Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Will Trump Embolden Bigots in Canada?

Yesterday we read Kinsella's post about a white power, Alt.Right handbill posted in his neighbourhood. Today we have an account from CBC Ottawa of a woman, Anna Maranta, a rabbi no less, who awakened in the early hours of Tuesday morning to find a swastika and the word "kike" spray painted across the front door of her Glebe home.

"I went to bed a little later than usual and woke up in the middle of the night, around 2:30, and as I was walking back to my room coming down the hall I saw a reflection on my front door, which is a glass window door, that kind of startled me," she said.

"I knew right away it was a swastika."

Rabbi Maranta raised the obvious concern:

"It's one thing to be marching down the street and be yelled at from the sidelines," she said. "This is somebody who came onto … my property, onto a lit porch, somebody who knows my routine, and so it's likely somebody … I know in this neighbourhood, and that hurts me even more."

Maranta believes the election of president-elect Donald Trump could be related to the racist graffiti on her door.

"My first thought is that this is an example of what happens when you allow somebody who is in a position of power to speak openly racist, bigoted, misogynistic language and don't censor [it] in any way," Maranta said.

"It allows other people to express their feelings, to express their hatred, and to feel like they've been given permission to do so because no one has effectively silenced that."

Is this an early glimpse into an AmeriKan contagion creeping across our border? Maybe, maybe not. That said we have to treat it as a threat not just to targeted people of colour, immigrants, Muslims or Jews. It's a threat to our society, to what in part distinguishes us from the sometimes narrow, intolerant bigotry that now seems to flourish elsewhere whether in the US, Britain, continental Europe, South Asia, the Middle East - pick a corner of the world. If we don't want that ugliness in Canada we have to choose to reject it. We have to get serious about hate crimes and reinforce minority protections. We have to realize that America can no longer be our beacon which means we can no longer outsource our economic, military and foreign policy to Washington. We have to chart our own course something we once were pretty good at doing when we had this leader named Trudeau.

Eisenhower saved his departing speech to warn Americans of the dangerous rise of what he termed the "military industrial complex." The warning went unheeded and that complex as it was in the 50s has metastasized throughout American society, the US economy and the nation's body politic. What will Obama have to say as he vacates the premises for his successor? He's given hints in statements during his farewell tour of Europe.

Barack Obama has warned of a "rise in a crude sort of nationalism" following the Brexit and US presidential votes.

Speaking in Greece on his final foreign trip, he said: "We have to guard against... tribalism built around an 'us' or a 'them'."

He said the US was painfully aware of the danger of divisions "along lines of race or religion or ethnicity".

Mr Obama said the UK's vote to leave the EU and the US vote showed that people generally were now "less certain of their national identities and place in the world" and that had produced populist movements both on the left and the right.

Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald, has a report on how Trump's victory has traumatized school children, especially kids of colour, in the United States.


Dana said...

Obama will say things like that in and to Europe but at home he'll urge the normalization of Trump.

The Mound of Sound said...

I think it will be a year, perhaps more, before Obama really addresses this train wreck.