Last Wednesday an ad ran in the National Post. It was full page, black and white, and featured a picture of a somewhat unhappy looking young girl. Oh, and it was the most appalling and extreme piece of hate speech I have ever seen published in this country.
The ad really needs to be seen to be believed, so I won’t get into describing it. It was paid for by the Institute for Canadian Values, a front for Charles McVety, an evangelical leader and frequent champion of bigotry and prejudice.
No surprise that McVety would want to inject this type of Homophobia and Transphobia into the ongoing election campaign, but what on earth was the National Post thinking when they agreed to publish it?
Turns out they weren’t thinking. By Friday the Post had printed an unconditional apology, claiming, essentially, that they had been duped:
The fact that we will not be publishing this ad again represents a recognition on our part that publishing it in the first place was a mistake. The National Post would like to apologize unreservedly to anyone who was offended by it. We will be taking steps to ensure that in future our procedures for vetting the content of advertising will be strictly adhered to.
The Post will also be donating the proceeds from the advertisement to an organization that promotes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
Two days later a slightly different version of the ad showed up in the pages of the Toronto Sun. The same day pictures of a flyer being widely distributed by Tim Hudak’s Conservative campaign began to appear on Twitter. In miniscule type on the bottom of the flyer? “Authorized by the C.F.O. for the Ontario PC Party”
I have only two words for Tim Hudak: Forget. You. They are words I never thought I’d use in print, and I don’t use them lightly. But when you actively promote hate, when you target my friends, my neighbors, my fellow citizens and single them out for hatred and condemnation because of who they are, and when you do it while campaigning to represent ALL Ontarians in order to score points with bigots… well you can go forget yourself Hudak, sincerely.
I apologize for my language, I really do, but this is so sickening, so appalling, so fundamentally depressing, that I truly am at a loss for words. I can’t be rational, measured or calm. It’s all I can do to keep the steam from popping my ear drums.
Now, as anyone who reads me knows, I am the farthest thing from unbiased or impartial in my punditry. But there’s nothing partisan about this article. If you want to vote Liberal go ahead, I’ll be happy to tell you all the things I think are wrong with McGuinty, but he is not a bigot.
If you vote for Tim Hudak and the Ontario “Progressive” Conservatives this Thursday, you’ll be sending a message. A message to the Hudaks and McVetys of this world that this type of hate works. That spewing hatred and preaching bigotry are an effective way to get elected. A message that Homophobia and Transphobia are alive and well in this supposedly tolerant land.
Vote Green, Rhinoceros, NDP, Rainbows and Lollipops, Raelian or (sigh) even Liberal. But please, show Hudak that he’s wrong about Ontario. Whatever you do, don’t vote PC, or you’ll be putting your stamp of approval on bigotry.
Finally, please tell everyone you know. Share this and every other article about this slime until your mouse has a conniption fit. Call your mom, your dad, your grandparents, your half sister in Thunder Bay, your distant cousin in Hamilton, your old Chiropractor in Brant and your Dentist from when you were 10 in Niagara Falls. Together we can send a message of our own, that hate is unacceptable and a bigot will never be premier. So raise your voice, and tell the world there is no place for hate in Queen’s Park.
This article also appears on Rabble.ca, where Ethan Cox is a regular contributor
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I personally don’t agree with the ad for the reason that people who do get offended easily will whine over it. But those are not the kinds of people voting conservative in the first place. Personally, I don’t feel the type of things that would be taught in grade school to be appropriate in the slightest. It would be better to teach these kinds of these to more mature students… why confuse people? These are children who can’t possibly comprehend what they’re doing or what’s being taught. While I agree with preaching acceptance for all races and people, this method is just wrong in general.
And personally, I take offense with telling people to vote for Dalton and the liberals, to the point where that makes me more sick than the ad. Considering the damage Dalton has done to this province, telling people to put him over the conservatives is self-destructive to the core. The province can’t deal with four more years of liberals, and this article encourages the voting for them, regardless of how it’s attempted to be masked.
It’s not promoting hate on any level. It’s simply stating (poorly, might I add) that this particular teaching is unjust and wrong, which I agree with. It’s not going against gays or transgendered people or anything of those lines.
