Saturday, March 26, 2016

CANADIAN NAZIS, FASCISTS AND WHITE SUPREMACISTS


The chilling rise of White Supremacy in Canada

By Andrew Livingstone THIS Magazine
 
The chilling rise of white supremacy in Canada:

How the Conservative government's immigration rhetoric, the internet, and an anti-violence rebranding give the movement new power
 
By Andrew Livingstone

For This Magazine 
 
When Brother Smith sees a white woman  holding a black man's hand, disappointment boils up inside him. White women, he thinks, shouldn't even allow the opportunity to have a mixed race child. Its the race mixing he worries about the most. The declining number of pure white race people in the world- eight percent by his account- is the result of such unions, and its a problem.

"We're disappearing," he says, "and we can't be crossbreeding,it goes against nature." It raises other races, he says, but de-elevates the white race. The rightful race. The only race     
 
Sitting inside the West Toronto Shopping mall food court last July, Brother Smith tells me he is not the  Hollywood, American History X uber-violent version of a white supremacist. If there were a casting call today,  however, he could make it based on looks: Tattoos cover  Brother Smith's forearms, disappearing underneath the rolled-up sleeves of his white dress shirt. His head  is shaved to BIC razor length, but there is a slight stubble.
 
In other ways, though, he looks exactly like every other forty-something blue-collar worker who has spent  decades of his life in a factory: callused hands nurse a cup  of coffee and muscular arms look like they'd lifted hundreds,  even thousands, of boxes over the years.
 
Brother Smith (he won't tell me his first name because he fears retaliation) lost his job about two years ago. Before that, though, he had non-white colleagues. He didn't like it  but would "stomach it" in order to survive. He certainly didn't make friends with them.

Like many racists in Canada, Brother Smith is a member of the Creativity Movement. He joined about four years ago. The Creativity Movement, founded in 1973 by one-time Florida state legislator Ben Klassen, was originally called the Church of the Creator, before changing monikers in 2004. Smith wouldn't reveal membership numbers in Canada; there is no headquarters here either, just a blog run by Smith. According to its website, the movement is a "professional, non-violent, progressive pro-white religion" That promotes white civil rights, white self-determination, and white liberation via 100 percent legal activism.
 
To Smith and his fellow Brothers and Sisters following the precepts of Nature's Eternal Religion are the only actions that make sense; all others lead to the extinction of the white race, and that is unthinkable.
 
The movement does not believe in, or condone, violence to reach its goal of white domination. Those with  criminal records aren't allowed to join the organization.
 
To achieve the rise and domination of the white race without violence, The Creativity Movement's guiding  book, Nature's Eternal Religion counsels its members to:  populate the world with more white people; show preferential  treatment to white in business dealings; and embrace "good grooming" to attract the highest caliber of the opposite sex—white, of course.
 
This seemingly measured attitude is what drew Smith  in: he doesn't want to hurt people, but he does want  everybody to think about what it means to be white. The  Creativity Movement's ability to separate itself from that  American History X stereotype is what attracts people like Smith: the non-radical who just happens to believe  white people should be the only ones in Canada. "We feel  we are better than them," says Smith. "It sounds crass,  but that's just the facts. Calling me a racist isn't going to  silence me."
 
Or thousands of others like him. While diversity is largely accepted as an ingrained part of Canadian society today—with a large educational emphasis on cultural and racial acceptance—it is, in many ways, a surface sentiment.
 
Organizations such as the Creativity Movement and other groups like Blood and Honour and its parent group the Aryan Guard, continue to capture new members in their webs of hatred every day. Even the most remote corners of the country have racist, organized pockets. "They come from all walks of life," says Det.Const. Terry Wilson, a member of the New Westminster police who was assigned to the B.C. hate crimes unit. And they are able to exist under many radars: Recruitment, adds Wilson, no longer happens through pamphlets on car windows or street corners, but it does happen.
 
