Ethnic profiling has no place in the Ontario Liberal PartyPosted: January 24, 2013
If you’re a member of the Ontario Liberal Party, you have been bombarded in recent weeks with emails, campaign literature and phone calls. It’s a part of every campaign, however, and it’s here to stay. But some campaigns have been more mindful of not cluttering up your inbox or not subjecting you to nonstop robocalls. But others have gone way too far.
Like Kathleen Wynne.
This week, some Liberal party members received one letter in particular that has some people very upset. This letter was translated into different languages based on a kind of assumed ethnicity based on the member’s name. Yes, name.
Remember back when the Harper Cons sent Rosh Hashanah messages to Jewish Canadians? People were outraged. What the Wynne campaign has done this week is similar, and it has offended a number of Liberal party members.
Young Liberal, Tahiya Bakht received a letter in Punjabi. She is Bangledeshi but an assumption was made that she was Indian or Pakistani based on her name. She wrote about how she felt about it on Facebook last night:
Another Ontario Liberal Party member got something similar. Hani El Masry received a letter from the Wynne campaign identifying him as Muslim and was then added to an email list serv for “Muslim delegates for Wynne”. Hani is Arab, but not Muslim. You can read about it here.
On many levels, this is a big mistake. Huge. I come from a diverse ethnic background and could not imagine receiving political literature based on a guess as to what that background is. A candidate who preaches social justice and tolerance should never, ever be as insensitive as this.