"This is Canada, you can do like...whatever you like", a cool and composed New Democratic Party (NDP) leader in Canada, Jagmeet Singh, said after being at the receiving end of what seemed to be a ‘racist’ comment from a voter in Montreal, Quebec, on Wednesday.
The video shows the brief exchange between Jagmeet, whose popularity has been on a slight up-curve in Canadian politics, and a voter that has now gone viral. In the 26-second-long video Jagmeet is seen approaching a voter in a busy marketplace.
The voter leans in and tells Jagmeet: “You know what, you should cut your turban off, and you will totally look like a Canadian”.
On hearing the advice that seemed to have racial undertones, Jagmeet replied: “Canadians look like all sorts of people, that is the beauty of Canada." The man further says: “In Rome you do as Romans do," before shaking his hand. Jagmeet replies: "This is Canada, you can do like...whatever you like."
Before Singh leaves, the voter tells him, "All right, take care. I hope you win."
Beaucoup de Canadien·nes se font dire qu'on doit changer qui nous sommes pour réussir. Mon message pour vous : ne changez pas qui vous êtes. Tout le monde mérite sa place. https://t.co/T8wDnfsNMi— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) October 2, 2019
Later, Jagmeet reacted to the video, saying: “Many Canadians are told that we must change who we are to succeed. My message to you: do not change who you are. Everyone deserves his place.”
Viewed over one million times, the video has generated several reactions on social media with many praising the Leader of the New Democratic Party.
Classy response Jagmeet, unfortunately some people are just narrow minded in today's society.— Gary Williams (@BigGazza121) October 2, 2019
One of the basic principles of a democracy that is🙌🏻— Subhan Ahmed (@subhan1230) October 2, 2019
Well said. That's what makes canada a great country. How respectfully Singh replied abs moved on pic.twitter.com/ZDmMP9PIQw— Desert Trader (@Moe82343870) October 3, 2019
Wow he handled that amazingly. Painful to see racism here in this wonderful country of ours.— Mary Bank (@lilith7711) October 3, 2019
That was a beautiful way to handle the situation.— sunita grewal (@sunitagrewal) October 3, 2019