Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Decade of Anti-Racist Canada



Hey, I'm just as surprised as you are.

When I first started the blog, it was to focus primarily on Calgary's Aryan Guard (I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit this again, the original location for ARC was LiveJournal). However ARC soon began exposing the activities of racists, antisemites, bigots, and Islamophobes across the country. ARC didn't go out of the way to attract readers, but over the subsequent months and years the blog amassed a loyal readership of both anti-racist activists as well as the racists that were covering since ARC provided the most up to date information regarding the state of their movement.... and goodness knows how much boneheads like gossiping about each other.

I could write "we" at that point since ARC also gained a number of contributors who provided some of the blogs best read articles. To this day, I really do believe that "A History of Violence" which was first written by "NomDeGuerre200" and then added on to by myself is the most important post ever to be published on Anti-Racist Canada and until this past July 1 was the most read article on the site. "Free Dominion" once mockingly referred to ARC as a collective; we all liked the characterization so much that we added it to our name because the growing numbers justified it.

During ARC's existence, we have seen hate sites and groups, as well as their membership, come and go. Some of those individuals managed to break away from hate in part because of ARC and I am pleased that we were able to play some part in their redemption.

It hasn't been easy. When I first began the blog, I already had roughly 10 years of experience in anti-racist activism. I began the blog somewhat naively believing that I was mentally tough enough to expose myself to vitriolic hatred every day without being affected by it. In retrospect that was foolish. There have been times that I have suffered from insomnia and depression. Hate can wear a person down and makes it difficult to see the good in people. The work can make one cynical and jaded. And some people who had become very good friends whom I met because of this project and who became contributors decided to move on. The last to leave was "NomDeGuerre200" whom I still miss terribly every single day.

I almost quit on a number of occasions and had specific plans to wind things down by this date, with November 30, 2017 being the last entry.

That Trump was elected president and with the far right emboldened, I didn't feel right to leave the field for others to fight the battle against a new generation of racists, antisemites, bigots, and Islamophobes (now often rebranded as "alt-right") alone. 

Since then, I suppose I've managed to catch my second wind so to speak. ARC hasn't been as productive in years, which to be fair isn't necessarily a good thing. And there is a great deal information that I miss because I struggle to keep up or don't have the time to cover. Still, as challenging as these times are with the rise of the "alt-right" as well as the boneheads we were used to, it has been heartening to see a rise in those individuals who are willing to oppose these new hate groups. It makes one feel that one isn't alone fighting for social justice (and yes, I will proudly wear the SJW label proudly).

I don't know how much longer the blog will remain active. It could be online for another decade and beyond, or it could end sooner. I was speaking to a friend who noted that, should I be hit by a bus or die in some other accident, there is currently no one to take over the blog. In response I made sure that should anything happen to me, this blog may continue without me, though perhaps not quite as active.

More importantly though, I know that soon I won't be one of the very few voices exposing racists in Canada. While I won't go into detail, I've been lead to understand that there are efforts underway to create an entity to monitor hate groups and individuals in this country that will dwarf my meager efforts. Suffice it to say if the haters found ARC to be an inconvenience for them, they ain't seen nothing yet.

So with that all said, I would like to thank everyone who has made ARC successful these past ten years; our past contributors, our sources, and our readers, some of whom have been reading ARC from the very beginning. The blog is imperfect. The writing could often use some decent editing, I occasionally allow my temper to get the best of me and God knows I can't code to save my life. However I hope that those who continue to visit find the information provided to be of some use and that for as long as ARC remains active, people currently associated with the far right might continue to have that tug at their conscience and contemplate getting out.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats and thanks for all your efforts. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and hope to continue to do so in the future!

Jake said...

Keep up all the good work exposing idiot racists. You are doing the country a huge service.

Anonymous said...

I discovered this blog after the Québec City mosque shooting, which for many of us in America echoed the gut-wrenching massacre by a white supremacist at the AME church in Charleston, SC. It wasn't until now that I realized there was such an element of hatred in what I'd always been taught was "polite country." But it didn't surprise me in the least to find out that guy was a Trump supporter. The worst elements of humanity seem to be.

Keep up the good work. What has happened to us south of the 49th must never be allowed to take hold in Canada. There are many of us stuck on the wrong side of the Orange Curtain, who "bigly" support the efforts that you and others in your line of work and activism are putting forth. Solidarité sans frontières.