The internet, with social media and technology, has significantly upped organizations' ability to spread the pro-white rhetoric—and connect like-minded individuals and groups globally. There is endless free advertisement on the web, says Wilson. There are also dozens of  pro-white focused chatrooms, such as Stormfront.org and forums belonging to specific groups, such as Blood and Honour, and the Hammerskin Nation, a forum whose membership included Wade Michael Page, who shot and killed six Sikhs in a Wisconsin temple last year. "One person who might be on the fringe or might be sort of leaning [their] way," says Wilson. "[They] can groom that person into the beliefs."
 
It is getting easier and easier to find people who lean toward ideologies of race supremacy, as well. The pro-white  message has almost become mainstream, says Barbara Perry, a professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and one of Canada's leading hate crime experts. Organizations now vocalize around hot button issues, such as immigration, the unemployment rates, rising health care costs, social funding cuts, and an unstable economic future. What they say finds echoes in the federal Conservative government's more insidious messaging around immigration—what exists beyond the photo ops and token gestures, much of which has largely gone unchallenged. Take, for instance, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who fielded questions in Burnaby B.C. this past November about changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. Immigrants, he said, were taking advantage of "the problems we all
know exist in our system ... Why? Because we Canadians are so polite!
 
"We don't like saying no to anyone. "That's the frightening thing," says Perry. "It lends credibility to them and to the crazies on the street." That's exactly what leaders of the pro-white movement want, too: to blend into the national debate, a drip line of white supremacist ideology stuck in the larger vein. In this way, the movement can recruit and grow their numbers, making white supremacists out of everyday, white Canadians—without them even realizing.
 
White supremacy is not a new concept in Canada.
 
In 1914, the Komagata Maru, a steamship en route from Hong Kong, dropped anchor in Vancouver carrying hundreds of East Indians. After two months docked on Canadian shores, the federal government sent it back to India with all but about 20 (who already had resident status) still on board. At the time, Canada didn't carry an immigration policy against immigration from India— only an order-in-council from 1908 called the Continuous Passage Act, stating that East Indians could only immigrate on straight passage by steamship from India; such passage wasn't even available at the time. Once sent back to the then British colony all 20 Sikhs, upon disembarkation, were shot dead. That same decade, Canadian border agents and medical staff turned away every single African-American attempting to enter Canada at the Alberta border for "medical reasons," whether they were healthy or not.
 
Before WWII, white supremacist organizations could be counted on one hand. The White Canada Association, established in Vancouver in 1929 to prevent further immigration from all of Asia into B.C., was one of the first
anti-non-European immigration organizations formed in Canada. Outside of that, there was, of course, the Ku Klux Klan. In the mid-1910s, the Klan had thousands of members across the country. Klaverns were established in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Oakville, Ont., and Toronto, plus a dozens of other cities and towns across Ontario. At its peak in the '20s, the Toronto Klan numbered more than 8,000 members. It was common for cross burnings to take place, especially in Hamilton. There were also plenty of undertones of anti-Semitism. The Klan was especially popular in Saskatchewan. By the '20s, its membership grew to between 15,000–40,000 in Saskatchewan (estimates vary).
 
The Klan was able to significantly influence provincial politics there. While Klan perspectives were reflected in both the ruling Liberal party supporters and the Conservative party, ideology was more popular with the Conservatives. With Klan support, the Conservative government toppled the Liberals in 1929 election. The success of the Klan was short-lived, though, and by the early '30s, the onset of the Great Depression and changing political climate caused membership to dwindle. By the mid–'30s, the party had disappeared from the prairies and much of Canada. (The Klan, though, would return to Canadian soil in the '80s in southern Ontario, only to be uncovered by a Toronto Star reporter who infiltrated the now secretive, mainly underground organization)
 
In the meantime, fervent anti-Jewish rhetoric would take the Klan's place. In the '30s, Quebec had one of the biggest and oldest Jewish communities in Canada. With that came Adrien Arcand's anti-Jewish political party, the Parti National Social Chretien. Arcand was the editor of three Montreal weekly newspapers, all of which spread anti-Semitic messages to show Arcand's support of Hitler. In 1934, Arcand worked as a publicist for Prime Minister R.B. Bennett's Conservative Party in Quebec. In fact, during the '30s, dozens of pro-Nazi clubs existed in Toronto.
 
