David Anderson would seem to have a lot of free time

Glen McGregor spots an informative cartoon on the website of Conservative MP David Anderson.

The Wheat Board official Mr. Smith (portrayed by a bald character in a tie) responds in monotone, “Slow down, young man. You’re talking Eskimo” — that is, he sounds foreign or makes no sense.

Wheat Board Guy explains how the existing rules govern crop sales, and Franklin replies, “How can such a system exist in Canada? That sounds sort of Communist.” Later in the video Mr. Smith says, There you go, talking Eskimo again.”




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David Anderson would seem to have a lot of free time

  1. Well, I suppose it’s no worse than saying ‘it’s all Greek to me’, or ‘pardon my French’…..but it’s still a remarkably stupid thing for a politician to say in Canada….or anywhere these days.

  2. Funny, so if Mr. Futurefarmer wanted to sell milk to his brother who was starting his own artisan cheese shop, why isn’t that ok?

    “How can such a system exist in Canada? That sounds sort of Communist.”

    There go the Tories, talking Eskimo again.

    • A lot of the farmers who object to the wheat board wouldn’t mind the reduction of supply-management system, since it would allow them to run a more diverse operation without the massive buy in of a milk or poultry quota.   Great if you’ve already got a quota, but not so great if you want in that industry.

      The quota system is also out of control as well.  It has also gotten so bad that when a neighbour of ours got a divorce, he kept the house, the car, the livestock, the farm, the machinery, the crop, and the liquid cash.   She got the milk quota.  It was a 50/50 split in assets.

      But good luck tinkering with the milk quota system when a large portion of Canada’s dairy farms are in Quebec.

  3. If he has said speak white would it have been any worse? Racism is always stupid, as is ignorance – there never was any such thing as an “eskimo” dialect. Why doesn’t Anderson ask a native person whether it is offensive or not?

    • Maybe the Health Minister could help him with this one. 

    • There is no such think as an Eskimo dialect, but it is a term for a linguistic and racial group that includes both Inuit and Yupik peoples.

      I imagine where it becomes racist is when you use it irrespective of who you are talking to.  It would probably be offensive to call a group “Caucasians” when you should be using a more specific ethnic and cultural term such as Frenchman or German.   I find “Aboriginal” to be a more condescending and racist term than “Eskimo” myself, so I guess I’m probably not the right person to ask about what terms urban white people find acceptable.

      Regardless, I saw this video last year, so it seems that Mr. Anderson didn’t put this video together, but was put together by a farmer.   “Talking Eskimo” is a common expression among middle-aged and older rural people in the West, and like Emily says, it is meant to mean “pardon my French” or “its Greek to me”.    So you can go and pile on if you want to, but I’m sure that no racist sentiment was intended.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eskimo#Origin_of_the_name_.22Eskimo.22

        It is fairly clear that the term Eskimo has perjorative overtones – at least in Canada. I’m mystified how anyone could regard the term Aboriginal as being more offensive.
        I’ve spent more then a dozen years living and working in Alberta[ in the oil patch too] and almost as long in BC and presently reside most of the year in the NWT and have yet to hear the term “talking Eskimo” used. I’m prepared to believe no racism was  intended, however ignorance is no excuse at all.

        • The term Aboriginal takes all of the varied cultures of the two American continents and groups them together in an overarching category that is neither linguistically or culturally justified.   The only reason they are all grouped together is because these cultures are dismissed as “the original primitive inhabitants” which the term Aboriginal handily sums up.

          So what is your beef with Eskimo?

          • It is interesting that the objection you raise for the term Aboriginal is pretty much the same as mine for eskimo – they’ both appear to be derogatory in intent and not at all accurate. Although i’m not at all sure you’re correct. The term Aboriginal is generally said to derive from the latin original people…it isn’t inherently derogatory in intent – or it has evolved as such. The same cannot be said for Eskimo. In any case the thing that really counts is what the target group choose to call themselves. Eskimo has been rejected – the cree originated it in all likelihood as an insult[ as in the people are too lazy or stupid to cook their food - basically uncivillized, which is ironic really.] It continued in use largely out of ignorance.

  4. He’s not just an MP, he’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board.  I wonder how Leona Aglukkaq feels about this.

    • “You have accurately and sensitively portrayed the culture and language of my people, Mr. Anderson.  Thank you.”

      Nah, I’m kidding, she’s probably pissed.  Harper’s probably pissed, too.  He tries hard to keep a cap on the racist wing of the Conservative brand.  Every campaign, he has to sit his caucus down and explain that “These are supposed to be dog whistles, people!”

  5. FFS.

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