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‘Hate wave’ could hit Canada, too: Van Jones

CNN commentator was in Toronto to speak about the Trump presidency’s possible effect on Canada


 
CNN political contributor Van Jones answered questions in advance of a keynote address at the Broadbent Institute's annual Progress Gala at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Tuesday, November 22, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Galit Rodan

CNN political contributor Van Jones answered questions in advance of a keynote address at the Broadbent Institute’s annual Progress Gala at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Tuesday, November 22, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Galit Rodan

A high-profile political commentator and former White House policy adviser warned Tuesday that the same class tensions and divisive forces that swept Donald Trump to power could easily take root in Canada, adding it would be “irresponsible” to pretend otherwise.

Van Jones, a CNN political contributor, said the “hate wave” that has stirred vigilante behaviour and prompted gatherings of apparent Nazi-affiliated groups is playing out in all Western democracies, and anyone who thinks Canada will be spared is wrong.

“The working classes, especially the white working classes, feeling rightfully thrown under the bus and left behind, are reacting in ways that are shocking, in ways that I think are unfair, in ways that are unfortunate and sometimes that are xenophobic and racist,” he said.

“It is happening all across the Western democracies and it can happen in Canada, too.”

Related: Donald Trump could happen in Canada. It’s already begun.

Jones, who emerged as a strong voice during the U.S. election campaign that ended earlier this month with Trump’s stunning victory, was in Toronto to discuss what a Trump presidency will mean for the U.S. and its northern neighbour.

He was to deliver a keynote address in the city at an event organized by the Broadbent Institute.

Speaking before the event, Jones said everyone, no matter where they fall on the political spectrum, must remain vigilant to keep class and racial tensions from turning into violence.

“Every single part of civil society in Canada, the United States and around the world needs to get very vocal right now, needs to stand up right now,” he said.

“If anybody thinks they can just stand back and hope for the best … if you think that standing back and giving this guy a chance means giving him a pass on stuff you wouldn’t let your kids do, stuff you wouldn’t let your next door neighbour’s kids do, then you’re not paying attention,” he said.

“We are so far now past left versus right, this is no longer a left-right issue. … It is wrong for any political party to get ahead by picking on defenceless groups and small groups and minority groups, and then to turn your head when the violence comes,” he said.

“That is irresponsible.”

The Republican party itself will have to do its part to keep Trump in check, he said, because with control of the White House, House of Congress and Senate, “whatever happens now … that’s on them.”

“If they fail to hold Donald Trump to the same standards they were hounding Hillary Clinton on, that’s on them as well – and the whole world is watching,” he said.

Most people who voted for Trump don’t espouse xenophobic views, but the fact that neo-Nazi groups have openly expressed their support for the president-elect shows how irresponsible his campaign was, Jones said.

Related: The economic lessons of Donald Trump’s victory

A video by the Atlantic that was taken inside a meeting of the National Policy Institute – a think-tank that is part of the alt-right movement that includes neo-Nazis, white supremacists and anti-Semites – showed the group’s leader shouting to a crowd of about 200 people: “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” as some attendees lifted their hands in a Nazi salute.

Trump condemned the National Policy Institute in an interview with New York Times editors on Tuesday.

Though he won the electoral vote, Trump does not have the mandate to carry out the most dangerous of his policies, and if he attempts to do so, his own base will crumble, Jones said.

That could leave the Republican party with a difficult decision: stand by Trump or listen to constituents, he said.

After the Republican’s win, Jones called the election results a “whitelash” against a changing country and, in part, against its current black president.

Jones, who was recently called a “Star of the 2016 Campaign” by The New York Times, is also a civil rights activist and founded multiple social enterprises including the Dream Corps, which promotes innovative policy solutions.

Trump has threatened to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement unless he gets concessions from Canada. He has also promised to pull the U.S. from various international climate agreements.


 

‘Hate wave’ could hit Canada, too: Van Jones

  1. No, we had our tea-pot brush with Harper

    Once people realized what he was….he was toast.

    • Prior to Harper’s ridiculously bigoted attempt at getting Muslim women unveiled in public buildings, it was already a law in Quebec and they had kicked a woman out of night school due to her refusal to go along with their dictates. Pauline Marcois also tried to force civil servants, including nurses and doctors to remove any kind of expressions of religion from their work clothing meaning that Sikh doctors wouldn’t be able to bind their long hair in turbans and Muslim women would be allowed to wear head coverings. It was appalling and stupid on her part given that she had a physcian and nursing shortage. Perhaps, Donald Trump actually got some of his ridiculous ideas from the Marcois platform. Undoubtedly Harper did. Americans are naive about the saintliness of Canada. There is bigotry and there have been hate waves exploited by politicians and they weren’t all conservatives no matter how certain bloggers might try to present it.

