Your Canada Day Rulebook: It's okay to promote wife-beating & condone the execution of gay people, but if you fly the old Red Ensign you're a racist and a hater.
A weird new kind of crowd control is taking shape. A hate-preacher jamboree we're not supposed to notice comes to Toronto. Bonus: A special guest essay on The End of Pride.
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. - H.L. Mencken.
I thought I’d lead off with that thing the columnist H.L Mencken once said because there will be stuff about flags in this newsletter and besides, the sentiment suited my mood this week while I was inquiring into the subject of my National Post and Ottawa Citizen column.
It’s about a national organization that Team Trudeau has lavished with about $3.21 million over the past three years - including cash from the government’s “anti-hate” barrel, if you don’t mind - convening a three-day festival in Toronto - that begins on Canada Day, if you don’t mind - featuring preachers who contend that homosexual acts warrant the death penalty. And that Christians who protect Jews from murderers are traitors. And that a man should be permitted to beat his wife.
No, its not the Westboro Baptist Church. It’s the Muslim Association of Canada, and I only scratched the surface of this disgraceful affair in my column. Here we have Canadian tax dollars going to an organization aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, which got its own first big boost with German tax dollars provided by the Nazis.
I do not like reporting things of this kind because of the nasty Muslim-baiting uses to which stories of this sort can be so easily put. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs isn’t particularly happy to draw attention to this matter either. To be clear, if you’re determined to hold this week’s revelations as evidence implicating our Muslim friends and neighbours in foul thoughts and deeds, you are my enemy.
The Islamist tendencies that the leadership of the powerful Muslim Association of Canada has increasingly embraced in no way represent mainstream Muslim views in Canada, and you should notice in my column that there are Muslims brave enough to point out the reactionary and objectionable nature of these tendencies.
It’s not the fault of Canada’s Muslims, or even of the MAC’s affiliates, that the association’s bigshots are explicity and unapologetcally devoted to the political theology of jihadist lodestar Hassan Albanna and the global menace of the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s not their fault that the Brotherhood’s branch plant in Gaza is Hamas.
And anyway, I’m not going to let things ruin my Canada Day weekend. I’m going to enjoy myself and no one can stop me. My wish is for this newsletter’s readers to adopt the same standpoint and to have a great time. It’s the one day of the year that we should all feel wholly free to fly the flag high, you would think. Even the old Red Ensign. But no.
This past week the old flag was problematized, so to speak, thanks to a project funded by Team Trudeau’s anti-hate slush fund. It was under that flag, we might remember, that more than a million Canadians in uniform threw themselves into the 20th century’s struggle against fascism, and 44,090 Canadians died in the effort.
Blacklocks Reporter had the story first, and it’s as bad as it looks, I’m afraid.
It’s quite true that a few years ago, obnoxious Proud Boys types were appropriating the Ensign in their vulgar antic-making. But it’s a hell of a thing for public funds to be expended now on the surrender of what was Canada’s national flag until 1965 to yobs and boors, and to further declare that its contemporary display should be taken as “an indicator of hate-promoting beliefs.”
This isn’t an antidote to racist nostalgia. It’s the flipside to it.
It’s become quite fashionable over the past few months to capitulate in the same way with the Maple Leaf, even. During the truckist convoy protests in Ottawa earlier this year it was commonplace to hear lamentations about Canadian flags on all those Peterbilts and Kenworths. With Canada Day weekend upon us, and truckists converging on Ottawa for purposes either patriotically benign or stupidly insurrectionary, it’s all the rage to wring one’s hands again.
Oddly, the lamentation seems to be loudest in those quarters that were unperturbed when the prime minister ordered the Maple Leaf to be lowered to half mast on Parliament and all government budildings and kept that way for months on end last year owing to the misapprehension that a mass grave was discovered at an old residential school near Kamloops. The flags stayed at half mast all that time, long after the T’kemlups people had stated plainly and clearly, no, you got it wrong, we never said we found a mass grave.
As my National Post colleague Chris Selley puts it: “This idea that the Canadian flag is now traumatizing to people because of the convoy is the most embarrassing never-met-an-actual-problem Canadian thing currently on the market. Stop it.”
