The trucker convoy in Ottawa, has put many in a state of fear because of what they witnessed this past weekend. The display of Confederate flags, Nazi symbols, and racially-charged harassment of people of colour and religious minorities being carried out are all wrong and deserving of the strongest of condemnations.
In recent times we have been forced to confront historical roots of oppression. When healing is needed most, there must be no ambiguity about where we stand. There is no room for moral conflict when denouncing and repudiating white supremacists and other hate groups.
The tolerance of hatred has a harmful ripple effect on society going forward. Plans for a peaceful vigil honouring the victims of the Quebec Mosque attack were dashed because of the truck convoy. We are hearing reports that the owners of local Ottawa businesses with ethnic-sounding names are being harassed and their businesses defaced. A homeless shelter's staff preparing food for the homeless was physically and verbally assaulted when protesters demanded free food.
These traumatizing acts are not what freedom is about. This is the antithesis of a free and fair society. If every citizen, regardless of their colour, creed, nationality, or religion, is not afforded the ability to exist and thrive in a society free of the violence of racism, we all lose.