BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to a story titled ''Very upsetting' Confederate flag still flying in Waubaushene' published on Aug. 23.
The situation where certain persons flew the American flag of the Confederacy in Waubaushene and Collingwood this summer is the reason why Canadian law should be amended to define the flying or possessing of such hated symbols as a hate crime.
Tay Township Coun. Mary Warnock is correct to explain how the flag symbolizes racism and white-supremacist movements. At issue is the tendency of some to manipulate freedom of speech into a weapon of persecution.
An age ago, that flag became the catalyst for a few patriarchal slave owners to go to war against the northern states to protect their empire from the mechanization of their competitors. The American south had been a pit of human suffering where abducted men and women endured slavery and a kind of holocaust; a place where a maniacal white culture who, much like the Roman Empire before them, felt that a slave was something you had the right to slaughter, rape or humiliate.
When that slave-hoarding empire collapsed under the boot heels of unionist armies, a few disgruntled ex-soldiers declared a subtle guerilla war against freed African slaves and anyone they deemed ‘white race-traitors;’ thus the Ku Klux Klan was born. Nearly a century later, the hateful Nazis regime left behind an ongoing skinhead and neo-Nazis problem. This is the evil power of a symbol.
Because white supremacy is another form of terrorism on the rise, any such incidents should be investigated by the police. But a radical tightening of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Human Rights Code would stifle the ability of hateful individuals to gain traction and recruitment.
To put this delicately, all of us, Caucasians included, must come to terms with the racist past. We do that by accepting responsibility for the past and confronting our negative impressions of other people. It is how we respond to the resurging hatred encompassing our world.