NDP Leader Singh Stands By His Calling Bloc House Leader Racist For Blocking Motion For Action on Systemic Discrimination

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jerrym
NDP Leader Singh Stands By His Calling Bloc House Leader Racist For Blocking Motion For Action on Systemic Discrimination

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has refused to apologize after calling the Bloc House Leader, Alain Therrien, a racist for blocking a NDP motion calling for action on systemic discrimination in Canada and then twice giving a dismissive hand wave to Singh and the motion. Singh said he brought forward the motion after PM Trudeau failed to take any action beyond words and kneeling in dealing with the murder of indigenous and black people that have led to widespread protests in Canada over police brutality in dealing with racialized communities. Singh's motion called on MPs "to recognize there is systemic racism within the RCMP and call on the government to review the RCMP budget as well as the federal law that governs the police force. His motion also called for other accountability measures related to the RCMP, including a full review of the use of force by members and the training officers get."

 NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he stands by his actions and words in the House of Commons after he was kicked out on Wednesday for calling a Bloc Quebecois MP a racist.

Singh was removed after refusing to apologize to Bloc Quebecois House Leader Alain Therrien. Singh called Therrien a racist for denying the approval needed for a motion calling out systemic racism in the RCMP. “I don't back down from standing up to racism… I don't think it benefits for me to call people names, I was angry at the moment and I stand by it,” Singh said in a press conference a few hours after the very tense moment during the special sitting to study the latest round of federal spending measures. In that moment I got angry, but I am sad now, because why can’t we act? Why can’t we do something to save peoples’ lives? We can do something, and why would someone say no to that?” Singh said, visibly emotional.

Singh was seeking the unanimous consent of the House of Commons to pass a motion calling on the House to recognize there is systemic racism within the RCMP and call on the government to review the RCMP budget as well as the federal law that governs the police force. His motion also called for other accountability measures related to the RCMP, including a full review of the use of force by members and the training officers get. It appeared that all other parties were on side with the motion but an audible “no” came from the area in the House of Commons where the Bloc Quebecois caucus sits.

To reporters in the viewing gallery above the House of Commons, Singh and Therrien could then be seen exchanging heated words a few rows away from each other and out of the view of the Commons cameras, before Bloc Quebecois MP and party whip Claude DeBellefeuille called on the House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota to call for order, saying in French that the NDP leader had insulted her colleague and was using unparliamentarily language. Singh then rose, and said in French: “It’s true, I called him a racist.”

He was asked to apologize and he refused. After a few minutes of deliberation, Rota rose and ruled that for his comments and refusal to apologize when asked, Singh was not able to participate in the remainder of the day’s sitting.

“In this moment where Indigenous people are being killed and being brutalized, Black people are being killed and brutalized in Canada. We've not seen any action,” Singh told reporters. “And in that moment, we put forward this motion, but I thought given where we are, given what's going on, given the lack of action, here is something we can do concretely to actually make a difference… Kind of shocked that anyone would say no to this motion.”

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/singh-stands-by-calling-bloc-mp-a-racist...

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh booted from Commons for calling Bloc MP a racist

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has been expelled from the House of Commons for calling a Bloc Québécois MP racist and for refusing to apologize and withdraw his comments.

Speaker Anthony Rota kicked Singh out for the rest of the day after Singh called Alain Therrien racist for refusing to support an NDP motion dealing with systemic racism in the RCMP.

Singh tried to get all parties in the House of Commons to agree to a motion recognizing the existence of systemic racism in the RCMP. The motion points out that "several Indigenous people have died at the hands of the RCMP in recent months …"

The motion also asked MPs to support a review of the RCMP's budget, to demand that the RCMP release all of its use-of-force reports and to call for a review of the RCMP's tactics for dealing with the public.

Therrien was the only MP in the House who refused to support the motion — prompting Singh to call the Bloc MP a racist....

NDPP

WATCH: Blanchet on Singh's Claim that BQ MP is a Racist (and vid)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/blanchet-bloc-quebecois-singh-racist-ac...

"Alain Therrien is anything but a racist person. He simply said that because a committee was to be called to analyze this very issue, the parliament was not supposed to dictate the conclusions of the committee. And this is the only reason why we said we didn't want to approve this motion."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..this is interesting. singh's position is not that therrien's words offended but his gesture.

..in 1971 albert mehrabian wrote a book called silent messages. words account for 7% of communication while tone of voice accounts for 38% and body language for 55% of the overall message.