Another thing about the $269,000 teaching guide the Trudeau cabinet approved on Wednesday: The toolkit counsels teachers to get their kids to call out fellow students who appear to be sympathetic to problematic politicians, and names the Conservative Party as being susceptible to “infiltration” by racists.
You don’t have to be anything like a Conservative to wonder what the hell Diversity Minister Ahmed Hussen was thinking when he hit upon the idea that this is the way to “teach core values to our kids.” The whole thing has a bad Young Pioneers smell to it.
On this very subject of of flags and fashionable federally-funded inanities attending to the waving of them, my dear friend Fred Litwin has some things to say. Subscribers will remember Fred from this magnificent guest-post exposé of polite society in Quebec: Grovelling at the feet of Le Grand Complotiste. Fred returns with a guest post to reflect on Pride Month, which has just ended. So you could say this newsletter is a Canada Day two-for-one special.
So here’s Fred. There will be flags. If you don’t subscribe, you should, and to get past the paywall where the really good stuff usually is, it’s like a buck twenty-five a week.
It’s a parade. It isn’t about gay pride anymore. What’s it even for?
by Fred Litwin
I first marched in Gay Pride in 1983 in Toronto. It wasn’t a big parade, with just about 1,500 people. We marched along Bloor Street, and we all ended up at Queen’s Park for a celebration. I wasn’t “out” at the time, and I was a tad nervous about who might see me from the sidelines.
Nonetheless, it was a liberating feeling, and we really had something to fight for. Gay people were still prohibited from entering Canada. Gay bookstores were harassed. Gay baths were being raided. Our relationships were not recognized, and it was only the year before, in 1982, that the Canadian Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its schedule of mental illnesses.
We went on to win everything we really wanted or needed with the protection of sexual orientation from discrimination in 1998 and the recognition of same-sex marriage in 2005. So what was left to march for?
In 2009, Gay Pride found a new political target. The inclusion of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and their slogan, “Fist by fist, blow by blow, apartheid state has got to go,” made it clear that Pride had lost its way.
And my days of marching in Pride were over.
Toronto Pride took a hiatus during COVID but returned this year, and it has morphed into something completely different than what what went before. The description on the Pride web page says: “The long-awaited return will include all of your signature favourites including the annual Trans March, Dyke March, Bi+ Pride Programming, Blockorama by Blackness Yes, Pride Parade, StreetFair, and multiple stages featuring over 300 2SLGBTQ+ artists.”
There is only one word missing from Pride.
There are now separate “community advisory prides.” These include Senior Pride, Family Pride, Youth Pride, Sober Pride, Bi+ Pride, Journée Francophone, Trans Rally & March, Trans Pride After Party, Dyke Rally & March, and the Dyke Pride After Party.
Might there be any events for gay people?
The Grand Marshall of Pride Toronto 2022 was Lady Phyll, co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride. CP24 spoke to her.
CP24: What does pride mean for you?
LP: “I guess pride means so many different things. It can mean a home, it can mean chosen family, it can mean love, it can mean solidarity, it can mean togetherness, it can mean connecting. I think what this pride is going to be showing us today is the power of movements. And the power of movements when we come together and we turn up the volume on society. It means it makes it absolutely impossible to ignore us, erase us and to forget about us.”
“I just like to add that I think that we've got to understand pride is a movement and it's a process and it's one that has to be celebrated with so many different people because that's what makes our movement strong. It's not just for one particular group, it is really for everyone to enjoy themselves and that's exactly what I'm gonna do.”
Is that it? Pride is just “for everyone to enjoy themselves.”? In her entire interview, Lady Phyll did not use the word gay once.
There’s also “Abolitionist Pride,” organized by the No Pride in Policing Coalition. About 500 people marched in Toronto last Sunday before the main event, calling for the abolition of the police and the prison system in Ontario. They say they’re interested in "reclaiming our radical histories and creating liveable futures without police and prisons."
