A few more questions

According to the National Post, "Regina is the latest community to be fooled by a white supremacist group into declaring a 'European Heritage Week.'"

According to the National Post, “Regina is the latest community to be fooled by a white supremacist group into declaring a ‘European Heritage Week.’” Mayor Michael Fougere told the Regina Leader Post that when he signed the proclamation announcing the – now cancelled – celebration he had no idea who was behind it.

How did this happen? The NP article offers no clue. Somehow this request passed through the bureaucracy at city hall, reached the mayor’s office, was voted on by council, and proclaimed under the mayor’s signature without a single soul saying, “Hey, wait a minute. Isn’t European heritage a white supremacist buzz-word? Shouldn’t we be checking up on who’s requesting this?”

Maybe Regina is just a really nice place, where the people are innocent of such matters. Maybe the same is true of the other cities that have been taken in by the European Heritage Week scam, including Halifax, Victoria, and Fredericton. When they heard “European heritage,” they no doubt pictured a week of bocce and brie, of great wine, beer and sausages, a celebration of perogies, coureurs de bois, and early Scots colonists reading the Bible in buffalo-chip cabins.

Or maybe the trouble is just that the idea was submitted by a guy named Bob Smith. Bob Smith is a Google-proof name. If indeed anyone at the City of Regina took the trouble to look Mr. Smith up they were undoubtedly overwhelmed with information about car salesmen, athletes, and pastors named Bob Smith.

The Bob Smith who promotes European heritage takes a tiny bit more digging to track down. You need to search for “Bob Smith neo-Nazi,” or “Bob Smith convicted hate criminal” to narrow in on Bob Smith of the Nationalist Party. That Bob Smith was convicted, in a case that he fought all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, of promoting hatred in the neo-Nazi magazine the Nationalist Report. All of the headlines say Smith “tricked” or “fooled” Regina and numerous other cities and towns into proclaiming this racist celebration. If so, it’s about time Canadian municipalities started to pay a little more attention.

For instance, Mr. Smith has a middle name. It’s Wayne. Search the Internet for Robert Wayne Smith Canada, and you will quickly discover the NPC website, the first paragraph on the entry page of which contains the following: “…globalist elites run all the countries of the world. Call them what you want – Bilderbergers, Jews, Zionists.” A few paragraphs down the text descends into slavering gibberish with, “even weird dictatorships like Gaddafi’s Green Revolution is only tolerated for a while before foreign ‘rebels’ of NATO are created to oust politically-corrected leftists out of step with pro-Jew globalist elites.”

The Nationalist Party lists 27 Canadian cities that “have officially declared European Heritage Week in perpetuity in their municipalities as of 1994-2013” including “Rock Mountain House Alberta” and “Whitehorse, N.W.T.” (The News checked on this. The City of Whitehorse does not celebrate European Heritage Week.)

The racist group also sponsors the Canadian Flag Perpetual Pride Campaign. It makes much of the “white background” on the Canadian flag, interpreting it as a racist symbol, and claims its “flags have been reported … now in Whitehorse, Yukon.” I wonder, do they think there are two Whitehorses?

Attention, municipal governments of Canada: there are certain catch phrases that ought to alert you to the fact that you may be dealing with right-wing extremists. If someone approaches you with an idea to celebrate white people’s rights or white nationalism or European heritage, take a second look. There’s a better-than-even chance you’re dealing with someone who believes Hitler was onto something. You could end up with skinheads and swastikas when you thought you were signing up for Tyrolean hats, accordions, and great pastry.

Anita Bromberg of the Jewish advocacy group B’nai Brith offers some advice for Regina that all municipalities might want to consider, whenever they are approached with an idea for a celebration. “Maybe,” says Bromberg, “the application form might need a few more questions.”

Al Pope won the Canadian Community Newspaper Award for best columnist in 2013. He also won the Ma Murray Award for Best Columnist in B.C./Yukon in 2010 and 2002.