12.29.2016 10:13 AM

Trump Virus: why politicians need to denounce hate

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. 

Silence doesn’t. 


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    Michael Teper says:

    Under Section 43(1) of the Canada Post Corporation Act, an elected Canadian politician can prohibit a Canadian citizen from using Canada Post for the rest of his life. For this to happen, there need not be any notice or hearing in advance of the order, the politician does not have to be neutral or non-partisan in exercising her discretion to make the order, no finding of guilt needs to be made, evidence presented against or even charges need to be laid against the target of the order. I think that’s a problem.

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    Paper clip says:

    Under section 44-47, there is a method of review for the affected person. So there appears to be “check and balance”.

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    dave constable says:

    I know what you mean. Boy oh boy, do I ever hate those Russians. I don’t even need evidence…I just know they done it.

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    Michael Teper says:

    What “check and balance”? The Board of Review’s report goes right back to the Minister in charge of the Canada Post Corporation. She can do with the report whatever she wants. All she is required to do is “reconsider” it.

    What if we dealt with drunk drivers this way? The Attorney General just sends a letter to someone who she “reasonably believes” to have broken the laws against impaired driving that their driving privileges are cancelled. No need for charges. No need for a trial. No need for sworn evidence. No need for any kind of hearing. Just an order issued by a politician on her own initiative, and sent by registered mail. Then if the person objects, they can ask for a Board of Review. The Minister can take as long as she wants to convene the Board, and then once the Board conducts its work it issues a report with “recommendations” to the Minister. Again, no requirement of a finding of guilt by either a criminal or even civil standard of proof. No requirement for any evidence at all. No criteria for the Board to review the Minister’s order. All the Board can do is issue a “report” with “recommendations”. With that report, the Minister can affirm, cancel or impose conditions on her original order — whatever pops into the Minister’s head. Would you like to be on the receiving end of such a letter? Would anyone?


    45 (1) A Board of Review shall review the matter referred to it and for that purpose shall give to the person affected and any other person who has an interest in the matter a reasonable opportunity, in person or by counsel, to appear before the Board and to make representations and present evidence to the Board.

    Marginal note:Adjournment

    (2) A Board of Review may from time to time adjourn any hearing before the Board on such terms and conditions as it sees fit.

    Marginal note:Report

    (3) After reviewing the matter referred to it, a Board of Review shall submit a report with its recommendations to the Minister, together with all material and evidence that was before the Board, and, on receipt of the report, the Minister shall reconsider the interim prohibitory order and either revoke it unconditionally or on such terms and conditions as he sees fit or declare it to be a final prohibitory order.

    1980-81-82-83, c. 54, s. 41.

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