It’s kind of about race

itsaboutraceConservative MP and former PMO director of communications John Williamson, M.P. New Brunswick Southwest, said something at the recent Manning Networking Conference (a gathering of conservative political types):

Of course, a firestorm erupted (still going), mainly on social media, but also captured in the media, about this statement: “I’m going to put this terms of colours, but it’s not meant to be about race, it makes no sense to pay ‘whities’ to stay home whil we bring in brown people to work in these jobs.”

Did he apologize? Yes. In fact, “unreservedly.”

But, then, and clearly with intent (see the 1 of 3 start to his tweet), he was #sorrynotsorry.

It was, of course, no longer an apology, but 2 out of 3 messages justifying his statement. So, of course, he had to be schooled. Who better than Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

And, while the social media firestorm unleashed on the MP is somewhat entertaining, there is an underbelly of clear racism that many deny as simple “awkwardness,” since he couldn’t have possibly meant any offense </sarcasm>.

There’s plenty of good exchange rebutting this opinion, with Stephen Maher expanding on his perspective. But, it is Mayor Nenshi, I think, who provides the nuance I think is essential for people who think this is just a “careless word” or two…

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marco

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

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