      • I agree with Harper. That sort of dress is not a Muslim religious requirement but a cultural one. So no religious bias is involved.

  2. Our racism in Canada is mostly extended to the Indigenous people and has been for hundreds of years. We treat immigrants way better. The bigotry is there, it’s just hidden better. We need to reach ALL Canadians who have fears about jobs and their future in order to stem a Kellie Leitch from rising to power.

    And also, it wasn’t “Hail Trump”, it was “HIEL Trump”, don’t fool yourselves. The media needs to call it what it is – Neo-Nazism in full roil.

  3. Not sure why JT has to go to Africa to talk about women’s rights. Just take a look at what has happened to Sandra Jansen in the Alberta.

    • http://www.macleans.ca/politics/land-of-intolerance/

      John Geddes wrote this article in 2013 abut intolerance in Canada. As for Sandra Jansen and misogyny in the workplace, it is not limited to politics or Alberta. Just have a look at Jian Ghomeshi and the CBC, the military and the RCMP. It is nationwide and it is in pretty much every profession. Neither is bullying limited to females in the workplace.

  4. All the hate is coming from the left and because of race baiting
    d-bags like this guy.

    • Exactly. Jones’ is an absolute joke.

      Of course the white working class feels alienated. Because of the words and treatment the receive from Jones.

    • Also, he ignores the statistics that show the same individuals who voted in Obama turned around and voted in Trump.

      Also, left wing extremism breeds right wing extremism. Marxism and identity politics on the left (radical SJW types) have resulted in bringing out Marxist and identity politics on the right (KKK and Nazis). At least we know who these people are on BOTH sides now. Neither is good.

      • Why are you folks recycling Cold War rhetoric?

        Most of yer boogeymen have been dead a century or more.

    • I guess you missed reading this: ‘ “The working classes, especially the white working classes, feeling rightfully thrown under the bus and left behind, are reacting in ways that are shocking, in ways that I think are unfair, in ways that are unfortunate and sometimes that are xenophobic and racist,” he said.’ or what about this: “Most people who voted for Trump don’t espouse xenophobic views”
      It’s not ‘race-baiting’ to point out that racism exists. And if you don’t think there’s hate coming from the right I’d suggest you try reading NP comments.

      • If you don’t think there is hate coming from the left as well, I guess you should read comments on the CBC and this blog directed toward Albertans and people from Saskatchewan. Try to read a few of Em’s comments and tell me she isn’t bigoted when it suits her toward people who have Christian beliefs and people who reside in certain countries and provinces….she cherry picks and espouses her bigotry quite freely.

  5. “Though he won the electoral vote, Trump does not have the mandate to carry out the most dangerous of his policies, and if he attempts to do so, his own base will crumble, Jones said.”

    I have another theory.

    When The Donald shouted that he would build a wall, he didn’t mean a brick wall. When he shouted that he would deport the illegals, he didn’t mean all illegals. When he shouted that he would tear up NAFTA, he didn’t mean literally. He was, unfortunately, talking metaphorically about making the border much more secure (Probably electronically), deporting thousands criminal aliens, and re-negotiating NAFTA.

    That became too much rhetoric for some voters who stupidly believed in his unfortunate shouting, and they became Clinton followers … actually, not followers, just voters. Thus, the increased popular vote for Clinton.

    Rightly or wrongly, his strategy was to win. He won. Now, he doesn’t shout (Have you noticed). He deserves the benefit of the doubt … some time after the affirmation.

      • I think you are absolutely correct. He said what he thought people wanted to hear. I believe the guy is absolute a-hole. Do I think he will keep the promises? No. Dick Cheney is far scarier than Donald Trump is. People didn’t panic near as much when he and Bush had the helm. Trump is an opportunist and like many in the entertainment business, exposes viewpoints that he doesn’t necessarily hold if they financially benefit him.

  6. Few people have done more to fan class and racial tensions than Van Jones. He can barely conceal his contempt for white people.

  7. Van Jones is a member of an “aggrieved” American minority, many of whom demand special privileges, such as the “right” to disobey police commands.

    There does seem to be some need for “strongmen” now, as democracy in the West has been failing to produce well-managed, fiscally-responsible governments that look out for all their people – not just for the frequently-aggrieved “special” minorities within each nation. That includes Canada’s “first peoples,” who seem to be never satisfied by their great good fortune to be Canadian.

    I write as one of the Americans forgotten under Obama and classified as deplorable by pay-to-play Hillary, for whom I did not vote.

    • Spoken by a guy immersed in white privilege all his life…and still complaining.

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