Race Card Attacks on Poilievre: What’s the Public to Think When It’s the Tories Doing It to Tories?

CommentaryIt has become almost expected for Conservative candidates to be labelled as either being racists or encouraging racism as political campaigns develop. If no direct evidence of racism on the part of the candidate can be found, racism will be implied through tenuous connections with apparent supporters. Unfounded accusations of racism can be catastrophic to a person’s political career and personal life. The tactic of baselessly accusing political opponents of racism is unprincipled and fosters mistrust and division in society as well as within the victim’s own political party. It’s also devastatingly effective. That’s why this odious tactic is so commonly being used. While there is always room for improvement, society in developed nations have come a long way when it comes to racism. True systemically entrenched racism is all but gone, and despite what many activists would have us believe, overt displays or acts of racism are few and far between. Sure, some repugnant white nationalists exist out there. They are a tiny minority of a minority, however, and their prime means of expressing themselves is through anonymous postings on social media. They know most of the public has no use for them and they keep their heads low. Racism being one of the worst things one can label an opponent with, it isn’t surprising to see unprincipled political operators using it strategically. Canada isn’t experiencing anything akin to the culture wars being played out south of our border, but some people are trying to foster that kind of division for political gain up here and it often works. The race game used to be played predominantly between opposing parties. Liberals would accuse Conservatives of being racists or harbouring racists, Conservatives would go on the defensive and members would be ejected. A new and distressing development now, though, is that the tactic of smearing political opponents as racists has moved into the leadership race of the Conservative Party of Canada. Presumptive front-runners in a leadership race will always draw the most flak, and right now that person is Pierre Poilievre. It’s not enough that he’s been a member of Parliament for over 17 years without having uttered a racially intolerant word, and it’s still not enough that he has an ethnically blended marriage. Opponents within his own party are determined to label Poilievre as a racist or at least a person being supported by racists, and they are ramping up the rhetoric with their efforts. Poilievre really began making his political rivals nervous when packed rallies of supporters made the news. It is unusual to see thousands of people coming out to support a candidate in an internal party race like that. Beginning with a packed rally in Calgary and in rallies following that one, discussion kept focussing on how white the crowds were. The crowds pretty much reflected the demographic of the areas they were held in, but that was never noted, as it was quietly implied that the rallies were akin to white nationalist gatherings. Next, a faux scandal was created because Poilievre dared to utter the words “Anglo-Saxon” in an interview with Jordan Peterson. That the words were not used in any sort of racist context didn’t matter. It was reported that Poilievre was “facing backlash” for his statement. Backlash from whom? Why? It doesn’t matter. The slow game of labelling marches on. A new line was crossed when Michelle Rempel Garner, the campaign co-chair for leadership candidate Patrick Brown, tweeted out an image of an alleged email from a member spouting several racist statements and closing by saying they supported Pierre Poilievre. It was reminiscent of the now disproven story of the alleged arsonists on Ottawa who supposedly told people they were part of the trucker’s Freedom Convoy as they carried out their act. Whether or not the email was genuine, it had nothing to do with Poilievre himself, and he can’t be held responsible for it. The only reason Rempel Garner shared it on Twitter was to try and smear Poilievre, but all it really is accomplishing is to discredit the entire Conservative Party. It is bad enough having progressive politicians abetted by a liberal media constantly painting Conservatives as racists. When Conservative members start doing it to each other, what is the public to think? Conservatives need to be pushing back against this trend of using racism as a political tool rather than taking part in it. They are only lending a sense of credence to the accusations of opponents when it’s implied they are awash with racist members and supporters. It’s unforgivable seeing Conservatives now embracing the tactics of the left against their own candidates. Not only will it not win them the next general election, but it will also add to the division and mistrust already prevalent within society today over everything from vaccination status to race. Conservatives should be fighting this type of division rather than jo

Race Card Attacks on Poilievre: What’s the Public to Think When It’s the Tories Doing It to Tories?

Commentary

It has become almost expected for Conservative candidates to be labelled as either being racists or encouraging racism as political campaigns develop. If no direct evidence of racism on the part of the candidate can be found, racism will be implied through tenuous connections with apparent supporters.

Unfounded accusations of racism can be catastrophic to a person’s political career and personal life. The tactic of baselessly accusing political opponents of racism is unprincipled and fosters mistrust and division in society as well as within the victim’s own political party. It’s also devastatingly effective. That’s why this odious tactic is so commonly being used.

While there is always room for improvement, society in developed nations have come a long way when it comes to racism. True systemically entrenched racism is all but gone, and despite what many activists would have us believe, overt displays or acts of racism are few and far between. Sure, some repugnant white nationalists exist out there. They are a tiny minority of a minority, however, and their prime means of expressing themselves is through anonymous postings on social media. They know most of the public has no use for them and they keep their heads low.

Racism being one of the worst things one can label an opponent with, it isn’t surprising to see unprincipled political operators using it strategically. Canada isn’t experiencing anything akin to the culture wars being played out south of our border, but some people are trying to foster that kind of division for political gain up here and it often works.

The race game used to be played predominantly between opposing parties. Liberals would accuse Conservatives of being racists or harbouring racists, Conservatives would go on the defensive and members would be ejected. A new and distressing development now, though, is that the tactic of smearing political opponents as racists has moved into the leadership race of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Presumptive front-runners in a leadership race will always draw the most flak, and right now that person is Pierre Poilievre. It’s not enough that he’s been a member of Parliament for over 17 years without having uttered a racially intolerant word, and it’s still not enough that he has an ethnically blended marriage. Opponents within his own party are determined to label Poilievre as a racist or at least a person being supported by racists, and they are ramping up the rhetoric with their efforts.

Poilievre really began making his political rivals nervous when packed rallies of supporters made the news. It is unusual to see thousands of people coming out to support a candidate in an internal party race like that. Beginning with a packed rally in Calgary and in rallies following that one, discussion kept focussing on how white the crowds were. The crowds pretty much reflected the demographic of the areas they were held in, but that was never noted, as it was quietly implied that the rallies were akin to white nationalist gatherings.

Next, a faux scandal was created because Poilievre dared to utter the words “Anglo-Saxon” in an interview with Jordan Peterson. That the words were not used in any sort of racist context didn’t matter. It was reported that Poilievre was “facing backlash” for his statement. Backlash from whom? Why? It doesn’t matter. The slow game of labelling marches on.

A new line was crossed when Michelle Rempel Garner, the campaign co-chair for leadership candidate Patrick Brown, tweeted out an image of an alleged email from a member spouting several racist statements and closing by saying they supported Pierre Poilievre. It was reminiscent of the now disproven story of the alleged arsonists on Ottawa who supposedly told people they were part of the trucker’s Freedom Convoy as they carried out their act.

Whether or not the email was genuine, it had nothing to do with Poilievre himself, and he can’t be held responsible for it. The only reason Rempel Garner shared it on Twitter was to try and smear Poilievre, but all it really is accomplishing is to discredit the entire Conservative Party.

It is bad enough having progressive politicians abetted by a liberal media constantly painting Conservatives as racists. When Conservative members start doing it to each other, what is the public to think?

Conservatives need to be pushing back against this trend of using racism as a political tool rather than taking part in it. They are only lending a sense of credence to the accusations of opponents when it’s implied they are awash with racist members and supporters.

It’s unforgivable seeing Conservatives now embracing the tactics of the left against their own candidates. Not only will it not win them the next general election, but it will also add to the division and mistrust already prevalent within society today over everything from vaccination status to race.

Conservatives should be fighting this type of division rather than joining the race to the bottom.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Cory Morgan is a columnist based in Calgary.