Democracy, Or Controlling The Narrative?
Free speech, one of the basic human rights on the North American continent, has come under heavy fire in the last decade and is reaching a boiling point as we enter the post-COVID era.
In this blog post I will be looking at how the Canadian government is getting involved with teaching children how to respond to free speech (or, as some have classified it, hate speech.) Don't feel like reading? Check out the (lengthier) podcast on The Parents' Solution!
The Liberal Canadian government has become increasingly intent on pushing an agenda of heavy censorship against any person or group that disagrees with their beliefs. On June 30, 2022, the Cabinet approved a booklet for school children entitled Confronting and Preventing Hate in Canadian Schools. The literature was created by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN).
The Chair of CAHN, Bernie Farber said, “The point of this free toolkit is to help parents, educators and the community identify and intervene when a young person is being groomed and recruited by a white supremacist movement before it is too late. It’s not just a free toolkit. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network is launching a whole education program.”
This government-funded resource labels the Canadian Red Ensign flag a “hate symbol." The red ensign was used as a nautical flag and civil ensign for Canada from 1892 to 1965. Of the flag, the booklet states that “The Canadian Red Ensign is often used by the younger alt-right/Canada First movement but has been seen amongst older hate-promoting groups and individuals. Its usage in modern times is an indicator of hate-promoting beliefs.”
The book also encourages children to challenge other students who speak positively of “problematic” leaders: for example, Trump’s wall.
Farber says that this literature will spearhead a campaign to “fight and win against hate."
Fighting Hate Speech or Controlling the Narrative?
The problem with a government-funded campaign to “fight and win against hate” is that the term “hate” is defined by any belief that goes against Liberal fundamentals. A problematic leader would in the most basic explanation, be any Conservative that sides with traditional values. Well then, doesn’t that suggest that a large portion of the population is involved in “hate speech?"
Therefore, it is a smart move to forego wasting time sending booklets to the adults (many of whom would toss the literature) and instead, teach it to children. These children can conveniently be indoctrinated in government-funded schools so that when they arrive at the voting age, they can easily conform and comply with anything they are told to follow by the Liberal government. Not so liberating indeed. After years of being told what to think and what to say, which one of these brainwashed adults will be able to make decisions for themselves? Which one of these adults will be able to hold on to what is true? To their roots? To what they should be free to believe, stand for, and speak out about?
But that’s what controlling the narrative is all about, isn’t it? It is about censorship to the smallest detail. It’s about getting into the minds of your citizens. That is the ultimate dream of any government that does not want to be held accountable by its people.
If you are unsure about the agenda behind this type of literature, question it. Why is it that Canada’s red ensign is now being connected with white supremacy? Why are all anti-Liberal values being labelled as hate speech? How can speech be free when it is endlessly censored? Who is making the decisions and how are they benefiting from it? These are hard questions to ask, and the answers are often even more difficult.
Teaching Free Speech
As a parent or caretaker, you can properly define free speech in your home, by teaching its' true meaning to your children and exemplifying it in your home and in public. Free speech is an important right that needs to be exercised and defended. Teach your children to critically analyze censorship, so that they can be aware of it whenever they face it.
If you want to avoid the deep-reaching fingers of the government in your child’s learning, you may want to seriously consider removing your child from government-funded schools. Or you can join the parent council at your child’s school to make sure you are up to date with what your child is being taught. Have regular conversations with your child’s teachers, and don’t be afraid to remove your children from certain topics of discussion so that you can teach your child instead. As a parent, you want to ensure that the education your child receives is instilling the same values you believe in into your child.
Sources below for this blog post!
1. “Canada’s Government Funds Booklet That Teaches Kids to be Suspicious of “Free Speech” Support”, accessed August 8, 2022, Canada's government funds booklet that teaches kids to be suspicious of "free speech" support (reclaimthenet.org).
2. “Canadian Red Ensign – Wikipedia”, accessed August 9, 2022, canadian red ensign - Search (bing.com)
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