bcc wrote:

If the Liberals wanted Singh to win they would've just allowed him to run unopposed citing leader's courtesy. They wouldn't tarnish their brand among Sikhs and other minority communities.

The whole idea that this was their plan all along is pretty dumb.

Except that there was a lot of push from Liberal members in the riding to run a candidate, and not step aside as a leaders courtesy, so the federal party was doing what their local riding membership seemed to want.

voice of the damned

R.E.Wood wrote:

pietro_bcc wrote:

If the Liberals wanted Singh to win they would've just allowed him to run unopposed citing leader's courtesy. They wouldn't tarnish their brand among Sikhs and other minority communities.

The whole idea that this was their plan all along is pretty dumb.

Except that there was a lot of push from Liberal members in the riding to run a candidate, and not step aside as a leaders courtesy, so the federal party was doing what their local riding membership seemed to want.

Well, then the most I'd be willing to say is that the federales were secretly hoping that Wang would somehow propel herself out of the race, and that Wang inadvertantly made their wildest fever-dreams come true. Not that they got her nominated under the assumption that she would do something stupid, or later gave her orders to post racist crap on-line.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

If it was a Machiavellian move by the PMO that says that the Liberals have no real local nomination process but rather somehow it is all a sham.  Seems to me no matter whether they liked it or not with any normal nomination process it would be hard to have told a former Liberal MLA candidate that they didn't qualify to run federally. The Liberals had a nomination and since this woman had already run in the BC election she obviously had the ground game to win the nomination. The fact that she was a right wing BC Liberal with a reputation as a loose cannon was not some backroom plot. If there was any consideration I would think that some of the backroom operators would have liked the fact that she might appeal to some of the voters who tend to vote Liberal provincially and Conservative federally.

wage zombie

I am (edited for ommission)NOT(/edited for ommission) a fan of John McCain, his politics, or his legacy.

I do remember one incident while John McCain was campaigning, and we was talking about Obama, and someone in the crowd made a racist comment.  McCain made a comment sticking up for Obama.

In this case it was not a heckler or a supporter, it was a nominated Liberal candidate.  Justin Trudeau should absolutely be making a comment about the racism.

bekayne

wage zombie wrote:

I am not a fan of John McCain, his politics, or his legacy.

I do remember one incident while John McCain was campaigning, and we was talking about Obama, and someone in the crowd made a racist comment.  McCain made a comment sticking up for Obama.

In this case it was not a heckler or a supporter, it was a nominated Liberal candidate.  Justin Trudeau should absolutely be making a comment about the racism.

The fact she's the ex-candidate says something

wage zombie

Yes, that's true, they did accept her resignation, and they have refused to re-instate her.  But Trudeau has not made any comment.

wage zombie

@bekayne I missed a tiny word in my post that you quoted, and I would appreciate it if you would be so kind as to edit your quote to include it.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs for that correction wz. :)

bekayne

wage zombie wrote:

@bekayne I missed a tiny word in my post that you quoted, and I would appreciate it if you would be so kind as to edit your quote to include it.

Done

NorthReport

Who else is more than a wee bit tired of white folks pontificating on, often with their usual denials, of racism in Canada?

Stacy Lee Kong: “If It Feels Like Racism In Canada Is Getting Worse, That’s Because It Is”

So why do we still think we’re better than our neighbours to the south?

https://www.flare.com/news/racism-in-canada/

 

Cody87

NorthReport wrote:

Stacy Lee Kong: “If It Feels Like Racism In Canada Is Getting Worse, That’s Because It Is”

As a minority, I can't imagine any reason why racism would be getting worse. It must be the fault of white people.

