By claiming to be the victim of racial persecution, he’s insulting the actual victims. Senator Don Meredith (Don Meredith would like you to know) is a victim of Canada’s prevailing and overwhelming racism. As a 52-year-old black man, he is seen as a predator, sexual and otherwise, who has risen too high in life for this racist society to bear. So he has been publicly shamed as a result.
Yes, the married father of two failed morally. Pursuing a 16-year-old girl was a moral failure. The St. Valentine’s Day date, the phone chats, the amorous text messages and the masturbatory Skype sessions … all moral failures. Ditto the heavy petting when she was 17, and the sex in a room at Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier just after she turned 18.
He’s sorry for all of it, he says. A Pentecostal minister by trade and character, Meredith’s taped apology provided to the Canadian Press was nonetheless devoid of the sweaty, Jesus-loving fervor of his sermons. Instead, we saw a stone-faced Meredith glaring at the camera, the apology tumbling reluctantly from his mouth.
That’s because Meredith’s ultimate message is one not of contrition but of victimhood. To hear him say it, he’d been a target of his Senate colleagues because of the colour of his skin practically from the day he was appointed to the Senate in 2010.
“For six years I sat in the Senate of Canada and