Sunday, January 6, 2019

Is There A Radical Right Racism Problem In The Canadian Armed Forces?

military Nazi accountability politics hate racism politics islamophobia white supremacy

In November 2018, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) announced that it had suspended four soldiers from their duties for running an ‘army-surplus’ website that largely catered to white supremacists by selling clothing, flags, and other items glorifying the – unrecognized – and white-ruled African state of Rhodesia. This represents just the latest in a series of high profile incidents involving CAF soldiers or sailors associated with radical right groups. Last year, an investigation conducted by Vice News in collaboration with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that an army reservist in Nova Scotia was a prominent member of Atomwaffen Division.

The members of this neo-Nazi group are preparing for a race war to combat what they consider to be the cultural and racial displacement of the white race, and have been tied to an attempted bombing and numerous hate crimes, including five racially motivated murders. Another investigation, this time by CBC/Radio-Canada raised concerns over the participation of active CAF members on the public Facebook group of La Meute. La Meute is a Quebec-based group founded by two Canadian Armed Forces veterans which reinterprets First Nations, neo-pagan, and Christian spiritual traditions in order to develop a new cultural identity for Quebecois. Lastly, on Canada Day in 2017, five Canadian Forces members – members of the “Proud Boys” movement who proudly proclaim their ‘Western chauvinism’ – disrupted an Indigenous protest in Halifax.

Whilst the military brass in Canada are scrambling to denounce and address such cases of racism and radical-right extremism within the Canadian military, the intersection of individuals aligned with radical right groups and the military is by no means an issue limited to Canada.  (more...)

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