/satire

blairz blairz's picture

I am happy to see the Liberals  flame out but I think what is being done to Karen Wang is bullshit. Basically this young woman is being branded as racist for speaking openly about a strategy that many, mostly white commentators in Canadian media had already pointed out. The Liberal Party sought to leverage the power of a large Chinese Canadian cohort against Singh's reach into communities of color. Candidates all across North America face this dilema, can African Americans appeal to Latinos and vice versa. When Kamala Harris announced her candidacy for the Snenate  she was immediately challenged by Loretta Sanchez. The fact that this set Black voters vs. Latino voters, Northern Californians vs Southern, Labor vs. Silicon Valley was not lost on the commentariat. God forbid the candidates acknowledge the clash of ambitions. White progressives want candidates of color to indicate our wokeness, to be Black, but not too Black, Sihk, but not too Sihk,  etc. In a way  they should be interchangable as fashion accessories, adding a bit of color to the leader's "big tent."

 

 

voice of the damned

Basically this young woman is being branded as racist for speaking openly about a strategy that many, mostly white commentators in Canadian media had already pointed out. The Liberal Party sought to leverage the power of a large Chinese Canadian cohort against Singh's reach into communities of color.

To be precise, though, assuming I understand her comments correctly, Wang wasn't "speaking about a strategy" in the sense of, say, a political columnist writing "Well, it looks like the Liberals have nominated a Chinese candidate in order to attract Chinese voters". Rather, she herself WAS the candidate, USING the strategy, by saying that Chinese people should vote for her because she's Chinese.

But the question then becomes what difference exists between choosing a candidate based at least partly on their membership in a particular group in order to appeal to members of that group, and that candidate openly saying that people in that group should vote for her because she's in that group?  

 

voice of the damned

When Kamala Harris announced her candidacy for the Snenate  she was immediately challenged by Loretta Sanchez. The fact that this set Black voters vs. Latino voters, Northern Californians vs Southern, Labor vs. Silicon Valley was not lost on the commentariat. God forbid the candidates acknowledge the clash of ambitions.

I know voters in Edmonton who distrust any provincial party headed by someone from Calgary, and I can imagine some people in the various parties thinking "Hmm, if we wanna up our game in Edmonton, maybe a leader from Calgary isn't the best idea right now". And as with your California examples, I agree that, to a large extent, that's just the way politics works.

Still not sure, though, that I'd be as sanguine about a party leader saying "Vote for me, not for that bum from Calgary!"

Cody87

voice of the damned wrote:

But the question then becomes what difference exists between choosing a candidate based at least partly on their membership in a particular group in order to appeal to members of that group, and that candidate openly saying that people in that group should vote for her because she's in that group? 

One is forthright, and thereby forfeits plausible deniability.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

One is overt racism the other is our homegrown Canadian polite racism. We still use the term visible minority although it is considered a racist way of dividing people for government services. In Burnaby the visible minorities are actually the majority so it really highlights how absurd the whole concept is. All parties try to win votes in all communities. For Wang to say in the Chinese media that voters should voter for her based on her ethnicity is every bit as reprehensible as a white candidate in a predominantly white riding using their ethnicity as a selling point.

When I worked on campaigns in Burnaby we had phone banks in English,  Mandarin, Cantonese and occasionally Punjabi and Urdu.  If you have no volunteers from those communities to staff the phone banks then you can't win and don't deserve to.

NorthReport

Right on krop

---------------------------

Race-tinged political rhetoric blowing up in parties’ faces

https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/columnists/leger-race-tinged-p...

montgomery

kropotkin1951 wrote:

One is overt racism the other is our homegrown Canadian polite racism. We still use the term visible minority although it is considered a racist way of dividing people for government services. In Burnaby the visible minorities are actually the majority so it really highlights how absurd the whole concept is. All parties try to win votes in all communities. For Wang to say in the Chinese media that voters should voter for her based on her ethnicity is every bit as reprehensible as a white candidate in a predominantly white riding using their ethnicity as a selling point.

When I worked on campaigns in Burnaby we had phone banks in English,  Mandarin, Cantonese and occasionally Punjabi and Urdu.  If you have no volunteers from those communities to staff the phone banks then you can't win and don't deserve to.

Yes! We must be more inclusive of all peoples. 

But sadly, we have to buck the trend again because racism is surging ahead in the US now with Trump. The bedsheets and pointy hats are being dragged out of the closets of the south. And it's in the name of populism and that's pretty scary. 

