That's What She Said: Election goes beyond some Halloween costume
- Dawn Dumont | October 19, 2019
This month there will be a federal election in which we will choose a party to represent us and that party will have a leader and that guy or woman will become our new Prime Minister. It’s not as sexy as saying, “I’m voting this guy for Prime Minister!” but it’s more accurate.
But I tend to focus on the leaders like anyone else. The cliché is that we vote for the person that we would most like to go for a beer with – not me – mostly because I don’t drink beer and also why would I want to go for a drink with a complete, albeit telegenic, stranger? Socializing is already a chore why add making awkward conversation with a politician to it?
When choosing who to vote for, I gravitate towards the person who seems stable enough to handle stress, smart enough to listen to the smart people around him and kind enough to not want to kill Indigenous people. Actually, that’s kind of a baseline for me: does this candidate want to kill First Nations people? Because let’s face it we have had Prime Ministers who wanted to kill us. We had John A. MacDonald who was both the architect of Residential Schools and the Indian Act. If there are any statues of that guy still standing, I vote that part of next year’s Indigenous Day celebrations is blowing them up. Or melting them down. Or, how about we freeze them and then shatter them with sledgehammers? As you can see, I’ve put some thought into this.
You almost need a map to navigate through the racism of this election season. First we had photos of our prime minister wearing the world’s worst costume. Here’s a question blackface wearers: why do you do the hands? Do you think it will be less convincing if the hands aren’t done?
Then we have NDP leader Jagmeet Singh who every time he ventures out into the world he has to face potato-faced people who say things to him like, “Muslims are bad” and accuse him of attempting to implement Sharia law. Singh is Sikh but that doesn’t make a difference to the ignorant who pride themselves on not being able to tell anyone apart. Also, no one has tried to implement Sharia law, people. That is racist nonsense. Here’s a tip: if a news blog or article switches to CAPS IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ARTICLE or if you see even one! – It’s propaganda and you are rotting your brain. And to stop the rot, you should google “cats farting” immediately.
But the racism goes on and on. The day that I am writing this, a man approached Singh and told him to cut his turban off. Which sort of presumes that the turban is sewn to his head. The man then said that Singh should try to look more Canadian and that “when in Rome do as the Romans do.” Mr. Singh replied with his customary good nature that this is Canada and we can and do wear what we want.
Although that isn’t true as people who wear religious head coverings in Quebec cannot work in the public service. They cannot do what they want – the Pope could not get a job in Quebec is what I am saying. It is hard to believe that such a law exists in Canada, unless of course you had ever read a history book that featured what Canada has done to First Nations people.
Then we have Conservative leader Andrew Scheer who has just called for a judicial review of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision to compensate First Nations children harmed by the on-reserve child welfare system. It was easy to see who the bad guys are – until the Trudeau government announced that it was seeking to set aside the Tribunal Decision on October 4th.
This isn’t just a bad Halloween costume, this is a choice to fight against children who have already been traumatized. This statement is some John A. Macdonald type racism right here.
Thanks to Trump’s America, also known as Armageddon, racism is freely coursing through the public spheres. No longer tamped down by any pretense of civility, it’s loud and it’s proud. Racism is terrible and dehumanizing but at least we have power in the voting booth.