Infamously, the friction between Nazi supporters and Toronto's Jewish population cumulated in the 1933 Christie Pits riot, during which a baseball game between Jewish and non-Jewish teams resulted in six hours of violence, including on Bloor Street, where a number of Jewish shops existed. As a leader in the fascist movement, then, Arcand was well-respected by many; his organization is said to have had thousands of members—until the tide of Western sentiment turned against Hitler. Even so, he later ran for federal Parliament in 1949 and captured a second-place finish (5,590 votes) in his Richelieu – Verchères riding; he finished second in the 1953 federal election in the riding of Berthier– Maskinongé–delanaudière with 39 percent of the vote (7,496 votes).
 
Fascism's continued popularity was, perhaps, a sign of things to come. Of the approximately 130 radical right wing groups that have existed in Canada since 1945, 25 percent were formed between 1945 and 1970. The rest were formed from 1971 onward. The point is: Organized groups continued to persist, and in bigger numbers, even as "racist" and "fascist" became dirty words. "Collectively we're above every other country [in terms of immigration and multiculturalism]," says Perry, "I hate to admit it, but I think [racism and white supremacy is] simmering, it's part of our colonial past and it's going to be hard to get rid of it."
 
Today's pro-white movement has moved on line and it is flourishing, at least in terms of chatter. People from all walks of life —rich, poor, factory worker, college student, lawyer, doctor, teacher, young, and old—gather in online forums to discuss their thoughts and feelings about non whites and the current state of the country. Stormfront. org, a website that connects thousands of white supremacists in one forum to discuss all things white power, is particularly popular. Here, they seek re-affirmation and support from others who think like them. When they want to vent about how Brampton is overrun by "browns," there are dozens of people there to empathize with them, sharing their own experiences from Muskoka, Ont., Manitoba, Surrey, B.C.—even Australia. Long-time members, some with thousands of posts, latch onto newbies, first-timers who have taken that crucial first step toward turning pro-white thoughts into action by revealing how they really feel on the forum.
 
 "We want to build a movement rather than guys trying to outdo each other with macho boasting," says Paul Fromm, one of Canada's most well-known pro-white leaders—not affiliated to any one organization, but a mentor to all for the past 40 years. Sitting next to Smith at the food court table, Fromm looks exactly like the everyday white supremacist he's trying to create. He's a former English teacher in Peel Region. You couldn't pick him out of a crowd and say, "There is a white supremacist." The movement, says Fromm, needs serious people, not those who'd rather do a lot of drinking and fighting. It is actively trying to put more emphasis on being educated, he adds. Ignorant, uneducated comments on Stormfront.org are mostly struck down for more educated responses. Some chat board members even try to re-program certain forum-goers to be more intelligent. They tell them to read books and the news; to strengthen their arguments to be more than just off-the cuff, emotional outbursts.
 
Indeed, white supremacy is more connected than ever. The movement, if you can call it that, says Wilson, is stronger because of the fibreoptic cables that connect the world through the internet. "Now, you can have a white supremacist in any small town who is alone in his own regional community but is supported by all the activities internationally," he says. The growing support in Greece and other European nations, including long-established groups in Russia and the U.K., feeds the person in small town Canada. It's globalization of the white supremacy movement; distance bears no restriction. "The internet has given them the ability to find just about anything that will justify their argument," Wilson says. "If you look for positive things to your argument, you're going to find it and you focus on that and you're supported more and more by your belief."
 
Still, as scary as this connectedness is, white supremacists are still very disorganized, and this makes them weak, says Perry. But maybe not for long, she adds. The Conservative government's mounting attack on immigration
and the image such attacks form for Canadians - not to mention recent and future changes to how immigration occurs -could be the catalyst for white supremacy to dig its nails into the mainstream opinion.