The reallly scary thing about it is that it's carrying over the border to Canada and one or some of our fed political parties may see the opportunity to capitalize on it! 

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/why-the-confederate-flag-is-surpris...

I deliberately chose the link from the N.P. because it's the most interesting source.

blairz blairz's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

One is overt racism the other is our homegrown Canadian polite racism. We still use the term visible minority although it is considered a racist way of dividing people for government services. In Burnaby the visible minorities are actually the majority so it really highlights how absurd the whole concept is. All parties try to win votes in all communities. For Wang to say in the Chinese media that voters should voter for her based on her ethnicity is every bit as reprehensible as a white candidate in a predominantly white riding using their ethnicity as a selling point.

When I worked on campaigns in Burnaby we had phone banks in English,  Mandarin, Cantonese and occasionally Punjabi and Urdu.  If you have no volunteers from those communities to staff the phone banks then you can't win and don't deserve to.

Sorry but this answer just proves the point: In Burnaby phone banks are always in English. Mandarin and Cantonese and OCCASIONALLY in Punjabi, and Urdu. I understand that some folks dream for a post racial Canada where everyone is treated the same and play by the same rules and...Wake up, that's not where you live. Do you think it's possible for any person of colour to win office anywhere on this continent without starting in the Churches, Mosques, Temples and the community centers  to press the flesh and say hey to  their own community?  Or do you suppose they rely on the good will and good faith of White Progressives? If a White candidate gives a shout out to White  people it's jarring because it's redundant. In fact White Supremacy is so integral to the formation of Canada appealing to it openly is admission of not having an actual political program. It is the very definition of White Privledge to expect that these rules apply to people of colour in the same way. She made a mistake she apologized and an opportunity to open a dialog on issues that pertain to multuculturalism and pluralism is being dashed by the expediancy of throwing  her under the bus. If folks really want to fight the racism being weighed against Jagmeet Singh then I suggest the Chinese Canadian community in Burnaby is not the  place to start.

 

voice of the damned

Blairz:

I agree with you that Wang is mostly guilty of getting caught doing what politicians of all stripes and backgrounds do on a regular basis in Canada and elsewhere, and also that Chinese chauvinism in Burnaby is really not the same thing as white racism anywhere in Canada. But I'm curious about this...

She made a mistake she apologized and an opportunity to open a dialog on issues that pertain to multuculturalism and pluralism is being dashed by the expediancy of throwing  her under the bus.

What sort of dialogue do you think could have emerged from this incident, and between which parties?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Blairz, the reason for those phone banks is simple demographics. There needs to be enough people in a riding to reach in their first language or campaign energy is wasted. Did you notice that French was not in that list? Every vote is important but if only twenty people in the riding speak a language then you don't need a phone bank. If a third of your voters speak one language and five percent speak a different language you obviously allocate resources accordingly. I doubt if racism is the reason that none of the phone banks are in French. However we had individuals available to reach out to specific people in an astounding number of languages including of course in French.

blairz blairz's picture

I'll begin by answering voice of the damned on the question of a dialog. Jagmeet Singh and Karen Wang both have an experience of Canada and Politics significantly different than Justin Trudeau or any other White Canadian. There is an inherent dichotomy between Multiculturalism and partisan politics. One secures a guarantee of inclusiveness and equality through a regime of tolerance for differences, the other consolodates power through discipline and unity of message. This can present a minefield for candidates from imigrant communities. What I am reading and hearing is outrage from mostly white commentators about the English translation of  her remarks in Mandarin to a Chinese-Canadian audience. Are we viewing this story through enough safe white bourgeois filters yet? I even bristle at the suggestion that the folks in Burnaby are Chinese chauvinists. If you come from a marginalised and discriminated community you learn to look out for each other. I have no insight to the particulars of how this large community gathered itself in Burnaby, but I suspect it is only partly by choice. Somewhere in BC's not so distant past, I'm willing to bet that a distintcly racist regime of housing ordinaces and sub rosa agreements limited the choice available to immigrants. I'm also willing to bet that, when these  folks first arrived, that Burnaby was a less desirable address, than it is today.  I 'm sure that Jagmeet Singh understands all of this as well.  Calling these folks chauvinists is bit like blaming people in a ghetto for being in a ghetto. To Kropotkin, demographics is the polite term for racial profiling and the proof in the pudding is that Liberals replaced Wang with another Chinese-Canadian candidate.  So the terrible racist thing this young woman said precisely enunciates the Liberal Party strategy. They mean to trump('scuse the pun) Punjabi and Urdu speakers with Mandarin and Cantonese.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

