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Kamloops chapter to hold talk on political leaders giving licence to racism

The Kamloops chapter

The Council of Canadians Kamloops chapter will be holding a Philosophers’ Cafe discussion on racism and inclusion this coming March 21.

Their outreach notes, “Dr. Monica J. Sanchez-Flores, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology will be addressing the question of whether authorities influence the expression of racist speech — that is, if those in political power have granted social license to express racism. In view of the recent US election and several ongoing elections in Europe, this is becoming a topic critical to democracy and to discourse between citizens.”

This is an important discussion to have.

Al Jazeera has reported, “The number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the US has nearly tripled since Donald Trump launched his presidential election campaign in 2015. The Southern Poverty Law Center [also] documented nearly 900 hate incidents within the 10 days after Trump’s election on November 8, but noted it was ‘almost certainly a small fraction of the actual number’ because of under-reporting. Many of the perpetrators invoked the president-elect’s name during the incidents, indicating the surge was linked or motivated by his electoral win, the report said.”

In Canada, a recent Angus Reid Institute poll found that, “One-in-four (25%) Canadians say this country should have responded to President Trump’s executive order by adopting the same policy – a temporary ban on Syrian refugees.” When asked about the federal government’s target of accepting 40,000 refugees in 2017, 41 per cent of Canadians said that number is too high.

With respect to the Conservative Party leadership convention, which takes place on May 27, Kellie Leitch has called for all immigrants, refugees and visitors to Canada to be tested for ‘Canadian values’, while Kevin O’Leary has called asylum seekers “sneaks” and wants the loophole in the Canada-US Safe Third Country agreement to be closed so that asylum seekers cannot apply for refugee status in Canada. The Hill Times has reported that 70 per cent of Conservative voters say that the Canadian government should not allow asylum seekers to stay in the country.

The Kamloops chapter discussion on racism and inclusion takes place on March 21 at 7 pm at The Smorgasbord Deli.