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Hamas terrorists were still in the process of pulling Israeli civilians from their homes and executing them when McMaster University associate professor Ameil Joseph wrote on X.com that “postcolonial, anticolonial, and decolonial are not just words you heard in your DEI workshop.”
DEI refers to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, an ideology touting anti-racism and decolonization that has come to define massive swaths of Canadian academia in recent years. And Joseph was far from the only Canadian academic to excuse the mass-murder of more than 1,000 people using words from a DEI glossary.
“Decolonization is not just a theory” was a sign held by a woman in a Carleton University jacket attending an Ottawa rally celebrating the Oct. 7 attacks. Mohammad Fadel, a law professor at the University of Toronto, recirculated posts cheering Hamas fighters who crossed “into their colonisers’ territory.”
Black Lives Matter Canada — a group that the federal government has openly endorsed as a source on “racial equity” — issued a statement that made no mention whatsoever of the Oct. 7 violence, saying only that Israel was an apartheid oppressor state engaged in the “torture and murder” of Palestinians.
In just the last five years, the Trudeau government has leaned hard into a project to remake the federal government under the guise of “anti-racism.” Stemming from the U.S.-created discipline of “critical race theory,” anti-racism is wholly different from the principles of tolerance, multiculturalism and equal treatment that used to characterize the federal approach to race. Rather, anti-racism holds that Canada’s structures are so irredeemably racist that — in the words of Ottawa’s own literature on the subject — it can be defeated only with “deliberate systems and supports” favouring marginalized groups.
Canada now has a federal Anti-Racism Secretariat. It spent $45 million on an official “Anti-Racism Strategy” – and showered grants onto an archipelago of “anti-racism initiatives.” What’s more; every soldier, diplomat, judge and civil servant collecting a federal paycheque must now undergo mandatory training to learn how to grapple with their own “unearned privilege” and work for a country that is irredeemably shot through with systemic oppression.
But as Jewish voices have been warning for years, anti-racism has a troubling blind spot when it comes to Jews: They’re either omitted, or framed as colonialist oppressors. As Canada’s strongest bastions of “anti-racism” thought now openly cheer terrorism and call for Israel’s destruction, it’s not entirely off-brand for an ideology that has often framed Jews as standard-bearers for white supremacy.
“Critical Race Theory simplistically erases the uniqueness of the Jewish experience and identifies Jews as ‘white’, CRT’s oppressor class,” reads a critique by Russell A. Shalev, an Israeli lawyer (and McGill University graduate) who has credited CRT with fostering a boom of anti-Semitism within academia.
“In fact, CRT often considers Jews to be the epitome of white privilege and supremacy,” he added.
In April 2021, Global Affairs documents obtained by Postmedia’s Brian Lilley provided a unique window into what a federal anti-racism workshop actually looks like.
The 100-page booklet taught that racism against white people doesn’t exist, because as holders of “Eurocentric cultural power” they cannot be oppressed. Traits such as “perfectionism” and “worship of the written word” are identified as markers of white supremacy.
Black Lives Matter Canada, the group now denouncing Israel as a colonialist oppressor state, is identified as a leading source for further reading. “For those residing in what we now call Canada, it is critical to know the work of … Black Lives Matter Canada.”
What goes entirely unmentioned is the word “anti-Semitism” or anything at all related to the historical experience of Canada’s 400,000 Jews.
The booklet contains more than half a dozen mentions of slavery — despite the fact that slavery was already abolished at Canada’s 1867 inception.
A pair of large graphics in the materials attempt to sum up all of Canada’s worst markers of “white supremacy,” and includes historical bans on Asian and Black immigrants. No mention is made of the overtly anti-Semitic Canadian immigration policies that kept out Jewish immigrants both before and immediately after the Holocaust – a policy openly described at the time as “none is too many.”
The Canadian Armed Forces’ recently adopted “anti-racism lexicon” similarly seems to downplay the Jewish experience. The military provides long, detailed definitions about “anti-Black,” “anti-Indigenous” and “anti-Asian” racism. Anti-Black racism, for instance, is described as so foundational to Canada’s very existence and structure that it is “either functionally normalized or rendered invisible to the larger white society.”
But when it comes to anti-Semitism, the glossary describes it only as “a certain perception of Jewish people, which may be expressed as hatred or blame, stereotypes, myths … and conspiracy theories.”
One of the most notorious outgrowths of the Trudeau government’s anti-racism push was the more than $500,000 in federal monies handed over to Laith Marouf, an anti-racism contractor with a history of virulently anti-Semitic comments. At the time, the outrage wasn’t so much that Canada had so badly misallocated half a million dollars, but that Marouf had apparently thrived within an ecosystem in which near-daily social media posts decrying Israelis as “little castrated b—-hes” and “European garbage” didn’t raise any eyebrows.
