Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The New Conservative Racism

The right in Canada has picked up on the issue of dual citizenship. Of course with most right wing approaches to issues, it appears on the surface to seem a reasonable response to an emergining issue, in this case brought on by the crisis in Lebanon this summer.

Canadian citizenship | I'm a lumberjack, and you're not |

But underneath is the same old vile racism and anti-immigrant chauvinism that historically dominates WASP/WASCatholic conservative mentality.

In Ottawa, faith makes a leap to the right

Likewise, for the first time ever in English-speaking Canada, Catholics who attended church voted for Conservatives more than Liberals. And in Quebec, the Liberal vote dropped to 29 from 56 per cent among weekly churchgoers, far more than among the less observant.
Likewise, for the first time ever in English-speaking Canada, Catholics who attended church voted for Conservatives more than Liberals. And in Quebec, the Liberal vote dropped to 29 from 56 per cent among weekly churchgoers, far more than among the less observant.

The new right in Canada is simply the Old Right and so the issue of who is a real Canadian is the core of their values argument. The racism is alive and on the upswing in Canada

Whether it is first nations rights, or those of recent immigrants, or the sturm and drang over dual citizenship of Lebanese Canadians, look below the surface and the argument is simple, why aren't these folks white like me.

The curent attack on dual citizenship focuses on Canadians from the Middle East. In particular comments by MSM types like Andrew Coyne and Peter Worthington (an old right whingnut himself) all the way to the nutbars at the Western Slander; have focused on the dual citizenship of Lebanese Canadians and of Mahar Arar, a Syrian Canadian.

Monday, September 25, 2006
Loyalty and Country

Peter Worthington brusquely touched on what Andrew Coyne delivered with more eloquence: loyalty, what you can do for your country. This was easily the best opinion piece on the weekend, arguing that a country is not simply a dispenser of services, but a great moral project in which we are all engaged.

I would simply beseech Mr. Coyne to bring this to its logical conclusion. If we are to limit dual citizenship on the basis of rewarding loyalty to those who actively belong to our common moral project, should we not expand this to include countries that share it? What difference morally do we have with New Zealanders or Great Britons? Let's end the free ride, but let's reciprocate where it makes emminent sense to do so . The Monarchist

But what gets overlooked is dual citizenship was the basis of the British colonialization of Canada. As fellow blogger Lord Kitchners Own points out. After WWII dual citizenship was allowed for the Displaced Persons who emigrated here from war torn Europe, such as Germans, Italians and Poles.

It is also offered to those who are Chinese Canadians, who of course were not allowed to become Canadians for a long time and suffered a head tax in doing so, something the Harper government has finally apologized for.

The recent attacks on migrants and even indigenous peoples in Canada are reminicisnt of those after WWI. When waves of new non-white, read non British, Central and East Europeans migrated to Canada to open the West. This was no better reflected in the reaction of the WASP ruling class in Canada to the Winnipeg General Strike. Led by Scots and British trade unionists and socialists it was the Ukrainian immigrants that were identified as 'Enemy Aliens' and as the 'Bolshevik Threat in Canada, Revolutionaries out to overthrow society. Just as todays migrants from the Middle East are identified as 'terrorists'.

The Canadian government responded by pressing the DOMINION POLICE, the Royal North-West Mounted Police, military intelligence and even private detective agencies such as Pinkerton's, into action against potential saboteurs. After 1917, and the successful Bolshevik revolution in Russia, attention turned to the threat posed by radical political movements in Canada.

Towards war's end, in September 1918, a fledgling Canadian intelligence system survived inevitable pressures for demobilization and a return to peacetime practices. Within the army, a skeletal military intelligence directorate kept in touch with world events through its access to a regular flow of information from London. The newly created ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE (RCMP) turned some of its attention to monitoring domestic political radicalism. The achievement of continuity, linking the activities of WWI with the post-1918 era, provided the framework for future growth in the Canadian intelligence system. But it would take the massive demands placed upon the military and society in WWII before a more fully fledged intelligence community would emerge. Intelligence and Espionage-TCE

Between the two World Wars came the Great Depression, the coincidence of the market crash of 1929 and the drought that his the Prairie Basin in Canada and the United States. On the left this brought about the popularity of workers governments, mainly associated with the CCF, and the worker farmer alliance of the Commmunist Party. On the Right fascism raised its ugly prescence in Quebec, Ontario and in Alberta.

