Jagmeet Singh’s Love & Courage: ‘I carried the shame and stigma’ of abuse
|Toronto Star 20 Apr 2019 at 06:54|
With his signature turban and polished style, Jagmeet Singh cuts a unique figure on the political landscape. He is also the first full-time leader of a national political party in Canada who is not white. As such, he has experienced life in this country differently from other politicians.
Singh, now 40, was born in Scarborough. He grew up there, and in St. John’s, N.L., and Windsor, Ont. He was elected as a New Democrat MPP in Ontario and was deputy leader under Andrea Horwath until 2017, when he was elected leader of the federal New Democratic Party. He is now also the New Democrat MP for the B.C. riding of Burnaby South.
In his new memoir, Love & Courage (Simon & Schuster), coming out Tuesday — a book the publisher insists “is not a political memoir” — Singh writes about his personal life and family. Here, the Star presents an exclusive first excerpt from the book, detailing some of the racial and sexual abuse Singh was subjected to when he lived in Windsor and was in grade school.
“Is he brown because he doesn’t shower?” one boy said at recess.
“Dirty,” whispered another.
At first, I wasn’t sure if I was mishearing them, but then the taunts turned to my hair. I felt a shadow looming above me.