Meanwhile, these letters from Star readers remind us that the threat of racism is never far from home. We must be constantly vigilant and ready to take action against it:
Re: Signs in Toronto urge white people to join ‘alt-right’.
Marilyn May is correct in asserting that these fringe racist groups are emboldened by the attention such beliefs have received in the press with the ascent of Donald Trump and right-wing xenophobia in the U.S.
Before we get too smug; we should reflect on the fanaticism displayed by our own Rob Ford and the so-called Ford Nation. While that issue was not racist, it was a reflection of the resentment of certain groups against what they considered the elites in downtown Toronto, or the fringes versus the centre.
There will always be tribalism amongst humans and, on a smaller scale, this gives a sense of belonging and coherence in many groups. When it becomes confrontational, it is dangerous and inimical to the public peace.
In times of rapid technological and social change, we experience high levels of personal and social stress, no matter how comfortable and safe we might be compared to our forefathers.
It is interesting to note that the support of radical Trumpism has a religious twist. Christians, in particular, feel threatened and scared by the apparent incursion of other, foreign faiths or from those who have no faith at all.
I’m not sure Jesus would have approved.
Sigmund Roseth, Mississauga
It comes as no surprise to me that Donald Trump’s victory has emboldened those who periodically pop their intellectual manhole covers and bring their hateful views to the light of day.
The only difference is they believe there is now a place for their unfortunate views and they choose to remain above ground a little longer and soak up some sun.
I, however, have a great deal of faith in my fellow Canadians and don’t believe there to be fertile soil for open displays of hate here. These misguided bigots will soon enough discover this and retreat their views from whence they came, replacing their manhole covers firmly.
David Ottenbrite, Mississauga
What a mournful state of affairs has gripped Toronto. Strange indeed that men in Toronto think that because Donald Trump loves to hurl racist slurs, it makes it legal for white men in our city to do the same.
The whole world will regret that such a man could ever be elected by any group of people. Shame on the U.S. voters
Joy Taylor, Scarborough
Not only should we heed columnist Desmond Cole’s advice not to be smug. Since the appearance of alt-right posters in east-end Toronto and other reported terrible incidents of racism, we should avoid complacency about such attitudes within our society. We must be vigilant, call out unacceptable behaviour and develop strong positive responses.
Paul A. Wilson, Toronto