To beat a powerhouse like Dalton, you have to fight dirty… because he fights dirty. I don’t like the ad, and it should have been better, but the message is right. But regardless, vote conservative. It’s the only way to vanquish the Dalton Menace…
I also beg to question your claim to be unbiased, but I’ll save that. Good article, but understand, it’s not all about how these subjects are taught and how they’re taught. Believe me. Children’s minds are not fully developed in the slightest and cannot comprehend or could possibly damage them. How many first graders do you think will go home and say to their parents, “I might be a girl/boy.” I can tell you right now… a lot.
The ad clearly appeals to homophobes. It’s unmistakable. As for just looking at the ad, as you are trying to do, you omit to consider that the whole thing is entirely de-contextualized. The ad is calculated to give a particular impression which the Sex Ed curriculum documentation does not support.
Hi Roger, thanks for the comment. You are of course correct, for instance the kissing booth features kiss stamps on the cheek and chocolate kisses for students in grade 9-12. Gender bending roles refers to female hockey players, stay at home dads, etc.
Additionally, the quote at the top was said by Hudak on TV, it isn’t the opinion of the media outlet, but of Hudak.
False, degrading appeal to our lowest instincts. So sad…
It appeals to homophobes by default. Not wanting to teach these things to children isn’t homophobic, it’s smart… it has no place in schools.
To call it homophobic is typical of the left wing who pull out the homophobic or race cards on serious matters… not my fault conservatives actually have balls.
Too bad they are as tiny as their minds.
As usual Mike, we agree to disagree. If you see nothing wrong with this ad, I’m not really sure how to explain it to you. Even the National Post found it homophobic, so please be aware that you are in the tiniest fraction of Conservative supporters who accept this bigotry. And bigotry it is, by anyone’s definition.
Also, are you really accusing me of being a Liberal? My bias is to the NDP, I would think that would be clear. Either Hudak or McGuinty will be a disaster for Ontario. The only option is the NDP, who have been surging since the beginning of the campaign.
Of course your bias isn’t towards liberal, but the hate towards conservatives is certainly biased. *shrug* I’m just against it.
I really don’t find anything homophobic against not wanting to teach these things to eight-year-olds. Just because you don’t like having this in the curriculum doesn’t mean it’s homophobic.
The definition of bigotry and racism has become a joke, to be honest. Seems like you can’t say anything without upsetting someone.
In my honest opinion, this type of teaching can, and will, affect the minds of children in a negative manner. And if being a so-called biggot is the only way to shine light on a situation that isn’t good, then I don’t know what to say.
It’s called taking a hit to make the play. It’s not okay to teach these things to children, and clearly, the conservatives have the balls to say something about this.
But yes, we will agree to disagree.
“The definition of bigotry and racism has become a joke, to be honest. Seems like you can’t say anything without upsetting someone. ”
YOU can’t say anything without upsetting someone Mike, because you say a lot of racist and bigoted things. Remind me how you feel about Muslims again?
And see my post above,”this type of teaching” will teach kids that it’s okay to be different, that there are a wide variety of gender and sexual identities, and that we should embrace everyone for who they are.
If you think that’s “negative” then you should take a long hard look in the mirror…
Being against a type of teaching is not homophobic like this article says it is.
Anyways, I`ve learned not to argue with the left because they twist everything conservatives do and say to make them look bad when what we want is what we feel is in the best interest of Canada.
The `offended`card is often played. lol. To call this article Hudak`s Hate doesn`t even make sense considering he`s not hating on anyone. Not wanting children to be confused, as he thinks they will be, is not a crime like you make it out to be.
The left always preach about people being able to voice their own opinion, and when they don`t agree with it, they say it`s homophobic or racist.
That`s all I`m going to say about the matter. I like to call conservatives the common sense party because we seem to be the only ones who can see the light.
That’s nice, but you didn’t answer the question. Why is it bad to teach kids about the world they live in and the different types of people who occupy it?
