(Bob Stewart, Headline USA contributor) One of the most important cases on Canadian court dockets today is currently awaiting a ruling and is likely to drop soon.
Being suffused with woke politics, however, and Canadian media being almost completely captured by woke 20-somethings, it has received next to zero attention in the press.
The case involves a young boy who was blocked from consideration for a black-only summer program at his public school solely because he is white. After filing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the complainant and father of the boy, Gleb Lisikh (a former subject of the Soviet Union, it should be added), was told by the tribunal judge that he had no legal standing to even bring a racial discrimination complaint against school authorities.
Why? Because he’s white too. In one fell swoop then, the tribunal judge, a white 30-something named Eva Nichols, purported to deny what we’re usually told is a basic human right (that is, protection against unfair treatment) and to brand permanent outsider-status to 8 million white Ontarians (60% of the province) just because of their race and in spite of their own individual “lived experiences.”
Her decision is now on appeal with the proper courts and we should all wish Mr. Lisikh the very best of luck.
I know I will.
Nichols’s decision is currently being used against me in my own legal fight in Ontario’s human rights tribunal; this one, against what’s been described as an “activist” theater in Toronto that bans non-blacks from attending its plays.
This is needed, the theater actually argues, in order to create a “safe space” for blacks away from something called the “white gaze.”
So, in effect, by relying on Nichols in its statement of defense, the theater is first denying service to me because of my race (white), then demanding that I cannot complain about it, again, because of my race.
To emphasize, if Gleb and I lose, this is something that could become the law of the land in Ontario (making the province a global woke pariah or antiracist leader, depending on whom you ask).
Just like in the U.S., these corrosive ideas have actually been brewing in Canadian legal circles for some time. Nichols relies solely on a set of policy guidelines published by the Ontario Human Rights Commission way back in 2005.
While true that nowhere in the guide does the commission explicitly state that whites aren’t covered under the human rights code, and for the near-two decades it’s been around, it’s never been applied in that way, we can still see in it where these seeds were planted.
In a section Nichols cites, for instance, the commission “explains” that there is apparently no biological basis to race; rather, it “emerged in the context of European imperial domination of nations and peoples deemed ‘non-white’ … leading to some of the greatest atrocities in human history.”
The assertion is as sweeping as it is historically illiterate, and any eighth-grade history student should be able to rebut the claim. Regardless, the guide says that somehow because of this only non-whites can be “racialized”—that is, subject to the “process by which [white] societies construct races.” And, hence, for Nichols, whites cannot suffer racially discriminatory harm. Or something.
What the Commission is asserting is that before European colonialism, human groups apparently never recognized fundamental distinctions between themselves and other human groups.
Its citation in support of such a conclusion? A single academic paper authored in 2004 expressly for the purpose of supporting the OHRC’s agenda.
The “research” was conducted not by a biological or evolutionary anthropologist, nor an anthropological linguist, a classical philologist, expert of ancient history, etc., but by a professor of “Caribbean studies.”
And while it is unclear whether “European imperial domination” refers to the colonizing Ancient Greeks or Romans (who most certainly did acknowledge racial differences) or post-medieval era colonialists like Portugal, the commission’s singling out of Europe ignores certain inconvenient questions, like whether Europe’s own invading colonizers from Asia and Africa (who were also their enslavers, in most cases) committed such classifications in order to justify their own oppression i.e. the Persians, Carthaginians, Huns, Mongols, Berbers, Moors, and Ottomans.
The Ottomans and Berbers, for instance, seemed to justify their invasions and enslavements by labelling Europeans “franks” (barbarians) and “giaour” (infidels), among other things. And the Chinese and Japanese certainly thought of themselves as atop some sort of racial hierarchy when they began referring to European explorers and traders as barbarians (“Yi” and “Nanban,” respectively) in the 16th century.
Then there’s the Arabs who had all kinds of dehumanizing things to say about black Africans when they enslaved and killed millions of them from the medieval-era right up until the late 19th century.
Further, the spreading of Christianity to the New World was certainly a big motivator for European colonialism and one that’s much more easily traceable to it than the “creation” of racial classifications. It’s also, like all religions, a literal “social construct” which has also led to “great atrocities.”
Are Christians (who, by the way, wield “Christian privilege”, according to the commission) next? And what about those whom progressives call “white adjacents” i.e. East Asians. Could they be next too?
But more importantly, how the assertion that only Europeans are “non-racialized”, unlike every other group, makes them somehow unable to suffer discriminatory harm is not at all clear and smacks of a fig leaf thinly veiling the self-loathing or outright bigotry of its proponents.
While our cases wait, I’ve set up a petition (anonymous signatures welcomed) calling on Ontario’s huge conservative majority in the provincial parliament to amend the human rights code, rein in the commission, and/or cut loose tribunal judges like Nichols (or, at least, provide the staff of the latter institutions with a mandatory reading list).
Outside of fringe extremists, no one in multicultural Ontario wants a dehumanizing, two-tiered society and the province’s woke elite need to hear this as loud and clear as possible.
Robert Stewart is a small-business owner whose writing has appeared in the Toronto Sun, National News Watch and the Post Millennial, among other outlets. You can follow him on Twitter at @BobDStewart123.
Editor’s Note: The above piece is an opinion piece. Although Headline USA does curate and edit such pieces for style purposes, the views expressed in it do not necessarily represent those of the publication. Headline USA did not receive nor furnish any compensation for the submission.