‘I used to fight in the streets because of racism’ Brampton MPP Jagmeet Singh tells CBC Radio

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MPP Jagmeet Singh wraps his turban on CBC’s Sleepover

Growing up in Windsor Ontario as a Punjabi-Canadian, Jagmeet Singh is no stranger to racism and cultural bias. Not only that, but racism that leads to violence.

Physical altercations were a regular occurrence for Jagmeet as a teenager, having had to fend off plenty of people who had a problem his race. He took up martial arts and boxing at an early age to defend himself.

“I used to fight a lot in school because I got picked on — I used to fight in the streets because of racism,” says Jagmeet. “Someone would come up to me and push me, call me a terrorist and get really aggressive.”

It’s these life experiences that have driven Jagmeet to work at disarming ignorance and racism. “I’ve done a lot to disarm people who have a negative perception of my identity,” says Jagmeet. By presenting a friendly demeanour, wearing extremely stylish clothing and bright colours, he’s managed to challenge cultural perceptions.

Jagmeet talks candidly with CBC radio about his experiences growing up, as a lawyer offering free legal council to marginalized segments of society, and of some of the challenges that come along with having gained so much notoriety for his impeccable fashion sense.

 Listen to the full segment on CBC Radio here.

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