Now, I’ll repeat my question from above, please actually answer it:
“You understand Mike that in order to have a problem with teaching kids about sexual identity you have to be afraid that it might lead them to be gay, or to express their gender identity in another non-traditional way. To be afraid that it will do this you need to a) think being gay/trans/etc is a bad thing and b) think people “decide” to be gay, rather than being born with a specific identity.
Do you think it’s a bad thing to be gay? trans? Do you think kids can pick it up, like a cold?”
Teaching kids is fine, but not at such a young age about this subject… Young minds are easily manipulated and could be an issue. The other factor is not allowing parents to take their children out of the class. It’s nonsense.
I asked several people about this yesterday and they all said it was a bad idea. Like it or not, children could get the wrong idea. No six-year-old can deal with that.
LoL. To answer your question, being gay is not a bad thing. I have gay friends and gay cousins who are awesome. And people don’t decide to be gay. But kids could think they are… they’re six after all. Like, come on. That was never an issue.
Stop trying to make me look like a bigot, because it won’t work. Typical though, trying to work the whole homophobic thing in there. “Oh, you don’t approve of teaching kids, you must be a bigot!” Pffffft.
Kids aren’t in any position to learn about this stuff. Just like kids don’t choose to become terrorists. Teach older students. Not six year olds.
Actually, several people I showed this article too found it to be offensive. To quote my friend, literally, from Skype: “[03/10/2011 9:27:19 PM] Sofia: that is the most retarded and disgusting shit i’ve ever read.. what a peice of shit”
Maybe I should play my offended card and join the club. It sure is cheaper than a Costco membership.
Sorry if I sound angry, I just have seen the racist and homophobic words thrown around without meaning.
Again, not wanting to teach kids isn’t homophobic. Saying it is pisses me off. And that is what this article is about and this is what I have a problem with. And I can’t stress the point enough… they’re six year olds.
“Now, as anyone who reads me knows, I am the farthest thing from unbiased or impartial in my punditry. But there’s nothing partisan about this article.”
Claiming to be the farthest thing from unbiased I believe is a fancy way of saying “my opinion is biased”. He is just stating that this should not be a partisan issue. Thanks for writing this Ethan, I shared it on my wall.
Thanks Daniel! Glad you enjoyed it. I was really steaming and needed to get this off my chest…
For the edification of some, like Mike, who don’t understand what’s going on here, a clarification of the “facts” in the ad. (For the record, none of this matters, the ad is just as appalling if every word were true):
1) Reference to cross dressing for six year olds is a total fabrication. Simply does not exist in any form.
2) Kissing Booth is reccomended for grade 9-12, but consists of a stamp on the cheek and chocolate.
3) Gender bending section goes on to give examples of a female hockey player, or a man who enjoys cooking and sewing.
4) it claims schools are recommended not to inform parents. The guide states that rather than send home a notice about each activity, teachers are recommended to send a newsletter at the begining of term outlining all activities
5) The quote at the top is something Hudak himself was quoted as saying
6) The flyer states this is in the curriculum. It is not, it’s all from a resource guide on combatting homophobia
And yes, I do want kids taught from a young age that there are all kinds of different gender identities, otherwise they learn to stigmatize and hate what they don’t think is “normal”.
You understand Mike that in order to have a problem with teaching kids about sexual identity you have to be afraid that it might lead them to be gay, or to express their gender identity in another non-traditional way. To be afraid that it will do this you need to a) think being gay/trans/etc is a bad thing and b) think people “decide” to be gay, rather than being born with a specific identity.
Do you think it’s a bad thing to be gay? trans? Do you think kids can pick it up, like a cold?
I’ll be proudly voting Conservative on Thursday. You entirely miss the point. This is in no way hate speech, in fact it’s free speech and further it’s a condemnation of not being allowed to hold, express and act on majority views in a publicly funded school system.
Where is the balance when a policy so one sided gets to be the curriculum and anyone opposed to this unbalanced approach is brushed with your ‘hate speech’ whitewash. These issues need to be discussed in an open manner and if there is a need for a program change in the school system parents need to be the motivators for it.
Like it or not, parents and family units teach moral values and no amount of political correctness can ever change that.