Election diaries: Is the truth racist?

The Bloc candidate running in northern Quebec has been called on the carpet for making a racial comment (Duceppe faces NDP call to expel incumbent over aboriginal misstep). Now I admit that my only source for this information is second hand from an article in the press. However it has raised a small storm that a candidate has suggested that an aboriginal candidate for office may face a tougher time getting elected because of his race. The NDP has suggested that this implies that there may be some bigots in the riding that would not vote for a candidate because of race.

The same comments were made about Barak Obama when he ran for President. As it turned out, his race was not a limiting factor in his winning.

But for the NDP, and others, to suggest that the comments by Yvon Levesque should lead to his resignation from the race are simplistic. Jack Layton accused Mr Levesque of suggesting that some members of the riding are racist! Wow, wouldn’t that be a shock. Imagine that some Quebecers might be racist.

How are we ever to deal with issues of social importance if we cannot discuss them? I am sure that there are some residents of the riding who will not vote for an aboriginal candidate based on race. That would be wrong but it happens. And if we won’t talk about it then how does that help?

Again, I am not privy to the entire conversation with Mr Levesque and he may indeed have made other comments that were inappropriate or racist but nothing that Jack Layton quoted, from what I can see, are inherently racist.

Nor was it racist to say that Obama would have a difficult time getting elected as a black American.

That these two points are true is sad. That we won’t discuss them dispassionately is almost as sad.


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