..blanchet's defense of therrien is all about the words.

Misfit Misfit's picture

We have seen high profile journalists, political commentators, and politicians go down in recent weeks for making similar denials of systemic racism and inappropriate remarks. However, since Quebec has rallied around their secular law, and in the face of the niqab backlash against the NDP in 2015, where I normally would expect the see moral outrage at Blanchet's remarks and demands for an apology from Singh, I sadly expect nothing to come from his. This deeply saddens me.  If any other politician outside the francophone community had made such an eggregious statement it would have been a career ender.

 

And yes, I am aware that I am going to get into trouble for making this statement.

 Edit to add...

Blanchet minimized the problem of systemic racism in Canada. He claimed that it was an issue maybe 100 years ago and that there may be bits of it here and there. He said that where systemic racism exists it needs to be removed, and all in the name of actively refusing to cooperate with removing systemic racism within the RCMP, and then demanding that Jagmeet Singh apologize for calling out racism by one of his Bloc MP's. This is beyond galling.

kropotkin1951

The gesture pissed him off however to claim that we have to study whether there is systemic racism in the RCMP is a racist statement in and of itself. Its like saying we can't pass a motion to deal with climate change without first studying it to see if it exists. That is climate change denial no matter how you dress it up. Denying systemic racism exists is exactly the same type of intellectual dishonesty.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The gesture pissed him off however to claim that we have to study whether there is systemic racism in the RCMP is a racist statement in and of itself. Its like saying we can't pass a motion to deal with climate change without first studying it to see if it exists. That is climate change denial no matter how you dress it up. Denying systemic racism exists is exactly the same type of intellectual dishonesty.

..i agree.

Misfit Misfit's picture

The Quebec secularism law is a prime example of systemic discrimination. How can he say that systemic discrimination is not an issue today and needs to be rooted out wherever it erupts?

https://m.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/jagmeet-singh-bloc-racist-apology_ca_5eea7eb8c5b6751f269e9b2e

"Anyone who votes against a motion that recognizes the systemic racism in the RCMP and the calls for basic fixes to the problem… reducing use of force, calling for de-escalation, looks at ways of having health care response instead of police response in the context of Indigenous people dying, in the context of violence against Indigenous people and Black people… in that context, someone who votes against that is a racist," Sing said. Yes."

It is as though the Bloc considers all the recent violent acts by the RCMP like the chief in northern Alberta who was brutally assaulted over an expired licence plate to be non-issues. Assault of Chief Adam

I really respected and admired Gilles Duceppe. He was a tremendous man. Yves-Francois Blanchette antagonizes people and exacerbates problems. I don't think that he has the character to be a leader on the national stage. I would like to see him replaced.

Misfit Misfit's picture

I found this on Judy Rebick's Twitter feed.

Justin Trudeau was not evicted from the House of Commons for yelling at Tom Mulcair, elbowing Ruth Ellen Brousseau and angrily grabbing the Conservstive party whip.

https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.3588407?__twitter_impression=true

Ken Burch

Misfit wrote:

The Quebec secularism law is a prime example of systemic discrimination. How can he say that systemic discrimination is not an issue today and needs to be rooted out wherever it erupts?

https://m.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/jagmeet-singh-bloc-racist-apology_ca_5eea7eb8c5b6751f269e9b2e

"Anyone who votes against a motion that recognizes the systemic racism in the RCMP and the calls for basic fixes to the problem… reducing use of force, calling for de-escalation, looks at ways of having health care response instead of police response in the context of Indigenous people dying, in the context of violence against Indigenous people and Black people… in that context, someone who votes against that is a racist," Sing said. Yes."

It is as though the Bloc considers all the recent violent acts by the RCMP like the chief in northern Alberta who was brutally assaulted over an expired licence plate to be non-issues. Assault of Chief Adam

I really respected and admired Gilles Duceppe. He was a tremendous man. Yves-Francois Blanchette antagonizes people and exacerbates problems. I don't think that he has the character to be a leader on the national stage. I would like to see him replaced.

