Sun News escalated things quickly last Friday when four Caucasian people tried to debate white privilege with a Pakistani-Canadian activist.
Tarek Fatah appeared increasingly agitated as he sat on a panel with network personalities Jerry Agar, Anthony Furey, Paige MacPherson and pundit J.J. McCullough.
They gathered in response to a plan by the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) to educate members on white privilege.
A website attached to Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts defines the concept as follows:
"White privilege is a set of advantages and/or immunities that white people benefit from on a daily basis beyond those common to all others. White privilege can exist without white people's conscious knowledge of its presence and it helps to maintain the racial hierarchy."
The 18-minute segment grew very heated, very fast, as Fatah found himself trying to convince all four panellists that white privilege is real.
McCullough, for one, argued that Muslims, like Fatah, enjoy privilege because they're racially profiled in airports. Or something.
Here are some other key quotes from the panel:
Fatah: "It exists, it’s very widespread, but most white people are blind to it."
Agar: (to Fatah) "You don't have brown privilege to take over the show."
McCullough: "If a woman says that she is being denied a promotion because of sexism, if a person of colour says that he's being treated unfairly by the police because of racism, there is a great deal of sympathy that is automatically and uncritically given to these people that make assertions of victimhood, so that unto itself is really a form of privilege as well."
Agar: "How is it that almost everybody working at the Chinese restaurant is Chinese?"
Agar: "How did you possibly get a newspaper column and a publishing deal and all of these things you have?"
Fatah: "I worked pretty hard for it and you would like to know. We could discuss the publishing column as well over here, as to what is white privilege and what is not. We could! You want to discuss that?"
Agar: "There’s a lot of white people that would love to have all of those things and they don’t have them."
Agar: "White people don’t earn anything but Tarek Fatah does."
Fatah: "What was that? Sorry, what was that?"
Sun News was heavily criticized by left-leaning blog Press Progress, which circulated a condensed version of the panel in a video titled, "Watch four white people on Sun TV dismiss idea of white privilege to person who isn't white."
Twitter users criticized the segment along similar lines:
This is insane. 4 Sun News personalities berate a nonwhite guy about how there's no such thing as white privelege http://t.co/mmwV0pxCnn— Chris P. (@cultureofdefeat) October 7, 2014
Awkward moments during interview:October 8, 2014
Canada's Sun News goes one better than its lodestar, Fox News, with this eye-popping segment on white privilege: http://t.co/cZZHPRUAnP— Simon Houpt (@simonhoupt) October 7, 2014
This Sun segment on "white privilege" has to be at least as bad as the Ezra/Trudeau stuff http://t.co/JBn9Rfs0so— Chris Hannay (@channay) October 7, 2014
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