Instead of dehumanizing people who engage in extremism inspired by hate and white supremacy, we should try to understand their humanity, and the experiences, pain and vulnerability fueling their inclination to violence.
While many Canadians often associate the continuing rise in white supremacist hate in Canada to US President Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric, the right-wing extremist movement was already “alive and well” in Canada, “with more than 100 active groups and well over 100 reported incidents of right-wing extremist violence in the country between 1980 and 2015.”
Anti-semitism, racism and other prejudices are on the rise in most established democracies. Still, silencing white supremacists on the Internet is counterproductive. It would only lead to more senseless acts violence similar to those perpetrated by Anders Breivik and Rhodesia-inspired Dylann Roof.
Jagmeet Singh, a martial artist, Sikh lawyer, and newly-elected leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP), uses love to challenge racism, Islamophobia and white supremacy in Canadian politics and society.
While Facebook professes a commitment to stopping hate, harassment and discrimination, the social media behemoth’s reporting policies and human moderators often punish users of color who speak out against racism or justifiably criticize white people.
Children’s stories either written by Muslim writers or featuring Muslim main characters are typically nonexistent or problematic in their representations of Muslim experiences, writes Heba Elsherief, a PhD Candidate, Language and Literacies Education, at the University of Toronto.
“The reports of persistent discrimination targeted at Muslim, gay and black employees by CSIS supervisors are so disturbing that immediate action is required from the Liberal government,” said Matthew Dubé, the NDP critic for Public Safety, in a statement calling for a “comprehensive and credible” investigation.
Internal Facebook documents reviewed by ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom, reveal that the social media behemoth’s censors often condone hate speech by white men but punish racialized minorities and activist groups for legitimate political expression.