The Conservative government as taken a hardline approach to immigration since getting a majority in parliament in the last election. Just in 2012, the changes the government has made to how immigration works in Canada are some of the most sweeping changes Canada has experienced in years: reduction in refugee health care availability, a scrapped skilled workers program in favour of a new program that allows employers to pic and choose from a pool of potential immigrants; plus tightened rules and procedures around conditional immigration status and spousal sponsorship. The government will now fingerprint all refugee claimants and immigrants and cross-reference them with criminal databases, essentially pinning criminality on all  immigrants and refugees attempting to establish life in Canada
 
The most glaring change is the ability Kenney now has—which he gave himself power to do in the passing of Bill C-43—to personally reject the entrance of anyone based on "public policy considerations." What this means is still unclear—and these are only a few in a long list of changes spearheaded by Kenney and the current government.Kenney and the feds are making a case in the media and with the public that immigrants are duping the system, says Perry, and taking advantage of loopholes and lax regulations to make it into Canada—all rhetoric that sounds very similar to that of many white supremacists.
 
In March 2012, for instance, Kenney said the government wants to crack down on "passport babies," a phrase he uses for children born while couples are traveling in Canada. "With today's inexpensive and rapid modern travel, someone can fly in for a couple of weeks, have a child and fly out, and otherwise never actually live in the country and have no intention of doing so," Kenney said. "It strikes me that times have changed and perhaps we should modernize our approach to reflect the international norm and the vulnerability we have to people who want to cut the corners."
 
Between 1975 and 2005, Gallup conducted annual surveys on whether Canada should raise or lower immigration numbers; a third option was to stay the course.

Viewed over time, the surveys reveal a rollercoaster of attitudes toward immigration. Outside of 1982 (a recession year) Canadians polled said numbers should stay the same or be increased. However, between 1991 and 1997 the country was split, just under half wanted immigration numbers to decrease In 2005, 80 percent werehappy with the current immigration numbers. In  2010,more than 80 percent of Canadians polled for the study
believed immigration was good for the economy, while 25 percent had Fromm's sentiment that immigration would take jobs from Canadians. 
"We're wedded to the ideology," Perry says of Canada's image on the international stage, "but at the local level we're wedded to it until it affects us, whether it's a loss of jobs or a confrontation with someone from another community." In some cases the political climate toward immigration
has even caused a break from the movement's overarching goal to shed its violent reputation. In Alberta, the influx of immigration to the province's major cities, Calgary and Edmonton, in the last decade has led to more public white power displays.
 
Take, for example, Blood and Honour in Alberta, a violently-inclined group
that has a string of its members up on assault charges for several incidents over the last few years. Its unofficial leader, Kyle McKee, along with two other members, attacked two Sikh men in Edmonton this past March, hours after being confronted by anti-racist protesters during a pro-white march led by McKee in the streets of the Alberta city. Edmonton was also target of expansion for the Calgary-based group and McKee was making regular trips to the city since 2011 on recruiting missions. Police found shotguns, rifles, a stockpile of ammunition and a collection of knives when they searched the brazen man's home in Calgary—not much of a surprise considering his interest in posing for photos with guns and Nazi paraphernalia.
 
Such pro-white sentiment has always been present in the province, Perry says, but now it has a reaffirmation— from the federal government in particular. The strength of the Wildrose party in particular, she adds, caused the Conservatives to go much farther right than they might have wanted to in order to win the most recent election there. "This political rhetoric is lending credence to this kind of argument by how far right we're moving in this country," adds Perry. "It's terrifying to me."
 
Sitting in the mall,omm does not lower his voice as he talks—loudly—about "how the country is overrun with non-white immigrants." He peers out from under his black, wire-rimmed glasses as two dark-skinned teenage girls—15-, maybe 16-years-old—who walk by. Both stare. Arms crossed tightly and resting on his belly, Fromm shrugs his shoulders as they pass in abrupt silence.
 
