Racism Against Our Democratic Candidates: No Way

by antoine riendeau on November 3, 2014 - 11:25pm

The article ‘’Muslim candidate says volunteers faced with racism on campaign trail’’ by Mark Carcasole on the website Global Montreal from October 24th, 2014 reports the racist incident that volunteers for the muslim candidate,  Munira Abukar,  have been victims. The event occurred on Thursday night, October 23th, while the volunteers were installing election signs. A Purolator’s driver, who was passing by, stopped and threw a cup of coffee to the volunteers. After, he started insulting them, treating them of terrorists. The victims achieved to note down the truck’s license. As soon as Abukar heard of the story, she decided to stop the activity for the night, question of security. Purolator heard of the story and sent a statement to Global Montreal saying that as members of a company which values respect and multiculturalism, they were profoundly shocked. The executives said taken the incident seriously by launching an investigation. Abukar had a discussion with the President. She truly believes that his apologies were sincere and that there will be no tolerance from his part. Also, the candidate to the Toronto’s Hall thinks that the terrorist’s attacks that happened earlier this week, in Quebec and Ottawa, contributed to what her volunteers suffer from. Abukar has been raised in a military family, plus her brother is a Canadian soldier. Consequently, she reports living hardly the events of Quebec and Ottawa. Thursday night’s event was not the first time that Abukar undergo with racism. Indeed, two of her electoral signs were vandalized with a Nazi’s cross and a message that tell her to go where she comes from. The author concludes by mentioning that no further details about the event were provided by Purolator’s internal investigators. 

In democratic countries such as Canada, our principles interfere with racism which has not his place. I have no other choice to agree with this article because the author only reports the facts of the event. It is too objective. It is, in my opinion, a weakness of this article because it does not denounce racism. I think that reporting those kinds of events only objectively, help to bury them quicker. We do not feel it scandalous. This racist act passed, again, under the radar, just like the one that the minister of State for Multiculturalism, Tim Uppal experienced after being insulted last month. Even if I watch news coverage regularly, I did not hear of those cases. It is now clear for me that media consider racism as a taboo and try to hide it. Abukar’s case is ironical because it clearly highlights the concept of democratic racism. Indeed, our society promotes democratic principles such as justice, equality and fairness. However, this leader of a democratic course for the Hall of Toronto is being insulted and discriminated just because she is Muslim. We are sending her a message that her ideas are less important than ours and that she is not welcome in Canada. Those two sets of values could not coexist because they are contradictory. Her case is ironical because she is defending principles that the society values, but does not apply to her minority. For my experience, I was raised in a family that promotes democracy and its principles.  My father always keeps talking about equality and stuff, but his actions do not prove it. Indeed, he has a small commerce, but I have never seen an employee who was from a different ethnic background. It is pretty sad to say, but he has probably discriminated someone because of his ‘’race’’.

On the other hand, I do not like Abukar’s reaction of stopping the activity. She just did what the aggressor of her volunteers and the people who painted on her signs want her to do. They want her to go back home and shut her mouth. Instead of standing still, she tried to become invisible for the night. This is where the author could have added some subjectivity by proposing different answers against this racial slur. For my part, I would have proposed to continue the posing of signs. Also, I would have gone further the next morning by talking about it in the media. Even, I would have made an election pledge by planning to give money to organisms that fight racism.

I like what Purolator initially did by launching an internal investigation. However, I clearly perceived the discourse of multiculturalism. Indeed, in their statement the executive insist on the fact that the company values multiculturalism. They try to make this employee as an exception, but there are always some tensions in enterprises. The employee who committed this racist act would probably not have done it if he would have work in such a good multicultural and respectful enterprise. By claiming this statement, the executive blind their eyes to the real problems. In that manner of thought, racism could not be eradicated because it is always being ignored (discourse of denial).

I believe, just like Abukar did, that the event of Quebec and Ottawa might have been one of the causes of this event. Unfortunately, people associated Arabs’ appearance with negative prejudgments. This is completely wrong because the people who did those acts of terrorism did it because of their beliefs, and not because they belong to a certain ethnic background. They are fanatic. The crazy person who perpetuated Quebec’s act was white. I consider him as a member of the majority group. It illustrates how everybody could be a terrorist. It has no link with the appearance. This is why what the volunteers faced was terrible. They were discriminated and insulted for nothing. In conclusion, racism is totally illogical and it, even, contradicts our beliefs of a democratic country.


Carcasole, Mark. "Muslim candidate says volunteers faced with racism on campaign trail." Global Montreal. Shaw Media Inc., 24 Oct. 2014. Web. 29 Oct. 2014. <http://globalnews.ca/news/1634562/muslim-candidate-says-volunteers-faced....