I am in a terrible mood right now because of the shooting in Quebec City.
I grew up thinking that things like this don’t happen in Canada. I grew up believing that Canada, and most Canadians, valued tolerance as a one of our key values. Of course, now that I am older and actually studied actual history, and I know that our history is one of normalized paranoia about the “other”, and exclusion from the mainstream. Canadians have spent the past two centuries freaking out over immigrants, whether it be Chinese, Greek, Eastern European Jews, etc. Now we’re just freaking out over Muslims, and people are seizing on the hate band wagon because it’s the easy thing to do.
Six men are dead, all fathers; children now have to grow up without their fathers because their fathers practiced a certain religion and came from foreign lands. This was a xenophobic attack, make no mistake; a racist attack, an act of intolerance. This was the long term result of years, more than a decade, of normalized bigotry. This is the culmination of hate blogs, far right wing “news” organizations, and the casual normalization of paranoid Islamophobia.
There, I said it. It’s a thing. It’s a thing we in Canada have allowed to fester and spread unchecked. We allowed the discourse to edge closer and closer to a form of extremism in itself, governments of the day using subtle dog-whistle anti-foreigner sentiments, and not so subtle dog-whistle anti-foreigner sentiments.
I could go on and on about how I saw this coming for years. I did see it coming. I knew that something like this would happen sooner or later.
Ezra Levant’s exploiting the deaths, making up blatant nonsense. I could go on about how this is kind of, in part, his fault, and the fault of all the hate-mongering thugs pretending journalism at Rebel “Media”.
I could go on about Michael Coren, the redeemed one, the guy who is suddenly progressive now that he’s had a change of heart. I could go on about how he paved the way for hardcore Islamophobic paranoia becoming normalized in Canada the past decade; how he can be sorry for his past as much as he wants to be, yet cannot ignore that he helped created this present and this future.
I wont though.
We all know who is ultimately responsible.
Those of us who recognize humanity in those who are “otherized” need to stand up and stand together now.
That is all.