Canadians have come to the defense of a liberal member of Canada’s parliament after some conservative media claimed she is racist.
Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a first-term liberal politician in Canada, has spoken openly about racism and discrimination that she and other people of color have experienced in Canada and has used her position as a Member of Parliament (MP) to bring attention to race issues.
Due to her outspokenness, conservative-leaning media outlets in Canada have described Caesar-Chavannes as “Canada’s most racist MP” because “she sees racism and sexism everywhere,” according to TheRebel.Media.
Caesar-Chavannes has fought back against the claims that she espouses racist views just because she calls out racial injustice.
“The label that does not belong to me,” she tweeted. “I will not sit & let others say what they wish, because they feel they can get away with it, or others are too cowardice to object.”
So tired of being attacked as a racist b/c I question racism or speak up against it. The label that does not belong to me. I will not sit & let others say what they wish, because they feel they can get away with it, or others are too cowardice to object. I will speak up #NotToday
— Celina Caesar-Chavannes (@iamcelinacc) March 27, 2018
Caesar-Chavannes, who emigrated from Grenada to Canada and represents the Whitby electorial district in Ontario, drew conservative ire after she called out Robert Fife, Ottawa bureau chief of The Globe and Mail, on Twitter for questioning systemic racism.
Robert Fife, the Ottawa bureau chief of the nation's paper of record, does not seem to know what systemic racism even means. He thinks it's about whether teenagers of different backgrounds hang out together. pic.twitter.com/z5Ge2iBJsJ
— ishmael (@iD4RO) March 24, 2018
“To suggest that systemic racism does not exist, makes me question your ability to investigate stories of the Canadian experience without bias,” she wrote.
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 Caesar-Chavannes (@iamcelinacc) March 26, 2018
“I’m starting to wonder if Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes really does see a racist behind every tree and rock,” journalist Bria Lilley claimed on his website after she criticized Fife.
Supporters of Caesar-Chavannes got #HereForCelina trending on Twitter to back the MP after claims that she’s a target of Canada’s alt-right.
— Shree Paradkar 🍁 (@ShreeParadkar) March 27, 2018
I can’t reconcile the unwarranted attacks on @MPCelina while others are free to spew actual racist vitriol.
So I’m #HereForCelina
— Mitchell Rose (@SettleWithMitch) March 28, 2018
Caesar-Chavannes does not look to be backing down anytime soon as she plans to continue to advocate for issues that are important to her.
“I have heard individuals say that I might be a one-term MP because I continue to speak up about issues, and I accept that, ” she said at a speech at the Empire Club in Toronto. “I accept that because my feminism requires me to be bold. … It requires me to smash and challenge the status quo.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.