In a press conference this morning, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was asked to comment on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reluctance to condemn U.S President Donald Trump’s divisive statements about ongoing anti-racism protests fuelled by police brutality in the U.S.
“I want to take a moment to reflect on this, this is a very important thing,” Jagmeet Singh said. “When I was a kid, I remember being bullied or picked on physically and with words, and I remembered that there would be bystanders who would watch or maybe laugh along, or maybe say nothing. The kids who said nothing didn’t help me in any way. Their silence didn’t stop the blows that I felt. Their silence didn’t stop the painful words. It is vitally important that people are not passive bystanders. When people are being killed simply for expressing their dissent, for protesting because they are frustrated and angry, you have to actually speak up. You cannot be a passive bystanders. Canada cannot be a passive bystander.”
“So I say this very clearly: What President Trump is doing is reprehensible. What President Trump is doing is in flaming hatred. It is divisive, it is wrong. He is acting in a way which is fuelling racism. He is acting in a way which is going to put people’s lives at risk, and it is wrong and it needs to be called out. It’s difficult to stand up to bullies. It’s difficult to call out hatred. It’s hard to do but it must be done, it takes courage and everyone has to do their part and I think the Prime Minister has an important role. Canada has an important role to call out when things when things that are so heinous are going on. There is a time when we cannot be silent and this is that time. When President Trump says those hateful, divisive comments, the international community has a responsibility to call it out. To point out that that’s wrong. And that’s why I think but what Prime Minister Trudeau did was wrong. He shouldn’t have been silent. Far too long people have been silent and passive and it is no longer the time for that silence.”
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