My official response to the article on PressProgress on September 5, 2019
September 6, 2019
Response To The Sept 5 Article in Press Progress
In response to an article that was published online by PressProgress.ca yesterday that references a Twitter media thread I participated in several months back, I wish to set the record straight.
I am not a racist nor do I support racism in any manner. In that social media thread I was exploring the possibility to convince the other participant(s) to set aside their racist attitudes and beliefs in favour of interacting with everyone else to face the threat of the Climate Emergency.
The proponents of racist behaviour do so essentially by building their beliefs on fake information and propaganda. My thinking is that providing actual facts – and actual other priorities in society – may result in a change in their racist positions and some even to take actions that atone for them. Possibly being somewhat naive, I consider it worth a shot. Redemption does happen. I reference a book by Eli Saslow (a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter):” “Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist” as one source of my inspiration for the possibility of redemption.
What I cannot – and will not – tolerate are those that declare racist thoughts and beliefs with the intention to sway others to their discourse.
The article in Press Progress also makes an implication that I do not consider racism to be a priority. And by some strange extension by its author – to all social issues being absent of priority. This is false. In the context of the referenced Twitter thread, I was trying to make a case that the racists I was communicating with would see that we face serious other issues that they could refocus their priority on. Telling racists that their racism is a priority makes absolutely no sense in such discussions.
The referenced Press Progress article also alludes to other incidences of racism or priority setting within the Green Party of Canada or by its leader, Elizabeth May. In all of my interactions in the Green Party, I have not run across any individual or any instance of racial behaviour. In fact, my experiences have been the direct opposite – where inclusion is the conduct that flourishes.
In conclusion, that I or others in the Green Party of Canada promote any racist activity or belief is complete nonsense. There is nothing that validates that position. During the course of the coming campaign and its debates, I look forward to engaging with all Canadians. If my selection of words or my choice to attempt a dialogue with actual racists has offended anyone I offer my sincere apology.
Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or want more information.
cell/text: (705) 818-9281
If you are curious about the article I am responding to – the link is https://pressprogress.ca/green-party-candidate-says-focusing-on-racism-is-a-distraction-from-real-problems/