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We Cannot Sit Still. We Cannot Be Silent.

January 30, 2017

Two days ago I posted on my Facebook page how my heart is bleeding for events in the US as it pertained to the immigration ban and campaign of hate.

The next day I was told on Twitter to stick to sociology and leave politics alone. I responded that we cannot be silent and that the political is social.

Today I wake up to the news that two gunmen attacked people while in prayer in a Mosque in Quebec.

While I wrote my heart was bleeding, expressing how politics affects real people, the blood of real people has since been spilled in Canada.

The blood has been spilled by other Canadians incited to hate by political rhetoric that demonizes people based on racial, ethnic, sexual or gender differences.

This is unacceptable. This is poisonous to individuals, couples, families and children as to the society as a whole.

Politicians, particularly of the far right conservative use coded language to set policies of discrimination. Their policies are set to limit and/or exclude people who are different from themselves – predominantly white and male.

The hate and divisiveness seen in the US is sadly alive and well in Canada.

I find that the conservative parties of today are not the conservative parties that I knew growing up. Today’s conservative parties have been infiltrated by far right faith groups who seek to politicize women’s rights, science, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, race and color. This is not theology, but extremism. Extremism in any faith leads to the events seen overnight in Canada.

If conservative parties cannot purge themselves of far right extreme factions within their political groups, then all Canadians should be wary of who they vote for.

Canadians must learn to understand the coded language of hate where hate is disguised as economic or safety concerns.

Canadians must be wary of the politics of distraction when we are told how a political leader is bad while offering no discussion on actual policy.

If we think solely about personal financial costs in any election and fail to pay attention to the impact of the political party on the very fabric of our society, we will wind up with events seen in the US and now in Canada.

We saw this risk in the last federal election. The former Prime Minister sought to advance a policy banning the niqab. This distraction of hate hid the fact that the Conservative Party of Canada dismantled services for women – and by extension, children and dismantled our scientific governmental agencies and put media bans on governmental agencies so that policies could more be set on personal, business and religious ideology.

There is a quote often attributed to Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.

Every four years or so in every community, province and indeed country, there is a new political cycle.

Please vote. Voting matters.

Events in the US are teaching us what happens when enough good people don’t vote, when enough good people do nothing. As you vote, think less of your wallet and think more of the kind of society you want for your family.

My society is inclusive and accepting.

My society is not advanced on hate, but compassion.

I will not vote for the party that advances it’s goals on a campaign of hate or distraction or divisiveness. I will ask to hear actual policy and discern if that policy is coded in such as way so as to discriminate against others.

I can only hope that the society I envision is shared by you.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker.

If you found this blog of service, please share it with the links below.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships

  1. Audrey permalink

    Thank you for your article. I am looking for other compassionate social workers who are tired of the mud slinging and hatred between political parties- those who can speak about politics without only seeing their own beliefs and agendas. I am an American living in Canada and love both countries but I sure would like to see some moderation in how the news and issues are presented. Most parties have something valuable to offer but, you are right! There is too much extremism in politics (and perhaps religion) altogether. Is there a forum that discusses the real facts reasonably rather than agendas radically? I believe a lot of the perceived hate is just fear because the facts aren’t presented as they really are. There is way too much twisting of the truth going on to advocate for agendas. This is very frustrating to me as I would like to form action plans and opinion based on truth.

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