In Alberta the KKK focused on Catholics and French language being imposed on us. Ironic since it was the Metis and Indian rebellion of Riel and Dumont that opened up the West. And gave us our taste for anti-colonial struggle against the Federal state.

That anti-Catholicism remained an undercurrent in the post war revival of the right. In particular those in Southern Alberta, Moromons, Dutch Reformed Church, and the American diaspora. Who made an issue of hating Trudeau, and bi-lingualism and bi-culturalism in the name of a former British colonial anachronism being a Dominion. They appealed to British Colonial ideals, Anglo Saxon superiority, a single language, a single race of true Canadians.

That hatred of bi-linugalism of the Federal government carries on today in their argument against being a multicultural society. And make no mistake about it. When you read the real venemous propaganda of the racist right you see that this is good old fashioned White Wacism.

Martin Robin's Shades of Right: Nativist and Fascist Politics in Canada, 1920-1940. The Ku Klux Klan, according to Martin, offered its supporters an impressive 'galaxy of hates': Blacks, Catholics, Jews, Japanese, Chinese, and even streetwalkers; anyone and everyone could be branded an enemy, and, indeed, they are interchangeable. They are described in broadly the same terms and assigned the same nefarious intentions and deeds.... the extremist and hateful ideologies described were too close for comfort to the mainstream of Canadian politics. The majority of British Columbia's politicians shared the Ku Klux Klan's hatred of so-called Orientals and implemented a series of harsh discriminatory policies against them. Both the Progressive and Conservative parties unabashedly collaborated with the Klan throughout the 1920s, and anti-Semitism and fascism were a pervasive influence on the French-Canadian elite at the same time. Mackenzie King misread Hitler's bellicose intentions through his personal sympathy for him.Antisemitism in Canada: History and Interpretation. by Esther Delisle

Active in Montreal by 1921, the secret United States fraternity dedicated to Anglo-Saxon Protestant supremacy had established branches throughout Canada by 1925. The Klan's Canadian agenda resembled that of the American parent fraternity, but included some peculiarly Canadian elements such as an emphasis on loyalty to the British Crown, on anti-French propaganda, and on vitriolic opposition to Roman Catholicism.

According to historian Howard Palmer, much of the Klan's appeal in Alberta stemmed not just from its stand on moral issues in a time of rapidly changing moral standards, but also from the character of the provincial Klan leader, J. J. Maloney. Maloney was an Irish Catholic from Ontario. He had a somewhat chequered personal history, but was blessed with boyish good looks and charismatic charm. As a young man, Maloney briefly trained for the priesthood at a seminary in Montreal. He soon withdrew, however, complaining about the seminary's strict rules and the vow of celibacy. Fired from a lay job he subsequently acquired with the Roman Catholic Church, Maloney sued the Church for libel. When the Catholic Church counter-sued, Maloney affiliated himself with the Presbyterian Church, and mounted a vigorous anti-Catholic campaign from the pulpit. Joining the Ku Klux Klan in 1929, he moved to Edmonton, which he denounced as "The Rome of the West" because of its large French-speaking and European immigrant Catholic population. The National Association of Canada and the Ku Klux Klan

There was an obvious volatility in Alberta, and an equally obvious power vacuum, when Klan activity reached its peak in the early 1930s. Premier Brownlee seemed unable to cope with the impact of the Great Depression and the personal scandal (losing a lawsuit claiming he'd seduced a young secretary) that dogged his tenure. He resigned. The UFA then faced an election.

Maloney, Snelgrove, and their followers and sympathizers could not see or seize the opportunity. They persisted in a strategy of dividing Albertans against themselves. In so doing, they left it to a charismatic, fundamentalist preacher named William Aberhart to play the populist card and unite Albertans against real or imagined enemies on the distant horizon in Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.

Few would argue that Aberhart and Social Credit were not better for Alberta than J.J. Maloney, R.C. Snelgrove and their ilk would have been. Howard Palmer suggests that "Social Credit, by and large, had a positive impact on ethnic relations," when it first took the stage. But it is also true that Aberhart's demonstration of a successful "unite the right" strategy did not exclude people who had embraced Maloney's and Snelgrove's gospels of fear, anger, and prejudice.

