Sunday, July 10, 2011

When Hatred Goes Mainstream

Jolly Berlin crowds in the brightly-lit Kurfürstendamm nightlife district had more fun last week than these beery, sausage-stuffed revelers have had in months. Well-dressed German women and their swank, duel-scarred escorts vied with shopgirls and mechanics in spurring on with laughter, cheers and songs the most savage Jew hunt since those which immediately followed Adolf Hitler's elevation to power ...

The Jew hunters; tall, blond, mighty-muscled Nazi youths in civilian clothes, appeared suddenly on the Kurfürstendamm but seemed at first not to know quite what to do. Soon group leaders dashed up in snorting Mercédès and the Jew hunt was on, a peculiar feature being that the sidewalk crowds joined in a hunting chant taught them by the hunters. This was roared out one line at a time by the group leaders, all present then repeating in a fervent chant: Perish Jew! Get the Hell out! Blood-running noses! The best Jew is a dead Jew! Perish Jew! Suiting action to words, the Jew hunters plunged into night clubs, theatres, and cafés, dragged out every customer who looked like a Jew, beat him bloody on tho sidewalk, and slugged any women who seemed to have been with Jews irrespective of whether they were Jewesses or not.
The above is from a Time magazine article published July 29, 1935, under the heading 'Jew Hunt'.

We are all well aware of that horrible time in history, but what might be surprising is that while the Nazi youth appeared to be doing the beating, "well-dressed German women" spurred them on with "laughter, cheers and songs" and that "the sidewalk crowds joined in a hunting chant".

Ordinary Germany citizens desensitized to hatred.

The poster above is from the Young Americans Foundation, a conservative youth movement that has become increasingly volatile, especially toward non-white immigration and of course Muslims.

I've written of them before, under their other banner 'Young Americans for Freedom', both simply referred to as YAF. They have links to Morton Blackwell's Leadership Institute, on which Preston Manning fashioned his Manning's Centre with a single corporate donation of ten million dollars.

Both Karl Rove and Harper MP Rob Anders graduated from Blackwell's school and Rove was once a member of YAF. Enough said.

In the poster above the group tells students how to identify a Muslim with things like "lasers in their eyes, venom from mouth and a peg-leg for smuggling children and heroine".

This is not unlike a children's book, The Poisonous Mushroom, written by Nazi Julius Streicher.

In the book, Streicher teaches youth how to identify a Jew:
- One can tell a Jew by his nose. The Jewish nose is bent at the tip.
- ...the lips are another distinguishing feature; they are usually puffed up
- From the eyes one can see that the Jew is: A false, deceitful person
So how are the teachings of YAF and Streicher any different?

Both promote xenophobia. Xenophobia that can lead people to accept horrifying things.

Fox News North and the English Defense League

So what does all of this have to do with us?

In the following piece from Sun TV, the station that came about after Stephen Harper's taxpayer funded lunch with Rupert Murdoch, Brian Lilley presents an interesting commentary.

He says that he had no interest in the Royal wedding until he learned that there was a group of Muslim protesters planning to disrupt the event.

Says Lilley: "Hopefully, maybe some soccer lads would take them out if they were to go ahead - rip them limb from limb..." Then he mockingly reminds his viewers that England is a Christian nation.

The video earned 42 'likes' and only 8 'dislikes', with one comment that someone should report Lilley to the CRTC. Fat lot of good that would do. Harper has appointed 11 of the 14 members, so I imagine that Lilley and his cohorts will be allowed to say pretty much anything.

However, this story is even more disturbing.

First off, the Muslim group was not the only one planning to protest that day. There were anti-capitalist groups, environmentalists, anti-poverty activists. But the only ones singled out were the Muslims.

The police themselves said that the biggest threat came not from any of the groups but from 'fixated' individuals.
While terrorist groups, anarchists and other political extremists are the most obvious potential security threats to the royal wedding, the most potent danger comes from obsessive lone operators, say experts.

These 'fixated' individuals are such a threat that in a small office not far from Buckingham Palace in central London a team of psychiatrists, psychologists and police officers are busy trying to counter that threat. The team is part of the Fixated Threat Assessment Center (FTAC), a unit established in 2006 with the responsibility of identifying and the power to indefinitely detain individuals who harass, stalk or threaten the royal family and others in public life.
However, if radical groups still concern Lilley and his faithfuls, I would be more concerned with the English Defense League, who promised to be on hand to take care of the Muslims.

According to the UK Guardian:
The English Defence League uncovered: Formed less than a year ago, the English Defence League has become the most significant far-right street movement since the National Front. The Guardian spent four months undercover with the movement, and found them growing in strength and planning to target some of the UK's biggest Muslim communities.
As warned the video contains coarse language, but it's the message that I find more disturbing than the profanity.

If they break through "they will murder them all."

As Canadians we should also take note that these guys use Geert Wilders as a role model. The same Geert Wilders who was given permission by the Harper government to speak at this year's Tulip Festival in Ottawa.

The Tulip Festival for heaven sake. Why were Canadians not outraged? Are we also now becoming desensitized to hatred?

In Lawrence Martin's book Harperland, he speaks of our immigration department specifically stating "NO MUSLIMS" in their recruitment ads. Why do we accept that?

The G-20 in Toronto is now best known for the largest number of domestic human rights violations in Canadian history, where citizens were beaten, strip searched, and held in cages. Where was our outrage?

Instead we shrugged and said "well, you shouldn't have been there".

Social activist Joe Levitt once stated that he had "lost confidence in the common man". And Gerald Caplan, NDP insider and columnist, laments that we are "going backwards into a world that we thought would never exist again." (p.12)

Why are we standing on the sidewalk cheering on the attack of everything that Canada once stood for? We might as well put on the jackboots and join in if we are going to do nothing.

What if Geert Wilders had spoke out against Jews at the Tulip Festival? Christians? The disabled? Would we have reacted differently?

This government is not only condoning hatred, but encouraging it.

When will we say "enough!"?


  1. Maybe (and I hope I'm wrong) the only way for Canada to learn how bad the Harpies are, Emily, is for us to end up the way Germany did, with all of the horror of a nazi-style regime and its consequences.
    I try to tell people (and some of them are people I love) but they laugh at me.
    They laugh at me when I mention the G-20.
    They laugh when I mention the kinds of people Harper invites to speak in Canada.
    They laugh when I ask what kind of Canada we are creating for the next generation who are now adults, and the one after that who are now children.
    Nobody believes how bad it can get.

  2. I haven't read Harperland but wouldn't such written policy violate the Charter? But like you said so brilliantly, Harper is transforming Canada in ways that couldn't even be imaginable 2 decades ago. He usurped parliamentary processes and was found in contempt so I'm sure he'll have no problem ignoring if not destroying the Charter. Watch him stack the courts with fellow ideologues as he's done with almost every other board, like the CRTC.