Racist accusations may not reflect reality

News analysis

Prominent country politicians have accused fellow politicians of racism and sexism in recent weeks, but the legitimacy of these labels is often unclear.

One example occurred in late May when a question was raised in collaboration with researchers related to the Chinese military at the House of Commons related to scientists at the National Institute of Microbiology in Winnipeg.

When Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen pressured Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “end research cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party forces,” he told Tories lawmakers “personal.” Be enthusiastic about attacking and don’t start pushing. ” It extends to intolerance to Canadians of various origins. “

When Conservative lawmakers Pierre Paul-Huss and Michael Barrett asked about the issue, he made similar comments on “anti-Asian racism.”

June 25, Twitter of mission Independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybold told Trudeau: “Stop selfish jokes for elections, what no one wants, and do what you promised in 2018.” The Closed In a tweet, Trudeau’s 2018 promise creates a new law requiring federal authorities to recognize indigenous rights guaranteed under the Constitution as a starting point for government actions, decisions, or negotiations. we are committed to.

In response, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Aboriginal Relations, told Wilson Raybold:pension?Wilson-Raybold must be in office until October 19, 2021 to qualify for the Parliamentary Pension.

Wilson-Raybould posted a screenshot of the text message on Twitter, commenting Bennett on “Racists and misogynists, “Bennet is also a woman. Wilson-Raybould proposed the text, “Reflecting the idea that indigenous people are lazy and want only $ … telling strong indigenous women and bad indigenous women.”

Shortly thereafter, Bennett tweeted apology. “I improved the dynamics of interpersonal relationships and sent insensitive and inappropriate comments. It shouldn’t have been because I deeply regret it,” she writes.

Francis Widowson, an associate professor of political science and policy research at Mount Royal University in Calgary, said no racists were found in Bennett’s text, and the minister said, “If you were telling this to non-indigenous people, it would be typical. Was considered a racist political sparring. “

“There is no face to make a comment racist. How does it mean that indigenous peoples are inferior for their race and should have less political rights based on this? “Are you?” Widowson said in an interview.

“Critiques of indigenous peoples have been declared racist and are automatically considered racist. This is what Thomas Sowell calls” race husling. ” “She said referring to a black American racist and senior researcher at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.

On June 16, Greens leader Annamie Paul leveled racist charges after a three-hour meeting pondering the party’s federal council calling for a vote of no confidence in her leadership.

At a post-conference press conference, Paul quickly denied that a “small group” of councilors was “very racist and sexist, aggressive and inflammatory by both of us.” Was done. “

Gender discrimination as a bitter letter written by two women, Kate Story, the Green Party of Canada fund representative, and Manitoba, the Federal Council representative, prompted Paul’s leadership challenge. The charges were questioned. ..

“Paul acted in a dictatorial manner of hostility, dominance, and refusal, failing to take on her duty to be an active, contributor, respectful, and attentive member of the Federal Council.” and they wrote. “She has attended several councils, and when she attended, she was angry at the long, repetitive, aggressive solitude and could not recognize the value of ideas other than herself.”

Nelson Wiseman, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, hasn’t seen what Paul is seeing.

“I don’t see any racists or sexists in the words of the two women …. But what was said at the council meeting, or any other interaction Paul had with the council. I don’t know about that, “Wiseman said in an interview.

“Her accusations of racism and sexism have little traction unless she provides more compelling evidence. The letters from the two women are pretty terrible.”

Christopher Damitt, a professor of Canadian studies at Trent University in Ontario, says Paul’s accusation should prompt questions.

“Under what circumstances is it possible to criticize Paul? Under what circumstances is the race card used to protect her? Was her criticism of leadership not a racist? How can I find out? Is it possible to criticize her without being labeled as a racist? “He said.

In March, Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan referred to a “white man” in his testimony to the Commons Defense Commission regarding the handling of 2018 complaints about sexual misconduct against then-Secretary of Defense General Jonathan Vance. did.

NDP MP Randall Garrison asked Sajan why he “refused to see evidence” presented by then-military ombudsman Gary Wolborn. Garrison said he was confused by Sajan’s explanation that his involvement as a minister was political interference because no investigation was being conducted at the time.

Garrison then argued that Sajan’s reaction could be due to his long personal and career relationship with Vance, or because his knowledge of the allegations was “spread among senior leaders.” was it said.

In his response, Sajan said he was having trouble with his efforts to “define my experience from my service in the Canadian Army.”

“I had a lot of people, a lot of white men and told me what my experience was … You said I was hiding something for service Canada. Don’t do that because it doesn’t define my experience in the military. “

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