And yet security at Pride Toronto was ramped up because of a supposed “increase in attacks on people and groups doing 2SLGBTQ+ advocacy work during Pride Month.” Sherwin Modeste, Executive Director of Pride, said that the move was “precautionary” and that there were no direct threats against Pride. So, Pride Toronto decided to use private security firms to check for weapons, because working with the police, I guess, is not ‘queer’ enough.
Toronto police were still monitoring overall security, but even that was too much for the abolitionists. Organizer Beverley Bain told the CBC that LGBTQ people are “under siege” by the police. She said she was upset that Pride had asked for more police protection. "This is not the kind of protection that queer and trans people are looking for. Police do not protect us. They are not in our corner," she said.
Of course, the Toronto police have been banned by Pride since 2017 from marching in uniform.
There are black, brown, light blue, pink and white stripes and an arrow to show progress. The light blue, pink and white stripes represent trans and non-binary people. The brown and black stripes represent people of colour. The back stripe also represents those living with AIDs. The circle inside the yellow means intersex. Does it still represent gay people?
Pride Toronto claims on their website that “they work to ensure equal rights and representation for every person of diverse sexual and gender identities.” Sounds like everybody, no?
You know what flag can best represent that? The Canadian flag. The Maple Leaf. Some people are just not that keen to fly it.
It’s as though we’re witnessing a second purge of gay people. The first occurred in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s when gay people were fired from their jobs in the civil service, and many were hounded out of private organizations. Prime Minister Trudeau apologized in 2017 and a fund was set up to commemorate the purge.
The government is now building the LGBTQ2+ National Monument. The winners of the design, Team Wreford, said in their pitch: "Our design embodies the strength, activism and hope of the LGBTQ2+ community, and is a lasting testimony to the courage and humanity of those who were harmed by the purge, homophobic and transphobic laws and norms, and Canada's colonial history.”
Will the monument even use the word gay? Has the love that dared not speak its name returned to the love that dare not speak its name?
Of course there are some serious challenges still facing gay people. There’s some pushback on LBGTQ rights, but this largely reflects massive overreach from trans activists. I wrote about this several years ago and it’s all gotten worse. Bathrooms. Pronouns. Dozens of genders. Binders for girls. Puberty blockers. Cross-sex hormones. The gay community tied itself to the trans community, and so when there is pushback, it comes for us all. Which is why I want to take the T out of LGBT.
More importantly, and almost entirely overlooked, gay people around the world need our solidarity. A concert for the gay community in Ramallah was cancelled because of threats. More than 360 people were detained by police in Istanbul following a ban on LGBT events. The Khomeinist regime in Iran continues to execute gay people.
Ukraine’s largest LGBT rally took place this place in June in Warsaw, and not in Kiev. Martial law, imposed because of the Russian invasion, prevented the event from taking place. Said Lenny Emson, KyivPride Director: “We are marching for political support for Ukraine, and we’re marching for basic human rights for Ukrainian people.”
That’s a Pride event I would gladly march in.
The Jewish community in Canada has raised millions for Ukraine. You would think that the gay community could do the same. The “Charity of Choice” for Pride 2022 could have been one focused on Ukraine. Instead, they picked Black Cap, which provides “culturally relevant outreach, prevention, and support services to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDs among Toronto’s Black population.”
I am not saying that’s not worthy, but it does seem that Pride Toronto is tone deaf to international gay rights. Instead, we are treated to a Pride calendar that features Toronto Zoo Drag Queen Storytime; Between the Covers, a book club dedicated to current, former and aspiring sex workers; and Virtual ProPride: Supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ Resurgence beyond Performative Allyship. The only event I can see that focuses on international gay rights is a panel at the Glad Day Book shop on “international/global indiqueer solidarity with indigenous queer human rights defenders from Colombia and Guatemala.”
I’ll pass thanks. It’s more about colonialism than gay rights.
What happens when a movement has nothing left to fight for? You end up with a massive party complete with nude dancing in the streets. If there weren’t people around the world who are denied the basic human right to be who they are - rights we Canadians take for granted - I might even join in.
But until then, I am not marching.