You are absolutely wrong about the demographics and history of Burnaby. The Chinese immigrant community has largely arrived in the last 30 years. There are also many Canadians whose families arrived from China generations ago. Burnaby has some of the best public amenities in the Lower Mainland and attracts many professionals because of its hi-tech industries.  The education level of the population of Burnaby shows that it is a place that professionals who can live anywhere they want to chose to live.

Prior to WWII Burnaby was very working class and into the '60's and '70's the largest immigrant population was from Italy. The newer immigrants from Asia are far better educated than most of that generation.

Burnaby Education

 

Educational attainment has steadily increased in Burnaby since 1981. The proportion of the population aged 15 and over with some form of post secondary education increased from 45% in 1981 to 57% in 2006 16 . Similarly, only 17% of the population aged 15 and over did not have high school graduation in 2006 compared to 42% in 1981.

The percentage of residents with university degrees increased from 8% in 1981 to 26% in 2006. Of residents aged 25 to 64 years with post secondary qualifications, the top fields of study in 2006 were: business management and public administration; architecture, engineering and related technologies; and health, parks, recreation and fitness.

 

http://burnabytoday.com/burnabydemographics.html

blairz blairz's picture

Kropotkin1951 thanks for that insight on the history of Burnaby. I'm gonna stand by my arguments with one concession, obviously Ms. Wang made a mistake, her comments were insensitive and ill considered. There, I have afforded to her the same BS spin White politicians and columnists afford themselves. I was saddened to see rabble jump into this fray by republishing Rich Salutin's somewhat smug and facetious celebration of hypocrisy. Salutin's quick and easy take on politics and race places much of the blame on Donald Trump. This delusion is laughable enough in the United States where the GOP has aligned itself with White Supremacism since Nixon, how much more so for writer publishing from a city that elected Rob Ford. If Jagmett Singh is defeated in this race and subsequently forced to resign his leadership, we will no doubt read many pious tracts from the commentariat about Canada "not being ready" for a leader of color vs. Singh's failure to connect. 

 

voice of the damned

Blairz wrote: 

I even bristle at the suggestion that the folks in Burnaby are Chinese chauvinists. If you come from a marginalised and discriminated community you learn to look out for each other.

"...look out for each other"?

That makes it sound like Karen Wang was going around the neighbourhood helping out elderly Chinese people getting harassed by racists. But she was doing nothing of the sort. When she implied that people should vote for a Chinese candidate rather than an Indo-Canadian candidate, it was because she wanted people to vote for her, Karen Wang, so that she, Karen Wang, could become an MP and attain whatever benefits and privileges result from that position, and she figured that some voters would be moved to support her by an appeal to racial identity.

Again, it's not on par with outright majoritarian racism, but let's not make her out to be some sort of Good Samaritan, either.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Metro Vancouver is not a homogeneous area.   Your comments about immigrant communities is a very insightful one for Surrey but not so much Burnaby. Richmond is another story altogether. Burnaby is one of its most culturally diverse areas with very few neighborhoods that are not diverse. This riding has a couple of areas that are predominately South Asian compared to the city as a whole. Raj Chouhan has been beside him at many events so I presume that his very experienced and capable campaign team is on the ground knocking on doors and staffing the phone banks.

Singh should win this riding if he campaigns well on the doorstep and gets the vote out. His being Sikh will neither hurt nor help him in this riding. If he ran in a Surrey riding he would get a boost because of it but then he would have to run against Harjit Singh Sajjan so it would be a wash.