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Like America, Canada grapples with white supremacy

Members of the Soldiers of Odin interrupt an anti-racism rally in Victory Square (facebook.com screen capture)

UVic professor Edwin Hodge says Canada has a long history of white supremacist groups

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – While racism and racist extremism are now under the microscope in America following Saturday’s deadly shooting in El Paso, a University of Victoria sociologist who studies extremism says the issue is no different here.

Edwin Hodge says when it comes to hate, the Canada-US border doesn’t exist — people share the same ideas online.

“The same ideologies that are present in a lot of these sort of American extremist groups… the language, the ideology is identical in the Canadian context,” he says.

“Back in the day you had the Aryan Nations, you had the Heritage Front. Now you have Soldiers of Odin and elements of the Yellow Vest movement thet may appear to be operating independently of one another, but if you were to check a lot of these people’s posting histories, you’d find they’re moving in the same circles.”

Hodge adds a big difference in access to firearms in Canada and the US, but we have seen things like vehicles weaponized as well.

He says key to stemming this kind of hate is calling out racism when you see it and teaching kids to think critically about what they hear, especially heading into a federal election this fall.