Wab Kinew has apologized, but is that enough?
The so-called ‘star’ candidate who is running for the NDP in Fort Rouge was finally starting to feel the heat yesterday, as the Liberals called for his resignation over past tweets he made that the party deemed offensive.
The tweets, which made fun of gays, lesbians, First Nations children and fat women, came to light last Monday, a day after the 34-year-old faced criticism and re-apologized for past misogynistic and homophobic song lyrics he wrote as a rapper.
But the criticism for Kinew wasn’t a problem – people seemed to believe Kinew’s apology and the media did not scrutinize him for his tweets.
Yet just a week prior, the NDP called on Jamie Hall, a Liberal candidate, to resign over social media posts he made that referred to women as whores and skanks.
Hall, unlike Kinew, was rightfully scrutinized in the media and then stepped down.
Some argued an apology Kinew made years prior for his lyrics was good enough, but it’s hard to use that apology as justification for ignoring his tweets.
The tweets, which were dug up by Winnipeg political consultant David Shorr, who is the former director of communications for the Liberal Party, are disturbing.
Kinew tweeted “Riding in my limo back to my king sized sweet feeling really bad for those kids in Attawapiskat #haha #terrible #inative.”
The Ontario First Nation is plagued by poverty and other social issues and was dealing with a housing crisis at the time of Kinew’s tweet.
In a reply to a 2009 tweet about H1N1, Kinew asked: “Is it true you can get it from kissing fat chicks?”
In another tweet, Kinew said he was going to wrestling class “Because jiu-jitsu wasn’t gay enough” and “My bro is convinced that ‘Do you like the 90s?’ is a gay pick up line.”
Kinew also tweeted about running over a cat and posted a photo of an aboriginal person sleeping on the ground.
But perhaps even more troubling is that these tweets were made when Kinew was employed as a broadcaster at the CBC and associate vice-president of indigenous affairs at the University of Winnipeg.
On Friday, Kinew told a wall of media he’s been an ‘open book,’ transparent, and accountable.
He said the tweets were made when he was an angry young man suffering from self-hatred and arrogance.
But some of that arrogance seemed to continue as he snapped at reporters, who pressed him while he stood next to Premier Greg Selinger.
At one point, Selinger had to tell Kinew to keep his cool.
And on Friday evening, a quick glance at Kinew’s Instagram account revealed more questionable posts for a politician to have.
So, is Kinew really sorry?
Or is it that the 34-year-old still needs an attitude change?