I suppose more ambitious than Warren Kinsella’s recent attempt to define conservatism in his Toronto Sun column is his attempt to sound intelligent — and, in this case, like he knows the actual story he’s writing about.
Last week at a rally with Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Conservative Party faithfuls in London, Ontario, a young girl made national news after being put through the painful, oppressive and incredibly traumatic experience of being asked to leave a room. I held off on writing about this story because, well, it’s not a story at all. However, I must admit to Mr. Kinsella…he inspired me. Oftentimes it takes a man’s glaring stupidity to do such a thing.
In a poetic column in which Kinsella attempts to show hypocrisy between conservatives today and former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, he writes:
Awish [Aslam], as you undoubtedly know by now, is a University of Western Ontario student. She’s doesn’t look very scary. Maybe a hundred pounds, soaking wet. She wears a veil — she’s religious, apparently — and she isn’t white.
Last Sunday, she and a friend went to a Conservative Party rally in London, Ont. They signed up to attend the rally with the assistance of the friend’s father, who is a Conservative supporter. About 30 minutes after their arrival, a party organizer carrying a clipboard asked the pair to step out to talk. A burly RCMP officer in a suit came, too.
The guy with the clipboard slipped away, and the RCMP officer suddenly ripped the nametags off the two girls. “You are no longer welcome here,” he said.
When they asked why — Awish, stunned, was crying — the Mountie said: “We know you have ties to the Liberal Party through Facebook.”
And he kicked them out.
It’s interesting that in a story that has nothing to do with race, Warren Kinsella points out that Aslam “isn’t white.” I won’t hold that against him though. After all, holding people of other races in a different regard is just in his nature. (Heck even the neo-Nazis think he’s too racist for them.) Not only is Aslam a visible minority, but she’s also a female — another group Kinsella doesn’t seem to respect too much.
Personally, I think Aslam’s story would have been more exciting if the “Mountie” had rode in on a horse in his red, ceremonial dress with one of those intimidating round hats that they wear. Or, you know, if it were true. While party officials have confirmed that Aslam was asked to leave, it should also be noted that there were no nametags at this event. For that matter, if there were, what benefit would the evil, burly RCMP man have to remove them and rip them up?
While the presence (or rather, lack of) nametags at a political rally may seem like an insignificant detail; it’s a detail that lends credibility to the notion that this story has been tweaked and adapted to suit the media’s narrative about Stephen Harper, but the reality. Also, this story is being used to fulfill Warren Kinsella’s personal narrative that conservatives are as racist as he is.
The RCMP was asked to assist in the removal of the girls in question from the event, but that was the extent of their involvement.
Even if Aslam’s story were true, who cares? This wasn’t a townhall where Stephen Harper was speaking as Prime Minister to the public. Rather, this was a private rally for the Conservative Party of Canada to pump up the supporters, make an announcement, and build up some energy to carry through the campaign. If I showed up at a Liberal Party as a known conservative talking head, I would hardly feel entitled to be there. Private events mean the organizers set the rules: End of story.
So Warren, before you attempt to define conservatism by creating a circuitous example that modern conservatives oppose freedom; maybe you should get your facts straight.