I have to speak up about a complaint that I am hearing from new Canadians and Canadians from visible minority communities all across Canada.
They are offended, and I understand why.
The media attention that Patrick Brown received was all about how he was going to “deliver” the ethnic vote to the Conservative Party, as if he alone could speak for them. As if there is a “them” – a single block of “ethnic voters” who need to be rescued because they were “victimized” by a white system and only a progressive-leaning white man can rescue them.
As someone who grew up in a community filled with new Canadians and many visible minorities, let me say that I am not a victim in need of a political saviour, nor are the hard-working visible minorities of this great country.
When the media and even people within our own party treat minorities as a single voting block it is a shocking display of identity politics and frankly, the kind of racism that is antithetical to our conservative values of freedom, merit and hard work.
Patrick Brown could not deliver the “ethnic vote”. He was free, as all of us leadership candidates are, to make an appeal to the conservative values that they have. But they did not belong to him.
The fact that the media assumes that Patrick Brown can now bequeath unto Jean Charest this so-called “ethnic vote” is the epitome of the colonial thinking that they claim to hate. The oppressed minority with the white saviour narrative that keeps us begging for a seat at the table rather than being judged by our abilities.
It is the same lowly mindset that tells white children that they are oppressors and blacks that they are victims. Our party should be speaking up loudly to reject this narrative that the Liberals and NDP constantly project, this disrespect of visible minorities that treats them as voting commodities rather than individuals each with their own opinions who need to be convinced to support us because we’ve earned that support.
The media pundits and the Liberals cannot handle the idea of ethnic minorities who don’t fit their narrative. I’m a female black immigrant lawyer, who raised her kids in and around Toronto. I represent the exact kind of voter and politician they say matters to them, and yet they constantly ignore me, even suggesting that only two white males in our party can appeal to minorities. This is a complete negation of the work that I’ve successfully poured into making our party more inclusive for all.
In the 2020 Leadership I won the popular vote in the second round, I broke through in regions people said I never could, and despite going up against multiple heavyweights this time around, I have raised $1.5 million dollars and sold more memberships than I did in 2020. And yet I am invisible to the media because I don’t fit their narratives, I’m not progressive enough.
The left do not hide their bigotry. In fact, during the last U.S. election, Joe Biden stated if African Americans voted for Trump, that meant they weren’t black. The left even finds it necessary to appropriate your racial identity if you dare to exercise any level of free thought outside of their control. Yet they try to paint conservatives as racist. The media’s contempt for me is clearly because I destroy their false narrative of a racist conservative and reveal that the true bigotry lies with those who reduce people to voting blocks based on the colour of their skin.
This is the same kind of broken narrative that Andrew Scheer called the CBC out for in 2020 when they were fawning over Kamala Harris being selected as the vice-presidential candidate while our party was maligned for being racist despite having my presence in the leadership race.
Can I deliver the so-called ethnic vote to our party in the next election? I have done so in the past, and I can do it again. But not because I fit some checkbox. Because I treat people like everyone else. There are individuals all across Canada who come from many different backgrounds and I am able to connect with them on an authentic values level.
And by breaking out of the racist narratives the Liberals and their friends in the media perpetrate we can build a truly inclusive party that represents everyone. I believe in a Canada where people are judged by the content of their character and that is what I will continue to fight for.