A news report recently released by the Globe and Mail outlines a white supremacist subculture that exists online. Published in the report are excerpts of messages sent by Canadians, showing us that this is not just a problem south of the border but in Canada as well.
Not only are Canadians reluctant to point out the fact that white supremacy exists within their own culture, many Canadians are naïve to the fact that it is a real and growing concern in the country.
With the internet making it easier to engage with like-minded people, in truth, it doesn’t matter anymore where someone is geographically located. Abundant chat rooms make it easier for people to connect on a global scale.
Not so many years ago, there was a feeling that white supremacist movements in Canada need not be taken seriously. That myth was expressed by the intelligence community whose members seemed to indicate that intelligence on these types of movements was absent.
Flash forward a few years, and it appears that the narrative being expressed by Canadian officials is changing. According to several reports by various experts and academics, there has been an ongoing increase of extremist groups as well as hate crimes within the country.
Based on messages that were monitored, there is indication that are Canadian military personnel involved in these groups, reflective of what we have seem in the U.S.
There needs to be more investigation of these chat rooms to better understand the plan of direction that some of these white supremacists are looking to take in order to thwart any plans for future attacks and counteract their potential for persuading vulnerable youth to their way of thinking.
This can only be done by providing youth with education as a prevention tool prior to their introduction to these strong and charismatic players in the white supremacist movements.
Even when these groups change platforms to hide their identities and ideologies, and push available information further underground, we have to be aware and remind ourselves that they are always accessible to those who seek them out with emotional vigor.
The strategies of these groups are becoming more strategic and well- planned, including placing members in key positions to influence the hearts and mind of our youth.
Let’s get more education out there to help beat them to the punch.