Canadian anti-racism materials cite heavily from the workbook Dismantling Racism, one of the seminal works of the Critical Race Theory movement.
Dismantling Racism does mention Jews, but only as a quick aside to say that Jews have opted to “become white” in order to benefit from white supremacy. “Becoming white involves giving up parts of your original culture in order to get the advantages and privileges of belonging to the white group,” it reads.
Virtually every Canadian DEI workshop ends with a recommendation to read How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Within the elaborate hierarchies of oppression that Kendi describes in the book, there is no mention of Jews, but it implies that any group that is persevering within the current “systemically racist” system is necessarily a collaborator.
“One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities,” writes Kendi.
As a 2022 column in the Canadian Jewish publication TheJ.ca put it, critical race theory was bound to come down on Jews eventually, if only because they didn’t fit the narrative as victims of the Canadian system.
“Jews, just two per cent of the population of Canada, have succeeded in White Christian society. They don’t fit CRT theory. CRT theorists and antisemites have therefore included them in the class of White Christian oppressors,” it read.
IN OTHER NEWS
If you’re a politician caught doing something objectionable, a popular strategy is to blame a subordinate. Or you can do like Red Deer Catholic School Trustee Monique LaGrange and blame the exact opposite of a subordinate: God. In August, LaGrange posted a photo to her personal Facebook page contrasting a contemporary image of children holding Pride flags against a photo from Nazi Germany of children holding swastika flags. “Brainwashing is brainwashing,” reads a caption. When this sparked a board investigation, LaGrange would report that she posted the meme only after the Holy Spirit had told her to “go for it.”
In recent weeks, the government of Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has been openly espousing a plan for Alberta to leave the Canada Pension Plan. Alberta is richer and younger than any other province, and thus contributes way more to the CPP than it ever takes out (sort of like a reverse New Brunswick, if you will). So the idea is that they can start their own pension plan that would invest in more Alberta-y things like oil and gas. But where it gets more contentious is in Alberta’s claim that $334 billion of the CPP’s assets should rightly be turned over to Albertans in the event they decide to withdraw. Of course, that’s assuming that such a claim wouldn’t be answered with years upon years of ruinous lawsuits – which it would. In an exclusive statement to the National Post, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said that Alberta should probably find something else to do, but added that he doesn’t blame them for trying to “get some of their money back.”
Guaranteed minimum income is essentially the lefty equivalent of the flat tax in terms of wildly impractical policies that refuse to die. So naturally, the Senate embarked this week on a full-blown study on how to implement the policy as quickly as possible. The idea of a guaranteed minimum income actually originates from within conservative circles; first pitched in the 1970s by economists such as Milton Friedman, the idea was to dismantle the welfare bureaucracy and simple direct all the money to a more efficient “negative income tax.” But the Senate makes clear that Canada would keep all its existing benefits and simply add cash on top of that. As to the notion that people won’t work if they’re simply paid to stay home, the Senate dismisses it entirely. “The fear that a GLBI (guaranteed livable basic income) might discourage work is not consistent with empirical evidence,” reads a preliminary report. The report is also oddly sanguine on one of the main economic lessons of COVID-19; that firehosing cash into the economy is a great way to spike inflation and also housing costs. “GLBI is unlikely to cause inflation because it involves the redistribution of money rather than the creation of new money,” says the Senate.
After an explosion hit a hospital in Gaza City earlier this week, members of the Trudeau cabinet were quick to characterize it as an “attack” and strongly imply that Israel was responsible. But subsequent analyses by Israel, the United States and any number of independent researchers using geo-located video soon concluded that the blast was almost certainly due to a malfunctioning rocket fired by a Hamas ally. Photos of the impact site show a charred parking lot, a crater no larger than a pothole, and no substantial damage to hospital structures. While Hamas claimed the explosion killed more than 500, an unclassified U.S. intelligence assessment estimated casualties on the “low end” of 100 to 300 deaths (while European intelligence sources are estimating a “maximum” of 50). Against all this, Trudeau said Thursday that he was still not sure who was responsible. “Everyone is in agreement that the deaths of innocents in that hospital in Gaza never should have happened,” he told reporters.
While we’re on the subject, last week Liberal MP Salma Zahid issued a statement condemning “violence and acts of terror” in the Middle East. But after condemning the “intentional targeting of innocent Israeli civilians,” Zahid then condemned the “intentional targeting of innocent Palestinian civilians” – the latter of which describes something that nobody except Hamas has described as happening. Plenty of Palestinian civilians are suspected to have been killed in Israeli strikes against Hamas, but Zahid is seeming to allege that Israel is killing civilians intentionally. Last November, Zahid was the organizer of a Parliament Hill “Palestinian solidarity” event whose attendees would include people who have espoused open support for Hamas and the Oct. 7 attacks.
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