via Celina Caesar-Chavannes website
A Durham Region area Liberal MP accused of racism is garnering support via Twitter for her efforts of speaking out on the issue.
Whitby MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes tweeted last Monday she is tired of being called “racist” for “questioning racism” and being vocal about the problem.
This started when the Toronto Sun News senior correspondent and Rebel Media co-founder Brian Lilley, tweeted the MP sees “racism everywhere.”
— Brian Lilley (@brianlilley) March 27, 2018
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 (like the salad)-Chavannes (sh-van) (@iamcelinacc) March 27, 2018
In response, Liberal MP Adam Vaughn started the hashtag #HereForCelina and it took off, even catching the attention of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau tweeted that Caesar-Chavannes is a strong role model for women, girls and all Canadians.
“I think it’s crucial for our elected officials to address issues such as racism,” said Cassy Michelle constituency assistant and case manager at MPP Granville Anderson’s office in Durham. “As representatives of our communities it’s necessary to not shy away from the tough topics. Although it may make some uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean it should simply be ignored.”
Caesar-Chavannes is known to speak openly about her position as the only female MP of colour in Parliament, and how this type of power has not protected her from any racial injustices.
“A common issue with black women in the corporate world is that we typically don’t like to educate our peers on the things they do that are ignorant of our cultures or life experiences,” said Karina Smith, a supporter of the MP. “We are fearful to talk about double-standards, pay inequality, and other issues because most of the time we are shot down and told that we are imagining things or that these problems do not exist.”
Caesar-Chavannes was in a previous Twitter feud with MP Maxime Bernier of the Conservative party when he suggested policies that target Canadians based on race are divisive and don’t support a “colour blind” worldview.
“Please check your privilege and be quiet,” she responded on social media.
Caesar-Chavannes later apologized, but insists minorities are in fact treated differently and that systemic racism exists in this country.