Calling Poilievre racist for using the term Anglo Saxon is disgusting – Toronto Sun

Publishing date:

May 19, 2022  •  10 hours ago  •  3 minute read  •  69 Comments

Candidate Pierre Poilievre makes a point at the Conservative Party of Canada English leadership debate in Edmonton Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
Candidate Pierre Poilievre makes a point at the Conservative Party of Canada English leadership debate in Edmonton Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Photo by Jeff McIntosh /THE CANADIAN PRESS

Have you heard the latest from the chattering classes about Pierre Poilievre?

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They have proof that he’s a racist and a white supremacist because he used the term Anglo Saxon.

I wish I was making this up but there are actual stories out there making this claim by supposedly serious journalists.

Seems Poilievre made a comment while appearing on Jordan Peterson’s podcast that caught the eye of some. In a 90-minute conversation with Peterson, Poilievre said one sentence that set tongues wagging and resulted in claims that he is dog whistling to white supremacists.

“I’m a believer in using simple Anglo-Saxon words that strike right at the meaning that I’m trying to convey,” Poilievre said.

Now, that’s weird, who uses the term “Anglo-Saxon words” while trying to convey the idea that they speak plainly so that people can understand them? But weird isn’t racist and weird isn’t white supremacy no matter how far some media outlets want to reach.

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The conversation between Poilievre and Peterson is fascinating, better than I expected, two intelligent men go back and forth on a series of policy issues, as Peterson does his best to draw out Poilievre on what motivates him and how he got into politics. They cover a wide range of topics, including the relationship that Poilievre has with much of the media in this country.

That may be what is driving this claim that his use of the term “Anglo-Saxon words” is a racist dog whistle.

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The gallery in Ottawa, which I was long a part of, doesn’t like Poilievre and never has. They see him as aggressive, scrappy and angry. Which, funny enough, could actually describe their stance with him because no matter the issue, they are aggressive, scrappy and angry over whatever he says.

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It’s no coincidence that he’s done very few mainstream media interviews, though I had a 20-minute video chat with him a few months ago. After watching Peterson, I should have pushed for 90 minutes apparently just to make him say something innocuous that the gallery could take as controversial.

CTV was the first, but not the last, to jump on the idea that Poilievre’s use of Anglo-Saxon was code for white Canadian goodness. The people behind that report should actually know better because if you’ve paid attention to Poilievre’s life and campaign, you know that this is ridiculous.

At every campaign stop that they can manage it, Poilievre is introduced by his wife Ana Galindo. If you haven’t met her, she’s a proud Latina whose family fled Venezuela.

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White supremacists don’t tend to marry Latina women and then put them on stage to introduce them if they’re trying to attract racist voters. All this to say, if Pierre Poilievre is a racist or white supremacist, he’s a very bad one.

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The attacks on Poilievre have gone from anything based on policy to the absurd. A certain Globe columnist has compared him to French far-right and anti-immigrant politician Marie Le Pen without any merit. The lazy journalists and columnists will simply reach for the Trump reference.

I’m not against criticizing Poilievre based on his actual policy or his demeanour and actions – and I’ve done that recently – but the idea that he is dismissed as a racist or anti-immigrant while ignoring his personal life is beyond the pale.

There was a significant section in the interview with Peterson where Poilievre described much of the media. My colleagues at other outlets may not like what he has to say but based on their actions, they may want to watch that part and reflect on how they cover him.

It will be uncomfortable for them, but also revealing.

blilley@postmedia.com

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