The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Monday, March 07, 2016

Song Shocker: Reporter says NDP star sang about punching a woman

It isn't until paragraph 20 of the 23-paragraph story by Canadian Press writer Chinta Puxley that the bombshell drops.

"In one song, Kinew raps about hitting women in the face with both a fist and his genitalia," wrote Puxley. (Manitoba Liberal candidate resigns over derogatory tweets about women, by The Canadian Press, March 3, 2016)

The Manitoba Liberal is a nobody already forgotten. Kinew, as everyone in Manitoba knows by now, is Wab Kinew, the provincial NDP's star candidate in the coming provincial election. 

For almost a week he's been  trying to deflect attention from rap songs that he wrote and performed as recently as a few years ago which were peppered with demeaning references to women (whore, bitch, cunt and slut).

The heat went up when someone discovered a line in a song about casually killing a homosexual. "Probably smoke you while I'm taking a drag. That's the treatment for a blatant little fag like you." 

Kinew instantly amended his public statements to add that he was against homophobic lyrics, too.

But only Puxley's story from March 3 links Kinew's raps with violence against women. Shades of Jian Ghomeshi.

She doesn't name the song, or cite the complete lyric. Her observation has gone unreported in the local mainstream media---the CBC, CTV News, Global, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Winnipeg Sun. 

But who's going to challenge a female reporter's accuracy about something like this? Wab? He's rushed to take Youtube videos of his performances out of circulation in the past few days so nobody can hear his songs for themselves.  

Is he praying nobody else discovers his lyrics about hurting a woman?

A Twitter account seemingly did: 
"Pick up the pace n pound her with semen on face they found her"

Since the scandal of Kinew's songwriting career erupted last week, he has been trying to suck and blow on the issue at the same time. 

Kinew, his defenders rush to point out, has "taken ownership" of his failings and has apologized and promised to change his way, even to lead the struggle against misogynist attitudes towards women. However his epiphany about calling women  insulting names happened to coincide with his musings about running for public office, first for National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, then for the federal Liberals, and eventually for the NDP in Manitoba, so cynicism is in order.

He's rushed to cite his two previous stabs at apology (a challenge to rappers at the 2014 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards to abandon misogynist lyrics, and a couple of sentences in his 2015 memoir saying my bad). But as the issue refused to die down, he added a recorded mea culpa on radio station CJOB and a public letter in the form of a written statement of contrition to election volunteers.

He hasn't, however, disowned the album that won him a best rap CD award at an earlier Aboriginal Peoples Choice ceremony.  

On the contrary. He's so proud of the music that made him an award-winning rapper that even today he brags about it in every CV, every bio, including those put out by the University of Winnipeg and the NDP.  

His message:
I'm sorry about singing about punching you in the head.
I'm sorry about singing about slapping you in the face with my dick.
But, hey, that CD's dope. Check. It. Out.

When the Manitoba Liberals were confronted with the stupid tweets about women by one of their candidates for office, their leader stepped forward to draw a clear line in the sand.

"As a woman I simply cannot accept comments that disparage women. Manitobans have every right to expect and demand a high standard of their candidates and MLAs. We are Liberals and we hold ourselves to a higher standard. It’s what Manitobans expect and demand.” Liberal leader Rana Bokhari said (in a statement).

She spoke from principle. An apology on certain matters is fine from a personal point of view, but a political party must be held to a higher standard, she says. The NDP and Wab Kinew obviously do not share her values. 
Kinew sat on his high horse during the last civic election when mayoral candidate Gord Steeves was under attack for something his wife wrote in a private Facebook post four years earlier. 

It didn't involve punching a woman in the face. 

At the time Kinew wrote:

Wab Kinew ‏@WabKinew 22m
Tweet me when Gord Steeves does the right thing and drops out of the race

Will he do the right thing? Or is the NDP so desperate to protect its star candidate that it's lost the ability to tell the difference?

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