Musings —12.29.2016 10:13 AM—
As you may recall, a neo-Nazi rag started publishing in my neighbourhood. Canada Post distributed it.
Our local councillor, Mary Margaret McMahon, said ignore it and it’ll go away.
It didn’t. It got bigger. It started reaching more people – hundreds of thousands. My wife and other citizens started organizing against the haters.
The federal minister responsible, Judy Foote, got involved. She didn’t stick her head in the sand like McMahon, and she took tough action against the haters. It worked.
When a leader opposes hate, as this New York Times story shows, it matters. It has an impact. But when a “leader” is indifferent to hate, they are complicit in it.
Here’s an important bit from the story, quoting the Sourhern Poverty Law Centre:
Elected officials at the state and city level, as well as members of the community, can help fight hate and harassment by speaking out in support of immigrants and others who are vulnerable, she said. Law enforcement needs to take hate crimes seriously and investigate them aggressively.
Ms. Beirich said that because Mr. Trump’s campaign and election have brought such a jump in hate crimes, she felt he had a duty to denounce them much more vigorously than he has. George W. Bush’s address at a mosque six days after 9/11, in which he said, “Islam is peace,” had a big effect on anti-Muslim harassment. President-elect Trump needs to do more than make a few comments in interviews, she said. “What we need is real leadership on his part to tamp this down.”
Raising your voice against hate works.