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Is God a Racist?

Is God a Racist?: The Right Wing in Canada

Copyright Date: 1987
Pages: 452
  • Book Info
    Is God a Racist?
    Book Description:

    Barrett's study, grounded in a scientific tradition that has regularly exposed racial myths, is guided by humanist values that celebrate individual worth. It sheds new light on a growing phenomenon that threatens those values.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-5972-8
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)

    • 1 The Study
      (pp. 3-19)

      Do you think the country is going to the dogs? Are you concerned about falling morals and rising prices? Does life seem unfair, corrupt, and bewildering? Do you sometimes wonder if the world has been swept out of control, and only a drastic overhaul will put it back on an even keel? If so, somebody wants you: the radical right and the radical left. Both share the view that Western society is in a state of crisis and that the revolution is imminent. Each is determined to emerge from the anticipated anarchy in firm control of the political apparatus. That...

    • 2 Organizations and Members
      (pp. 20-40)

      This chapter presents an overview of the various groups and members that make up the Canadian right wing. Let me stress that the focus here, and indeed throughout the study with the exception of chapter 11, is on theorganizedright wing. The latter, of course, is not the sole source of right-wing expression in Canada, and does not include such right-wing elements as those that are blended into our various institutions. There have been several distinct stages of organized racism and right-wing activity in Canada: the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; the Fascist phase of the 1930s; the...

    • 3 Forerunners: The Canadian Nazi Party and the Edmund Burke Society
      (pp. 41-72)

      At sixteen he wept when his mother showed him pictures of Dachau and Auschwitz. At twenty-four, with his Hitler-style hair and moustache, raised-arm salute, and exaggerated goose step, William John Beattie, a former boy scout, who in 1965 became the leader of the Canadian Nazi Party, was said to be the most hated man in Canada (Toronto Star, 5 February 1973). The appearance of that organization, and of the less radical Edmund Burke Society two years later, clearly marked the end of the sanitary decades in Canada. The Canadian Nazi Party was soon converted into the National Socialist Party, and...


    • 4 The Western Guard
      (pp. 75-100)

      ‘Hitler was a softy on the Jew question.’ So spoke John Ross Taylor (Crysdale and Durham 1978: 130), the leader of the Western Guard when I began this project in 1980. The sentiment expressed in Taylor’s words pretty well captured the spirit of the organization that was to dominate the right-wing scene throughout the 1970s. The decision to convert the Edmund Burke Society into the white-supremacist Western Guard had been made at a council meeting on 23 February 1972. A formal announcement to that effect appeared the next month. One of the reasons offered for the change (Straight Talk, vol....

    • 5 The Nationalist Party
      (pp. 101-119)

      What does the immigrant think as he steps foot on Canadian soil? What are his dreams and fears and prospects? Does he know that the receiving line may include members of the Western Guard and the Ku Klux Klan? And what about the children? How many of them are set adrift in their new country, helpless and vulnerable, slated never to rise beyond the level of second-class citizens? Consider the case of Vilim Zlomislic. A victim of the Second World War, with his father dead and his mother remarried to a man he had never seen, he arrived in Canada...

    • 6 The Ku Klux Klan
      (pp. 120-155)

      Violence is the last resort of the incompetent. An interesting proposition, and in this case an ironical one, because these were the words of James Alexander McQuirter (Csanji 1981), who ended up in prison on a series of charges including conspiring to overthrow the Caribbean country of Dominica and to murder one of his fellow Klansmen. Violence and incompetence may have come together in these bizarre episodes, but before they did McQuirter had proved himself anything but incapable. Indeed, with little else to draw on except the Klan’s sensational name and his own talents, he became a media celebrity overnight,...

    • 7 Others on the Radical Right
      (pp. 156-186)

      While the Western Guard, the Nationalist Party, and the Ku Klux Klan, plus the short-lived Canadian Nazi Party in the mid-1960s, have been the most prominent neo-Fascist organizations in Canada since the Second World War, others such as the Concerned Parents of German Descent and the Canadian National Socialist Party also have made their presence known. If the fortunes of the former organizations were highly dependent on key figures, such as Taylor, Andrews, and McQuirter, that has been even more true of the latter organizations, whose memberships in comparison have been negligible. The purpose of this chapter is to round...


    • 8 Fromm and Gostick
      (pp. 189-214)

      In part 2 we dealt with members of society who openly admitted to or boasted about being white supremacists and Fascists. In part 3 we shift the focus to the fringe of the radical right: people who would object to being labelled racists, but at the same time are strongly critical of what they often refer to as ‘pink’ conservatives. Because they eschew violence and explicit white supremacism and anti-Semitism, they do not belong in the radical-right category. Yet, let me make it clear that they are quite distinct from the wider citizenry. They are much more prepared than most...

    • 9 Keegstra
      (pp. 215-260)

      What makes good men and women countenance racism? Can one be a good father, a respectable member of the community, a man of high principles, and a racist simultaneously? Can a devout individual, a Christian who happens also to be an anti-Semite, be called a good man? Time after time in my interviews with the residents of Eckville and surrounding communities, James Keegstra, the former school teacher and mayor whose racist orientation cost him both jobs, was defended as a man of exemplary conduct and pristine morality. Many of those who opposed him, of course, held a different opinion. They...

    • 10 Others on the Fringe Right
      (pp. 261-294)

      A frequent complaint among people in the fringe right was the tendency of their critics to equate strong conservatism with a racist orientation. Are the two necessarily linked? To the extent that conservatism implies the shoring up of power and privilege, it has by definition a potential vulnerability towards racism, which is one of several mechanisms that sustain differential social advantage. However, to some degree that holds true for any power structure, including, in the opinion of some Marxists, the revisionist government of the Soviet Union. Most of the organizations in this chapter, while vocally opposed to communism, homosexuality, moral...


    • 11 Institutional Racism
      (pp. 297-326)

      How can so many radical- and fringe-right organizations exist in Canada, a country that has enjoyed an enviable reputation for tolerance? Are they atypical manifestations of the wider society, or are they implicated in it? In order to answer these questions, we shall have to consider the historical and structural setting of right-wing expression – and especially racism – in the country. This chapter, it must be emphasized, is different from any of the others in the study. Its focus is not on the organized right wing. Instead it focuses on the institutional framework alongside which the right wing has...

    • 12 Deeper Questions
      (pp. 327-356)

      In the previous chapter we dealt with the following question:howcan the right wing, and racism specifically, exist in Canada? In this chapter we turn to a different question:whydoes the right wing exist? This question can be conveniently broken down into two parts. First, why does the right wing exist from the perspective of the members themselves? Second, why does it exist from the perspective of the investigator? The initial question brings us face to face with a dominant theme throughout this study – the God-is-a-racist theme. No doubt individual right-wing members are motivated by a range...

  9. APPENDIX: List of Organizations Since the Second World War
    (pp. 357-360)
  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 361-372)
  11. Index
    (pp. 373-377)