A racially insensitive tweet from a political columnist at the Toronto Sun posted on Wednesday is drawing strong reactions on Twitter.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who faced off against Loblaws CEO Galen Weston Jr. during a committee hearing on food insecurity in the House of Commons was seen wearing a yellow turban.
Toronto Sun political columnist Brian Lilley took to Twitter shortly after writing "Jagmeet looks like he wore his No Name turban today just to grill Galen Weston at committee. I know he changes the colours for special days or occasion but didn't expect to see No Name yellow today. Is it on purpose or a coincidence?"
Jagmeet looks like he wore his No Name turban today just to grill Galen Weston at committee.
I know he changes the colours for special days or occaision but didn't expect to see No Name yellow today. Is it on purpose or a coincidence? pic.twitter.com/rOmModWgkc
— Brian Lilley (@brianlilley) March 8, 2023
Twitter users were quick to type strongly-worded responses opposing Lilley's tweet, which has garnered over 900,000 views as of Thursday afternoon.
Canadian Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan posted a photo of himself with his own take on Lilley's tweet.
— Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) March 9, 2023
Carolyn Jarvis, Chief Investigative Correspondent with Global News just needed one word to express her thoughts.
— Carolyn Jarvis (@CJarvisGlobal) March 9, 2023
Rishi Kumar Nagar, a teacher and journalist based in Calgary, AB, responded with how the tweet was seen as mocking.
Brian! It’s totally inappropriate to mock the religious article of faith. Please delete it!
— Rishi Kumar Nagar🍁 (@RishiKNagar) March 9, 2023
Another user took to the comment section to provide insight into the significance the colour yellow has in India.
Yellow is the sacred color of India. The color of sunshine and happiness. Believed to have healing powers. Many gods in India are dressed in yellow - Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna, and Ganesha. It's synonymous with turmeric, which has been used as a medicine for centuries in India.
— P Smith (@rwbb60) March 9, 2023
Many comments were left by social media users who seemed astounded that the tweet remained up on the site nearly 24 hours after it was posted.
You can still delete this
— Christo Aivalis 🌹🍊 (@christoaivalis) March 9, 2023
Sarah Hoffman, deputy leader of the NDP also chimed in, offering the context she saw Lilley's tweet in.
This sure sounds racist. Is that on purpose or a coincidence?
— Sarah Hoffman (@shoffmanAB) March 9, 2023
Singh, the first member of a visible minority to lead a federal party in Canada, is no stranger to racism.
In May 2022, protesters at a provincial campaign stop in Peterborough, Ont. hurled expletives towards the leader — an incident he says is one of the most troubling of his career yet.
Again in October 2019, while campaigning in Montreal, a male approached Singh at Atwater Market and urged the NDP leader to "cut off" his turban to "look like a Canadian."
"This is Canada, you can do whatever you like," Singh said to him before walking away.
"I got a turban and a beard and I'm out here talking about loving the language, fighting against climate crisis, investing in people, investing in universal medication for all,' that people can see ... maybe it isn't a good idea to have divisive laws that discriminate [against] people based on the way they look," Singh told reporters while addressing Quebec's controversial secularism bill earlier that day.