Canadians need to do a better job of calling out racist language and actions: panel
Election of Donald Trump has, in the eyes of many critics, helped to usher in an era where racist speech and hatred are becoming tolerated again.
By JESSE WINTER, Staff Reporter
Toronto Star | January 18, 2017
In order to stand up to Donald Trump and a rising tide of white supremacy, we need to look at problems in our country first, a panel discussion heard Wednesday night.
“Physician, heal thyself,” Karen Mock said during the discussion, hosted by the Mosaic Institute.
The election and inauguration on Friday of Trump as the U.S. president has, in the eyes of many critics, helped to usher in an era where racist speech and hatred are becoming tolerated again.
But Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said similar issues were raised in Canada’s 2015 federal election.
“Whether it was the idea of people in face veils taking citizenship oaths … or the so-called barbaric cultural snitch line, we’ve seen it here in Canada as well,” Gardee said.
In Toronto, Rob Ford “was Trump before Trump. ‘Drain the swamp’ and ‘stop the gravy train’ are eerily similar,” Gardee said.
Gardee spoke as part of a four-part panel that also included activist and Star columnist Desmond Cole, Mosaic executive director Bernie Farber and Mock, who is chair of JSpaceCanada. The event was moderated by Warren Kinsella, author of the widely acclaimed Web of Hate: Inside Canada’s Far Right Network.