Baergen points out that Alberta is the only Canadian jurisdiction ever to have accepted formal registration of the Ku Klux Klan under its Societies Act. And it did so not once, but twice; first under Brownlee's beleaguered UFA government, in 1932, and again in 1972, the year the government of Premier Peter Lougheed introduced the Individual's Rights Protection Act (IRPA), Alberta's first human rights legislation. The current government of Premier Ralph Klein replaced-critics in the Opposition and the press said, "weakened" -the IRPA with the 1996 Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act.
KKK - Heritage Community Foundation

Upholding social decency and political equality: the Lacombe Western Globe and the Ku Klux Klan, 1929-1932. (Alberta History)

WWII came and fascism went under a rock however WASP Canada interned the Japanese as they had other enemy aliens, the Chinese Head Tax was still on.

In the aftermath of WWII we had the revival of the Communist Boogy Man during the cold war. Canada embraced DP's from eastern Europe whose countries had falled to Stalin. These exiles were fervent anti-communists, as well as anti-semites.

They helped establish the World Anti-CommunistLeague which was a cabal of ex-Nazis and their followers around the world as well as virulent right wing ethnic Nationalists many from the Ukraine Their influence dominated the re-birth of the Right in North America as it embraced the Anti-Stalinism of the liberal left turning it into Anti-Communism pure and simple.

In Canada the movement against communism had its roots in both the business lobby and the new immigrants from Poland, the Ukraine and especially Hungary.

In particular the emigre population that arrived here after the failed Anti-Stalinist revolution in Hungary in 1956. 50th Anniversary Hungarian Workers Revolt

These immigrants became the backbone for the rebirth of the Right in Canada.Along with their anti-communism they expressed an anti-semitism that their country had been dominated by the Jewish Bolsheviks, a conspiracy theory that has held sway amongst the far right since the Bolshevik revolution.

The WACL would have remained a small far right group had it not been for the Cold War where its influence grew as it spread into the Anti-Fidel Cuban exile community in Florida, and then as it worked as front for CIA efforts at destabilization in Latin America, in particular the fall of Allende's Chile on 9/11/71. It's ideology is so commonplace today that it is still reflected in the historical revisionism of the mainstream right when it deals with the Cuban Revolution.

The post Reagan right also has its roots in this movement in particular those around the Christian Right in Canada and the U.S.Jew-haters and red-baiters: The Canadian League of Rights The WACL was represented in Canada by Alberta based Geza Matri and his Anti-Bolshivk League and the Edmund Burke Society. The later giving birth to the new far right movements in Canada of the last decade the Heritage Front.

An excellent resource for the interlocking conspiracies of the right, whose ideology is conspiracy theory itself, is the Anti-Fascist Archives.

Ironically of course while the current gang of rightwingers bemoans dual citizenship of some folks from the Middle East;

Tories seek new rules for dual citizenship

$85M cost of Lebanon evacuation renews longstanding debate

They conviniently overlook the group with the largest dual citizenship for fear of being labeled anti-semitic; the Jewish diaspora. But thats also because Israel is a state. A state that had the Conservatives support when it invaded Lebanon creating this crisis of emergency migration. Indeed Canadian and American Jews still traveled to Israel during the Summer War while their fellow Canadians fled Lebanon.

And to many of the Evangelical base in the right this is the prophecy of the end times. Israel and the Jewish reocuppation of the Temple in Jerusalem is crucial to their final solution; the rapture which will overcome us with the coming of their ultimate White God, Jesus, who will take the true believers to heavan leaving the rest of us to his holy destruction.

And watch as the real nutars on the right so called liberatarians who defend the rights of property and property owners, claim that Indigenous peoples should assimilate too. Without any of that unpleasant land claims business being settled.

Yep under all this phony concern for dual citizens is good old fashioned racism the construction of the perfect White Anglo Saxon Politically Correct Christian Canadian. WASP-CCC. Buzzing about spreading hate in the name of nativist nationalism. Except we are all immigrants, something they forget.



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1 comment:

Larry Gambone said...

First rate, Eugene! If only this history were better known...