As can be expected, the recent humanitarian crisis in Syria elicits many emotions and perhaps some serious debate. Of course it has also opened a platform for bigotry, intolerance and pure racism.
Sadly, the focus of this particular article is alarmingly close to home. The manager of a hotel in Banff National Park felt it appropriate to post – on Facebook – an image of the Canadian flag with the words: “Fuck Off, We’re Full” prominently across the flag.
If he thinks this is funny, he is not. The post has the feeling of racism. If he actually believes this, he is an idiot. Let’s try for a top-10 list exposing how this bigot is particularly stupid:
- Clearly he understands nothing about population density;
- He obviously wants his business to fail because Banff is particularly dependent upon foreign workers;
- It would appear he also wants his business to fail because “fuck off, we’re full” cannot be considered an effective tourism promotion strategy;
- Wherever he was ‘educated’ he clearly missed the story of Canada being colonized and then populated with immigrants;
- Presumably he is the type who thinks his home country is the ‘best place on Earth’ and enjoys all the advantages of this immigrant-based society, yet he does not understand the demographic reality of Canada (I would expect this is a little too complicated for this person);
- He can never claim the need for compassion toward himself or his family in any manner, as clearly he has none to give;
- It seems he is (of course) particularly stupid to conflate bigotry with free speech – promoting hate is not articulating a position within the context of public discourse;
- He is amusingly stupid to share such views on an open platform where they can be seen, shared and criticized;
- Clearly he is inarticulate when swearing is the best he can come up with;
- And finally: he is stupid to promote such views within the tourism industry as now he should really be fired…
Using social media to promote bigoted views is both alarming, yet wonderfully revealing. We can all share jokes that are in bad taste or of a flavour not universally appealing. People sometimes offer alternate perspectives to my observations and I try to take such input in the manner in which it is offered. I hope to be bettered as a person from others’ knowledge and experience.
I have also guided tours through concentration camps. Although the complicated politics that culminated in the Holocaust are difficult to navigate, indisputably the result was a crime against humanity. In the 30’s similar views to our “we’re full” poster were shared in Canada (Adrian Arcand – the Canadian Fuhrer). Of course, Canada, with a much smaller population was complicit in not saving those persecuted by the Nazis.
As with many of my other posts, I do not pretend to have all the solutions. But starting from a position of intolerance, bigotry and stupidity cannot possibly be the right place.
There, Mr. T. J. on Facebook – please explain exactly what you mean by: “Fuck Off, We’re Full” – or apologize for your bigotry and find a new job.