Fromm cocks his head back and chuckles. "Immigration built this country," he says. Fromm is not, of course, being sincere: He's mimicking a comment Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion made during the mayoral campaign in
2010. Fromm ran against McCallion on an anti-immigration platform with the hope of encouraging whites to be "proud of their European heritage." He finished eighth, far behind McCallion. "I wanted to raise the banner," he says, "and encourage people to speak their minds."
 
The Mississauga race may not have been close, but small towns and more "rural, blue-collared cities" facing outward immigration from the major centres in Canada are ripe for the pro-white movement's growing strength and numbers, says Perry. In 2010, a number of smaller Canadian cities were above the 4.1 national average of hate crimes per 100,000 people. The cities well-above the average were Guelph, Ont. (15.3), Ottawa (13.9), Kitchener-Waterloo (10.5), Peterborough, Ont. (9.9), and London, Ont. (7.9), while nine other cities spread out across the country exceeded the national average.
 
Facing new immigration and cultural diversity seemingly "foreign" to them, Perry says its these types of cities where we will see growth and some strength in the pro-white movement. Not only because of the anti-immigration sentiment brewing there, but also due to the easy access to the hateful message on the internet, Wilson says. And with small towns and cities feeling the heat from a sluggish economy and people of all races moving into once-predominately white communities, it's ripe for the message to seem logical. "When the economy flourishes they [white Canadians] don't see it," says Wilson, "but when it hurts them they are looking for a reason why 
and extremism has the ability to say this is the reason"And Smith and Fromm know that. "I talk to so many people on a regular basis who make off the cuff remarks, but they aren't involved," says Smith, adding "the comments on the Toronto Sun, they're saying the same thing I feel"
 
Both Fromm and Smith believe, in order to make the pro-white rhetoric acceptable—even popular, commonplace— in the political and social conversations in Canada, they need more people to be comfortable with what they believe ( or at least what Smith and Fromm think they believe). They must, in other words remove the taboo feeling of talking about immigration and white pride—and they must do it in today's opportune climate for the movement to truly gain steam " The challenge is to get these people who are angry and concerned and get them active" says Fromm. "Its nice to let off steam in an anonymous setting( on the internet), but you have to mobilize them to act. the movement to truly gain steam. "[The challenge] is tet these people who are angry and concerned and get them active," says Fromm. "It's nice to let off steam in an anonymous setting [on the internet], but you have to mobilize them to act."
 
These are the people Fromm wants: Young people worried about a job, young families worried about their children and older people worried about how the country has been hijacked. However, they'll take anyone. Escaping the stereotype—or as Fromm calls it, the misinterpretation of being a racist—is all part of the movement's next big step. It's nonsense that today's white supremacist is compared to the Klan, he adds. Everything the media and
education system is doing, Fromm continues, is making white people feel guilty: they don't have a positive image or self-concept. Instead of this, Fromm wants to make the white race proud of who they are—proud like Brother Smith. "It's wanting my race to survive and continue to advance and grow and that's not happening," says Smith."The white race is dying. You look around, there aren't a lot of white people. If people point to me and they say I'm a racist. I don't care.
  
"I am a racist."
 
Article was published in THIS Magazine
March/April edition 2013


http://creativitymovementtoronto.blogspot.

2 comments:

Selene Y said...

It is not only the Conservative it is also the Pequiste of Quebec who claim to be humanitarian. The men who say they are fighting for their people and use segregation and xenophobia add to this fake nationalism and ideas such "de souche" or "real Canadians", "the pure of heart", "the civilized" or the only ones with values such as the charter of Quebec values that was cooked up by those who they they are de souche or think that European values are the only values and they are superior. These men do not see that they are inferior and are the ones who destroy society and create extremism.

There is no translation the word comes from Brittany and means of origin for the word de souche it means old stock or the tree trunk it means that a Quebecois cannot be de souche as their roots are from somewhere else and one cannot uproot a log it is dead and so are the roots... so that expression is meaningless and deceiving.

Phyllis Carter said...

Thank you so much for your comments, Seline. I have just published an article here about the Quebec Government's prejudice against the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. People need to wake up and speak out.