I’m starting to wonder if Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes really does see a racist behind every tree and rock. Does she think every disagreement, every failure to yeild to her wishes, every slight is caused by the rampant racism sweeping Canada?
I have to admit, I don’t know much about Ms. Caesar-Chavannes. She is an MP from Whitby, an area that I have never lived nor worked, and I had never heard of her before the last election.
At that point the Liberals touted her as a rising star. After using social media to attack a fellow MP and then a seasoned and respected reporter with implications of racism, I’m wondering if the braintrust at PMO is having second thoughts.
Earlier this month, Caesar-Chavannes lashed out at fellow MP Maxime Bernier telling him to, “check [his] privilege and be quiet.” Today she is lashing out at Globe and Mail Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife.
Fife was on CPAC last week talking about the government’s non-stop push on issues of identity and race, something I touched on here. In the segment, Fife pointed to the complete mingling of all races and ethnicities among young people to suggest that the government launching a full study of systemic racism might not be needed.
At that point Caesar-Chavannes lashed out at one of the most respected and senior reporters on Parliament Hill.
To suggest that systemic racism does not exist, makes me question your ability to investigate stories of the Canadian experience without bias. https://t.co/obuSGY36aL
— Celina C-C (@MPCelina) March 26, 2018
I’ve worked alongside, but not for or with, Bob Fife for years. I call him an equal opportunity knee capper. When the Conservatives are in power they hate him and when the Liberals are in power they hate him.
That’s because he goes where there story is, he is aggressive and relentless but fair. You can’t say that about everyone in the media. He is also a man that in my experience is concerned with striking the right tone and not offending people on issues of race, gender or anything else.
And here we have an MP, an elected official with the governing party, questioning the ability of a journalist to do their job because they disagree with her on an issue.
Don’t tell me that won’t have a chilling effect on journalists with less gumption than Fife.
It’s part of a pattern for Caesar-Chavannes.
She complained last December about micro-aggressions against her based on race, pointing to security guards not opening the door for her, being told she had to show her pass or she could not get on the bus that circles the rather large Parliamentary precinct.
What I can tell you is that everything she complained about has happened to me. Someone of supposed white, and male, privilege.
My office was in Centre Block, overlooking the Library of Parliament for five years. I was there every day. I still got asked for my pass, accosted trying to get on the bus, and threatened with having to go through the security screening with the rest of the public.
The guards didn’t know me, there was a shift change, the bus driver had never seen me before, my pass wasn’t visible. The job of the security guards is to make sure only those authorized have access to certain areas.
I’ve been with veteran MPs who still make sure to flash their MPs pin, their version of a pass, to security guards on their way into the building. With 338 MPs, countless staff, journalists and more, these security guards do not know everyone, they switch postings, they are new.
But to Caesar-Chavannes, this was all racism.
Just as it was racism when she lashed out at a fellow MP who disagreed with her.
@MaximeBernier do some research, or a Google search, as to why stating colour blindness as a defence actually contributes to racism. Please check your privilege and be quiet. Since our gvt’t like research , here is some evidence: https://t.co/aAvhQR3o0l https://t.co/AcX0QdCMxs
— Celina C-C (@MPCelina) March 3, 2018
She later offered a half-hearted apology to Bernier and asked him to meet in Ottawa, an offer he declined.
I’m not a black woman and I have lived a very different life than Ms. Caesar-Chavannes, but the same can be said of her not knowing my life.
What I do know is that we live in a country that while it has had its problems in the past, now goes out of its way to redress grievances, fix problems and where most people are colour blind. Which I actually think is a good thing despite the claim it is racist.
I’d rather side with Martin Luther King Jr. who said he dreamed of a day when, “…my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Unfortunately, too many “progressives” want to regress to the era when race was all that mattered and use that as the lens to view all aspects of life.