Even more worrying, it appears that the Bloc is coordinating its views with Legault and the rest of the Caquistes, who are taking a hardline position against recognizing institutional racism anywhere in Canada because that would mean recognizing it within Quebec-Legault seems to believe that such an acknowledgment threatens Quebec's "distinctiveness".   Legault and the Bloc are both probably playing to white supremacist views among the "pure laine" types in the regions.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Exactly. I am still reeling over the audacity of Blanchet's remarks and the arrogant way he has handled this situation. I will be venting more.

jerrym

Ken Burch wrote:

Misfit wrote:

The Quebec secularism law is a prime example of systemic discrimination. How can he say that systemic discrimination is not an issue today and needs to be rooted out wherever it erupts?

https://m.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/jagmeet-singh-bloc-racist-apology_ca_5eea7eb8c5b6751f269e9b2e

"Anyone who votes against a motion that recognizes the systemic racism in the RCMP and the calls for basic fixes to the problem… reducing use of force, calling for de-escalation, looks at ways of having health care response instead of police response in the context of Indigenous people dying, in the context of violence against Indigenous people and Black people… in that context, someone who votes against that is a racist," Sing said. Yes."

It is as though the Bloc considers all the recent violent acts by the RCMP like the chief in northern Alberta who was brutally assaulted over an expired licence plate to be non-issues. Assault of Chief Adam

I really respected and admired Gilles Duceppe. He was a tremendous man. Yves-Francois Blanchette antagonizes people and exacerbates problems. I don't think that he has the character to be a leader on the national stage. I would like to see him replaced.

Even more worrying, it appears that the Bloc is coordinating its views with Legault and the rest of the Caquistes, who are taking a hardline position against recognizing institutional racism anywhere in Canada because that would mean recognizing it within Quebec-Legault seems to believe that such an acknowledgment threatens Quebec's "distinctiveness".   Legault and the Bloc are both probably playing to white supremacist views among the "pure laine" types in the regions.

Black journalist Emilie Nicolas noted on Power and Politics that the traditional refrain of indenpentistes in Quebec for more than forty years has been that you can't trust the RCMP because of its attempt to infilitrate and discredit the sovereignist movement. So she finds it highly troubling that when it come to discrimination against racialized minorities, suddenly the Bloc is only party not wanting to take any meaningful action on this RCMP issue. 

Could this be because supporting action against the systemic racial discrimination of the RCMP could lead to questions about systemic discrimination of Legault's religious symbols law and the low percentage of racialized minorities in Quebec's public service? 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Could this be because supporting action against the systemic racial discrimination of the RCMP could lead to questions about systemic discrimination of Legault's religious symbols laws and the low percentage of racialized minorities in Quebec's public service?

..this is what i believe

kropotkin1951

Here is Tom Mulcair letting his white, privileged viewpoint spew forth. He thinks it hurts the institution for a brown person to call a white MP a racist for denying systemic racism exist. Tom is not a racist just a normal white Canadian myopic.

https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1979924

Misfit Misfit's picture

Disturbing behaviour by Bloc MP's today in the House of Commons against Jagmeet Singh.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/nationalpost.com/news/canada/blanchet-denies-bloc-mp-made-racist-gesture-at-ndp-leader-jagmeet-singh/wcm/781dfc52-0f76-417b-9037-7c6dd244db4a/amp/

All the Bloc MP's got up and walked out of the House of Commons when Jagmeet got up to speak. Bloc MP Claude DeBellefeuille voiced her opposition to Jagmeet Singh being allowed to speak after being suspended for one day for calling out another Bloc MP for being racist.  According to the article, 

"This is a rather serious issue. If we allow a member or a party leader to insult another member, what will happen to us here? You’ll have the right to insult your colleague and then you’re only expelled for one day? This can’t be the case,” DeBellefeuille said in French.

Rota said he would take to consider the matter, but allowed Singh to ask his questions, as the expulsion happened while the House of Commons was sitting normally on Wednesday, not as a special committee, and therefore operates under different rules.

At this, the three Bloc MPs in the House of Commons got up and left the chamber as soon as Singh began to speak."

This is not the kind of conduct one would expect from a group of MPs who insist that they are not racist. Jagmeet Singh was told to take off his turban when he campaigned in Quebec during the last Federal election. This behaviour only serves to magnify the racial animosity and hatred that Mr. Singh has experienced in Quebec from Bloc supporters.

If I had done something to offend another person  from another culture and I did not sincerely intend to cause harm, the first thing I would do is apologize for my own role in the misunderstanding. The Bloc is doing the exact opposite. They are portraying themselves as the victim, and Jagmeet Singh as the perpetrator of some heinous act. This is deplorable.

From the video feed of Blanchet in post #3, a leader of a political party could have said that there was a misunderstanding which is unfortunate or something to that nature. Mr. Yves-Francois Blanchet instead says at 3:55  in the video and in the most arrogant manner possible, "Mr. Therrien did nothing."

