- Canada needs a professional organization to track, document and counter right-wing extremism and racist groups.
Right-wing extremism is Canada’s number one domestic threat, but we have no organization to track and counter the more than 100 active hate groups in Canada. With no anti-racist watchdog organization, hate groups have had some success in putting on a façade of respectability, and have become part of our political landscape.
We need three things. […] Third, and most importantly, Canada needs a professional organization to track, document and counter right-wing extremism and racist groups.
Whether it was the threat posed in the early 1960s by the re-emergence of a Canadian Nazi party under the leadership of John William Beattie and David Stanley, or the attempts by Holocaust deniers Ernst Zundel and high school teacher Jim Keegstra to resuscitate Nazism, the Canadian Jewish community was there — documenting it and fighting back.
Today, extreme right-wing groups are smarter. They say they aren’t racist, they’re alt-right — and now that everybody knows alt-right means racist, they’ll find a new term. In Canada, they call themselves patriots and nationalists. They’ve successfully put on a façade of respectability and made their extreme views more socially acceptable. There are groups recruiting in our universities and finding allies in advocacy organizations and mainstream politics. It’s past time to expose them.
Once again, Canada needs its civil society to step up to investigate and counter hate groups. Silence and ignorance are no longer options.
Bernie M. Farber is the former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Today he advocates and writes on human rights and social justice issues. Follow him on Twitter @berniefarber. Evan Balgord is a freelance journalist and a researcher of right-wing extremism in Canada. Follow him on Twitter @ebalgord.
Source: Toronto Star, thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2017/10/26/civil-society-must-step-up-to-counter-hate.html