As Canadians embark on an important national conversation about systemic racism, it is important to know who among us is allowed to express an opinion, and who is not.
Thankfully, senior Globe columnist Elizabeth Renzetti has pronounced on the matter. Citing some of the more heated public responses to Liberal MP Iqra Khalid, sponsor of the anti-Islamophobia motion M-103, and her caucus colleague Celina Caesar-Chavannes, best known for telling Tory MP Maxime Bernier to “check your privilege and be quiet,” Renzetti observes that "Canadians can (and do) still flap their gums at will, and can tune into talk radio to find people just like them flapping their gums in unison." She's right. The last thing we want in a serious public-policy debate is gum-flapping. "Because when right-wing male commentators declare themselves experts on black women’s lives and experiences of discrimination," Renzetti warns, "we have indeed tumbled down a rabbit hole."
So to all you right-wing male commentators who fret about the Trudeau government being "obtusely fanatical"—the words are Andrew Coyne's but they have been echoed recently by Renzetti's Globe colleagues John Ibbitson and Margaret Wente, among others—take the summer off. Go fishing. Stain the deck. Tune up that old Harley.
Leave the serious debate to the experts.