No One Is Illegal on White Supremacist Hate Crimes

Posted by admin on Jan 26th, 2012

This Friday January 27th Shawn MacDonald appears in Court at 222 Main Street (at Cordova) at 9am. NOII members are planning to attend court, but since it is a work-day we would like to ensure there are enough numbers. Please RSVP to if you can join us, we encourage white allies to be present and people of colour to break the fear, silence, and invisibility with us.

No One Is Illegal Statement on Blood and Honour White Supremacist Hate Crimes

No One is Illegal-Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories is a grassroots anti-colonial and anti racist migrant justice group. As a multiracial movement led by people of colour, we are outraged to hear of the rise of overt white supremacist groups in the Lower Mainland. In the past month, it has come to light that at least three men, Robertson de Chazal, Shawn Donald Finlay MacDonald, and Alastair Miller with known links to Blood and Honour are being charged in a number of violent assaults and hate crimes from 2008-2010 against a Filipino man who was set on fire, a Black man, a Latino man, and an Indigenous woman.

Racism manifests itself in (under-reported) hate crimes, such as the violent assaults of these four people of colour, as well as daily forms of racist harassment, such as racial slurs. These forms of individual/overt racism do not and cannot exist in isolation from more systemic/covert forms of racism. A glaring example of this is the Asiatic Exclusion League, formed by white supremacists and union leaders, along the West Coast in the early 1900’s. In 1907, the Vancouver Riots saw thousands of people chanting racist slogans through Chinatown and vandalizing Chinese homes and businesses. The racist sentiments expressed and fostered by the League eventually contributed to the passage of the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, which prohibited almost all Chinese immigration to Canada.

The crimes of white supremacists are not exceptions, because they exist amidst an underlying racism that continuously places people of colour as Outsiders from an imagined White Canadian identity. Within Canada, people of colour are three to four times more likely to be poor. We are over-represented in low-income jobs such as garment and janitorial work. Institutional racism is embedded in public bodies such as the criminal injustice system and educational system, as well as the laws and policies that govern these lands and our lives. Over the past few months alone, there have been numerous examples of state-sanctioned racism– from Jason Kenney’s niqab ban during citizenship ceremonies to Harper’s response to the Attawapiskat crisis – with real consequences and impacts for the self-determination and dignity of our communities. They also highlight the normalizing of public racist discourse that tends to take the form of “immigrants stealing jobs/not integrating” or “natives getting a free ride” or “black/brown men or youth always being violent” etc.

We are not holding our breath for any politician to declare white supremacist organizations like Blood and Honour “the enemy within” or “a danger to public safety”, or for any public official to single out white communities “to report any suspicious behaviour of homegrown extremism”. We do not expect all young white men to start getting racially profiled at schools, airports, libraries, coffee shops, or walking down the street. There will be no slew of media articles psyscho-analyizing the peculiarities of White Culture that inherently preaches such hatred and violence. And we are sure that the Society of Moderate Whites will not need to issue a statement condemning such unacceptable intolerance from within their own community.

Let us not forget that Canada is built on the white supremacist crime of colonization. Based on racist assumptions about the “inferiority” of Indigenous people, Canada has dispossessed Indigenous people of their traditional lands, resources and cultures. This continues today with the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal injustice system, disproportionate rates of the apprehension of Indigenous children, extreme poverty amongst Indigenous communities, and the tragedy of missing and murdered women.

On the global stage, Canada has lent its support to imperialist interventions in Vietnam, East Timor, Afghanistan, Haiti, and Iraq. The current War on Terror is an incarnation of a very old phenomenon of crusading in defence of so-called Western civilization. Despite the current occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine are devastating the lives of millions of people, they are justified (as parroted by the mainstream media) through the racist dehumanization of brown bodies as collateral damage. Canada also supports international free trade agreements that allow the free movement of capitalism and corporations to devastate the land, privatize public services, slash labour standards, and displace people all over the world.

Of the millions of people forcibly displaced across the globe, only a few hundred thousand even make it to Canada. Of these, tens of thousands are deported out of Canada each year and families are forced apart. Precarious legal status, deportations, detentions, and security certificates all contribute to making migrants vulnerable to poverty and insecurity. Many Canadian businesses rely on the exploited labour of migrant and non-status workers, thus maintaining a social and economic system that has created two classes of people.

Which is why we assert that from historic injustices – such as Japanese-Canadian internment camps and residential schools – to the current mass imprisonment and impoverishment of racialized people and refugees under the War on Terror; Canadian corporate mining from the Alberta tarsands to Goldcorp in Guatemala; the expansion of exploitative migrant worker programs; the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and military occupations from Afghanistan to Haiti – racism is an ugly truth about Canada.

We encourage our friends and allies to remain vigilant, to be pro-active in countering racism, to strengthen our communities of solidarity and resistance, and to never let the haters have power over us.

No One Is Illegal, Power to the People!

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