The misplaced praise for Jagmeet Singh. ⇒

   20 September 2017, early morning

The mainstream media response suggests that the onus is on people of colour to perform the emotional labour of deftly handling racists. The praise for the way Singh “handled racism” reinforces a notion that people of colour are expected to “deal” with racism in an amiable way that white people deem acceptable: to fight hate with love, thereby requiring a response that is inherently pacifist. A response like this negates the pain, anger and hurt that is inherent in racial attacks, and it negates the overwhelming hopelessness and defeat of that moment. People of colour are expected to “transcend their race.” They are expected to adhere to notions of propriety that are predetermined by the white majority who have never had to deal with racism as an accepted feature of being non-white in Canada. There is an arrogance in this way of thinking: to suppose that white people have the experience, education and understanding of the nuance of racism, so much so that they can critique the behaviour of people of colour who live it every day.

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