 

Here is the link from post #3 by NDPP:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/blanchet-bloc-quebecois-singh-racist-accusation-1.5617265

 

Mr. Blanchet wasn't even there. MP Claude DeBellefeuille was acting in charge for the Bloc at that time. He is in no position to make such definite statements. Jagmeet Singh is a lawyer. He is the leader of a national party in Canada. He has national credibility when it comes to matters of perception and judgement.

But Mr. Blanchet carries his insulting rendition even further.

At 1:50 in the interview, the reporter makes specific reference to the gesture to which Mr. Blanchet replies, " I cannot change behaviour over something that nobody did.  How can someone interpret or imagine the way someone looks at somebody else or a gesture which nobody seems to remember. If somebody says something specific or makes a gesture which carries a specific meaning… Who can say he moved his hand in such and such away and it means this or that?"

Mr. Blanchet portrayed Jagmeet Singh as a liar and a fool. This is not how Canadians expect a  party leader to characterize a fellow party leader. The insinuation is racist. Mr. Blanchet owes Mr. Singh an apology. 

Then at 5:05 in the interview, Mr. Blanchet is asked his thoughts on systemic racism. He remarks that "there was a time some groups felt that they were superior to other groups, perhaps hundreds of years ago. Traces of that are left but we must extract that racism, it must be removed."

Jagmeet Singh tried to address systemic racism within the RCMP. Someone within the Bloc said no. Someone gave Jagmeet Singh an alleged racist gesture. Mr. Blanchet has done exactly the opposite of what he said that must be done. By acknowledging systemic racism from hundreds of years ago, he denied the real issues of racism in institutions today. That makes him both a hypocrite and a denier. 
 

Then, Mr. Blanchet says, "I respect people who don’t believe in systemic racism and it doesn’t make them racist." This is words coming from a leader of a dominant cultural group that is in control over the cultural direction of their province. He just said that denying the existence of systemic racism is perfectly ok. He erased the existence of racism by racism denialists, and he expects the rest of us to be perfectly fine with his redefinition of what constitutes racism.

Wendy Mesley, Stockwell Day, and Rex Murphy have been recently called out for their opinions on systemic racism in Canada. However, I doubt that Mr. Blanchet will be held accountable for his words.

At 3:55, Mr. Blanchet was asked why he doesn't believe Mr. Singh. He said that "Mr. Therrien did nothing...Mr. Singh experienced bad things in his childhood...He has compassion for his what he went through as a child...Mr. Singh is a good person...Mr. Singh somehow dropped the ball and that he hopes that he will take it back."

Mr. Blanchet acknowledged Mr. Singh's childhood traumas but totally ignored Mr. Singh being told to take off his Turban when campaigning in Quebec. He also blamed Mr. Singh for the alleged yet believable racism that he suffered at the hands of his fellow Bloc MP in the House of Commons.

And with the conduct of the Bloc MP's all walking out of the House of Commons today, Mr. Blanchet apparently has no problem in escalating the tension that is levelled against Mr. Singh. They continue to blame Mr. Singh for their own bad behaviour and they deny that their words and actions are racist.

I sincerely hope that people in Quebec show extreme intolerance to this shameless behaviour on the part of Mr. Blanchet and the rest of the Bloc MPs who carry on like this.

singh47

Bringing up something from his childhood is disgusting and a way to dehumanize survivors.
The secularism law falls afoul of UN Human Rights treaties mainly the accomodate to undue hardship clause.
At least Blanchet cleared all doubts on his party's stance.

https://mobile.twitter.com/sammymarie/status/1273375097529593857

The toxic "niceness" of Canada is only for white settlers to pat themselves on the back. The "niceness" of Canadians fails every Black person, every Indigenous person, every person of colour, poor person, houseless person, disabled person, ever LGBTQ+ person in this country.

--
The ability of individual officers to assault and kill Black Americans year after year, decade after decade, murder after murder, stems from the unwillingness of the white majority to step beyond protesting individual cases or do to more than stroke our chins and say, “Yes, I see a pattern.”

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/gvu38i/george_floyd_was_murdered_by_america_a_historians/

NorthReport
bekayne

NorthReport wrote:
">https://www.straight.com/education/massey-colleges-only-black-governing-...

