I make it a point not to read the comments on news articles online. I’ve had plenty of interesting, educational and thought-provoking discourse online, but there is something about the comment function on news websites that brings out the trolls. The ignorance, lack of empathy and poor writing just makes me sad.
However, after clicking on a link to this article via Twitter (the only reason I’d be visiting the Sun site), I accidentally scrolled too far down the page, and saw the first comment.
“I am slowly becoming a white supremacist. All I want is my traditional holidays and beliefs to be left alone.”
Now, I’m not sure what my opinion on parents opting their children out of Remembrance Day ceremonies at school is. My instinct is to say that all public school students in Canada should have to attend. That said, I rarely deal in absolutes, and apparently this is decided on a case-by-case basis. One suggested reason for opting out was if the child had recently experienced a death in the family. Who am I to say that a child should be forced to attend a somber ceremony and possibly have to grieve her own loss publicly? And really, we adults are not required to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies. It’s not even a national holiday anymore. So why do we expect more from our children? Or is it possible that people who don’t attend public services still honour the sacrifices of our veterans in their own way?
The comment above is offensive on so many levels. It suggests that anyone opting out must surely be “non-white.” It is also a slap in the face of the “non-white” men and women that have served in the Canadian military. Some parents are apparently pulling their children for religious reasons. I’m not sure what religion these families follow, but I do know that the students I’ve worked with who are exempted from standing during “O Canada” for religious reasons? Are white. Skin colour is not a religion.
But what I really want to know is, how does this even affect this self-proclaimed “white supremacist” anyway? No one has asked that Remembrance Day services in schools be cancelled. White Supremacist is free to remember in any way he or she chooses. The choices of other families in no way interfere with White Supremacist observing his or her “traditional holidays or beliefs”, whatever they may be. Isn’t it great we live in a country where we all have that freedom?