To the editor,
The Speaker of the House, Cecil Clarke, has said he has reviewed the tapes of the legislature (which do not record heckling) and has found there were no racist remarks directed against MLA Percy Paris ("Reality Bites," January 18). But Clarke also stated that he calls lots of people "Boss" and does not believe that comment to be racist when directed at a black person. Perhaps he is not the best person to judge whether or not sexism and racism exist in his party or the House.
Clarke may also find it difficult to understand Mr. Paris' assertion that Conservative and Liberal MLAs never sit near him in the lunch-and break-rooms, despite the fact they are friendly with other NDP MLAs. Should Mr. Clarke ever happen to take a bus, he may not even notice that the last free seat on a bus is next to the one with a black person in it. Racism is quieter. But it is here. I encourage all MLAs to take the time to get to know MLA Paris, and would respectfully ask that MLA Clarke not call any black person "Boss."
By Marcel Falkenham