The outrageous behaviour of Donald Trump gains attention...no doubt about it. In fact, if he is not constantly the main subject in the news he fires off a few tweets designed to keep him front and centre.
His attention-getting antics often take attention away from real issues, and away from what is happening here at home.
While most of us shake our heads in disbelief that he managed to find his way into the Oval Office, there is the distinct possibility that there are some outside the U. S. who actually admire Trump and his misogynistic and racist ideas.
This past weekend Canadians became aware of an event at the Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto that looked very “Trump-like”...even though the organizers claimed they were protesting the governing decisions of Justin Trudeau.
The organizer, Ronny Cameron, has a website that reads, “Our economy is stagnant, our taxes are through the roof, our borders are being treated like door mats...and worst of all we have a Prime Minister who displays nothing but contempt for our history and culture.”
Those who organized a counter demonstration likely understood Cameron's true intent. There were definite far-right leanings within the group and made evident at the event.
Sarah Ali noted, that there might be criticism of government policy without being a fascist, but “...when you start to herald to a mythical white past, or when you start to associate with neo-Nazi or white supremacists groups, that is when you start crossing that line.”
In looking at some of the images of that event there seems little doubt that Ali's comments hit the nail directly on the head.
First, there was a group of men holding a large sign in bold letters that read Proud Boys. You may recall the five young men who identified themselves as Proud Boys disrupting an aboriginal ceremony in Halifax on July 1st this past summer. It seems this particular group only saw the more recent “white” history as being valid...and forgot that the true history of Canada begins with the aboriginal people.
The Proud Boys, a far-right group that sprung up amid the rise of Donald Trump, was founded in the United States by Gavin McInnes, a Canadian. This group has about 10,000 followers on Facebook and recent events indicate there are some followers here.
Another indication that the protest arranged by Cameron might be more than a simple protest against government policies appeared in another of the signs held by a protester. The sign said, Fake News, Fake Feminists, Fake P. M., Make Canada Real Again.
It would seem like there are some in that group who have bought the Trump line...hook and sinker. For the rest of us – we can only hope that Canada does not get pulled into Trump's drama with North Korea.
We may not agree with all decisions and directions taken by our current government. However, there can be no doubt that our economy is strong and that Canada is respected as an advocate of human rights...and in this country the rights of women are protected. The Proud Boys are admitted chauvinists and indicate the role of a woman is that of housewife. As for me...I am not interested in going backwards 50 or more years.
I am an immigrant...having moved here 30 years ago. I believe I have made a significant contribution to this country, and I also believe the more recent immigrants will do the same.
Shirley Hallee’s column appears bi-weekly in the Amherst News.