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The Issue of White Supremacy

December 1997

Not at Western, You Say?

The recent sighting of literature on Western's campus from the Heritage Front, a white, Euro-Canadian supremacist group, has left many questions unanswered: Why Western? Why London? Why now?

The Heritage Front openly denounces immigration laws that would allow for non-white Europeans to enter into Canada.  The Heritage Front calls for the preservation of the dominant white Euro-Canadian culture, and for the repeal of laws that permit "reverse discrimination" against this group.

Why would the Heritage Front be looking for allies and/or new members at Western? 

Literature on hate groups operating in Canada and other parts of the world suggest that most members are young white men between the ages of 16 to 24.  Western's population is still predominantly made up of white people. The current political climate in London is less tolerant of marginalized groups than in the past (e.g. the controversy around the re-election of mayor Diane Haskett).  Further, the current provincial Conservative government has attempted to disempower union groups, has revoked the employment equity act, has reduced funding to shelters for abused women and for affordable housing, and has cut benefits to poor and disadvantaged groups -- and according to the last election results, this government was well endorsed in London.  

Is this problematic? 

Decide for yourself if this is an issue by asking: what right does any group have to exclude membership in this country based on skin colour and cultural background?  Is this about freedom of speech or about the oppression of non-white, Euro-Canadian groups?  Given the increase in representation on Western's campus from women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered groups, people of colour, and people with disabilities, who benefits from the status quo and is this still acceptable in a campus as diverse as Western?

 

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