Transcona LGBT candidate accepts Wab Kinew's apology for past homophobic lyrics
'Things have changed. Wab acknowledged that and made it clear that wasn't OK,' says Barb Burkowski
The newest addition to the Manitoba NDP says she thinks party running-mate Wab Kinew's use of the word "fag" in past hip-hop music is unacceptable, but ultimately accepts the Fort Rouge candidate's apology.
"I think it's really unfortunate, but we all have pasts," said Barb Burkowski, NDP candidate for Transcona.
"In some cases we've said things that are really inappropriate and we hold those with us — those are the things that define us and there's obviously no place for them in politics."
Kinew's past misogynistic and homophobic lyrics were brought up during Jamie Hall's abbreviated candidacy for the Manitoba Liberal Party this week.
Hall was nominated as the party's candidate for Southdale March 2. Later that day, Hall's past derogatory Twitter comments calling women "skanks" were put under the spotlight and had the NDP calling on the Liberals to drop him as a candidate.
One of his tweets from 2012 asks, "If a whore screams in the bedroom and no one is around to hear it, is she really a whore?"
He resigned March 3; Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari characterized his problematic words as "disgusting" and distanced herself and the party from Hall.
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The Progressive Conservatives waded into the discussion Friday, saying the Liberals took too long to act on severing ties with Hall, and accused the NDP of remaining silent on the issue of Kinew's lyrics.
Whereas Hall said his use of the words "skank" and "whore" on social media were meant to be satirical, and he maintains he will not delete the offensive tweets, Kinew apologized for his remarks in his 2015 book The Reason You Walk.
Burkowski, who has worked as an organizer for Pride Winnipeg, said using homophobic slurs is never OK, but acknowledged efforts to phase out the term have made strides in recent years.
"We've come a long way in terms of terminology and phrasing. That phrase is never right to use, but I think the way things have developed over time, the way Pride [Winnipeg] has developed, the way gay rights have developed, things have changed," Burkowski said.
"Wab acknowledged that and made it clear that wasn't OK."
The former CBC broadcaster also put out a detailed statement on Facebook Saturday (below).