In a letter to the governing board, Trotz included links to articles mentioning Wente. The professor alleged that they demonstrate "the ease with which she has been prepared to use her professional position as a journalist in a major Canadian newspaper to reproduce and champion scientific theories of race that have no standing or scientific legitimacy in an academic community such as ours".

Strange that the article provides no examples of this.

Misfit Misfit's picture

This Margaret Wente topic should be in a separate thread.

North Report's link doesn't work.
 

And here is more clarification on Margaret Wente and racial pseudoscience

https://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/62/race_and_the_wilful_ignorance_of_margaret_wente

I have started a new thread on Margaret Wente. 

NorthReport

Actually my link does work, but perhaps someone who copied it, copied it incorrectly. 

https://www.straight.com/education/massey-colleges-only-black-governing-board-member-resigns-over-margaret-wente-appointment

NorthReport

Another white male politician is accusing Jagmeet Singh playing ‘cheap politics’ by calling Bloc MP a racist

https://globalnews.ca/news/7086552/systemic-racism-in-canada/

Misfit Misfit's picture

Yes it does work now. It would link before to straight.com but it said file not found. That happened three times. Yes, it works now.

The article has been appended to add more people resigning in protest. It could likely be that they were modifying the article at the time and it was temporarily unavailable.

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

I am disappointed in Gilles Duceppe. This saddens  me and especially his remark about questioning whether he was "faking it". I find his response deeply troubling.

NorthReport

The Power of Black LivesMatter

How the movement that’s changing America was built and where it goes next​

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/black-lives-matter-jamil-smith-1014442/

NorthReport

There’s something supremely off about punishing a racialized person for calling out racism

https://www.flare.com/news/jagmeet-singh-racism-house-of-commons/

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Bloc Québécois MP Who Killed Anti-Racism Motion Promoted Blog Claiming Muslims Invented ‘Islamophobia’

The Bloc Québécois MP who recently blocked a motion condemning racism once criticized a motion on a similarly related topic by circulating a blog that suggested “Islamophobia” is part of a secret “strategy” pushed by Muslims themselves.

quote:

However, as an MNA for the Parti Québécois and a member of the  government that pushed forward Québec’s controversial “Charter of Values,” Therrien promoted anti-Muslim content on his official Facebook page.

In October 2015, Therrien promoted a blog by André Lamoureux, a Université du Québec à Montréal professor known for controversial anti-Muslim views, once characterizing Islam as a “cancer.”

Lamoureux is the spokesperson for a group called Rassemblement pour la laïcité and is linked to other hardline secular groups that, by their own admission, often struggle to respond to accusations of racism.

Most recently, Lamoureux publicly endorsed Frédéric Bastien for Parti Québécois leader, a controversial figure who calls multiculturalism a “political religion” and recently vowed torewrite the province’s human rights laws.

A few weeks before the 2015 federal election, Therrien promoted one of Lamoureux’s blogs railing against an anti-Islamophobia motion put forward by Québec Solidaire, a party he claimed had allied with radical Islam to destroy capitalism.

Therrien recommended the blog to constituents, describing it as “très solide.”

Lamoureux’s blog condemns the anti-Islamophobia motion, arguing that it violates free speech and complains that it does nothing to solve “la question de l’intégrisme musulman” — the question of Muslim fundamentalism.

The blog includes a lengthy digression claiming the concept of Islamophobia was created in the 1980s by the global Islamist movement to “fraudulently” portray Muslims as victims of xenophobia and racism.

It claims that the idea that Muslims face discrimination is part of a “strategy” to deflect attention from criticisms of Islam.....

pietro_bcc

In 2007 the ADQ became the official opposition in Quebec and for the first time pushed the PQ to 3rd place. Ever since then the PQ, BQ and CAQ vowed to always fight to be the most racist because they realize that racism is the key to the seat rich regions of Quebec outside of Montreal.

Quebec nationalism and independence has always had a degree of promoting an ingroup and denouncing the other, whether that be anglos or the famous "money and the ethnic vote". But in 2007 there was a total shift towards racism.

Quebec Solidaire is the one sovereigntist party that isn't racist, but I wonder how they'll do in the next election (remember during the last election QS were in favor of the policies that eventually became Bill 21, it was only after the election that they changed their policy. I wonder what effect that will have on their seats outside of Montreal.)

In anycase Blanchet won't appologize, this actually made his voters like him more and not less. If Singh has any sense he'll target Montreal and forget about the rest of the province. There is nothing he could do to ever win seats in the regions, no point in trying.