A pale male rebuttal to Dosanjh's fear of white men being silenced
Published Thursday, January 7, 2016 5:54PM EST
There was something surreal about watching Canada's first and only Indo-Canadian premier sounding the alarm about white men being self-silenced by political correctness.
It wasn't just the unflattering mop of long grey hair or seeing Ujjal Dosanjh's tailored suits replaced by a casual vest in a fly-fishing motif.
It was watching Dosanjh argue that pale males are muzzling themselves lest they face (quote) the "fear of rebuke from the enforcers of fear" (unquote).
This is not his first shot of unconventional wisdom. Dosanjh has taken on political correctness before, specifically his critique of Ontario's premier for labelling those who question the Syrian refugee resettlement rush as closet racists.
That was worthy of argument. And let's not forget his brave stand against Sikh extremism, which cost him a vicious beating in a Vancouver parking lot some 30 years ago.
But to suggest that the white male voice in Canadian society, particularly in political conversation, is missing because we're fearful of being tongue-lashed by women or visible minorities is simply preposterous, even to this pale male.
It's early months, but there has not been a whole lot of Justin Trudeau activity that wouldn't have been done under Stephen Harper rule.
But the one stark difference which never would've occurred to the Conservative prime minister was the commendable enforcement of gender balance in the cabinet appointments.
So far, it's working spectacularly well. You almost wonder, given the high quality of women Liberal MPs left out of cabinet, why he didn't go beyond 50 per cent.
And the sentiment is spreading.
There's a very serious and sensible push for Trudeau to impose gender balance in his Senate appointments. Similar considerations are taking root as the government replaces old Harper appointments with their preferred bureaucratic and diplomatic nominations.
Be it in staffing circles, lobbying firms, the Official Opposition critic assignments, heck even political shows like this one, there's a fresh sensitivity of the need to amplify and diversify all voices.
It certainly doesn't remove the rarely-timid white male from the Canadian conversation. Everyone knows they did all the talking for too long anyway.
It's just an overdue moment for this to happen - with inspiration coming from the top.
Because, after all, it's 2016.