Fighting organized hate requires new tactics for a new era - 2019-04-30
Everything old is new again. But for long-time anti-hate educators and activists, the oft-used phrase doesn't stem from Peter Allen's song of dreamy love, but is a grim reminder, instead: When it comes to the next wave of white supremacy in Canada – though "tsunami" might be more accurate – nothing has changed except the battleground.
An investigation by The Globe and Mail analyzed logs from a chat group that called itself the Canadian Super Players. Analysis of discussions, which took place on Discord, a text-and-voice application that is popular with the far right, provided valuable information about what is the same and what is new. And unfortunately, while many of the old tactics remain effective, they also revealed the need for a new, innovative approach to fighting this troubling phenomenon.
The efforts to hide more egregious activities from public view and to infiltrate mainstream political life isn't novel. In the nineties, the Heritage Front – a hate group of which I was a member – attempted to "unite the right" by creating an umbrella organization for Canada's existing hate groups. The group worked to attract more educated young people, including professionals who worked in banking and public transportation, as well as grad students in the STEM fields. A concerted effort was made to infiltrate the Reform Party, and just as we're seeing with the Canadian Super Players, the goal was to influence the party's direction, if not take it over outright.