Apparently, I'm 'Nazi scum'

Opinion Sep 30, 2019 by Don Henderson Hamilton Mountain News

Apparently in the view of some I’m “Nazi Scum.” I just didn’t realize it.

As I and my retired and slow-moving mother made our way to the front doors at Mohawk College — the PPC event was going to be her first political event in almost 40 years since her ex-husband was a town councillor — a black-masked and rage-filled youth decided to scream as loudly as possible in her ear that she was a Nazi. Once inside, my mother complained of having trouble hearing in that ear which was particularly cruel since we were attending an event that required us to listen to ideas. I felt terrible because I wanted to treat my mother to an evening out while preparing to make an informed vote in our federal election.

On our way in, those same mask wearing youths decided they wanted to "school" me on how I was also a Nazi. The irony of this attempt to be educated by the uneducated outside an institute of education is not lost on me.

What these bullies did not realize is that I’ve already had an excellent teacher on the subject. My grandfather.

And unlike these misguided youth, he actually went to Europe to kill Nazis. He served in England, Italy, France and Germany.

My fondest memories of my childhood were sitting on the carpet next to my grandfather’s recliner, wide-eyed as he would tell story after story of World War II. Yet, despite the horrors he endured, each story was laced with a life lesson well beyond the norms for his generation. I remember him explaining why racism doesn’t make sense since you can take the heart out of a black man and put it into a white man and it works just fine.

He did his best to speak in a positive way, but behind the stories he carried the weight of the sacrifices that war puts on a person. His brothers were captured and force-marched as prisoners of war. Tortured and starved until the end of the war, they came back to Canada as damaged souls, one of them sleeping under his bed out of fear and unable to have children.

The other side of my family is no stranger to fighting oppression either. Two of my grand-uncles went to Vimy Ridge where one of them was killed in the first wave. My grand-aunt, a tough as nails R.N., was part of the Medical Corps and received the Royal Red Cross.

Every Remembrance Day, I reflect on the blood, pain and death our family paid to help keep Canada free.

But let’s get back to this masked group that often identifies as Antifa, standing for antifascist. It strikes me as contradictory that a group opposing Nazis or fascists would engage in these tactics. The suppression of opposition is a cornerstone of fascism, while it is our freedom to debate ideas that is a cornerstone of democracy. During the event, I didn’t hear one idea that remotely resembled the Nazi party. I didn’t agree with every policy they put forth, but that’s point isn’t it? I’m free to disagree.

Though it angers me to see such ignorance, my mother reminds me that when the NDP was first created, they were constantly called Communists and worse. I hope with the passage of time, the same holds true for the PPC.

I don’t know who I’m going to vote for, but I do know this, many Canadians gave their lives to protect our freedoms.

Labelling someone because you disagree with them won’t lead to a better society. Especially when you don’t really know the person you are labelling.

I’m not a Nazi. My family gave everything to stop them and I would do the same.

If you need to wear a mask when you assault people, who exactly are you?

— Don Henderson was among the attendees of the Sept. 29 event at Mohawk College hosted by People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier and Dave Rubin.

Apparently, I'm 'Nazi scum'

Don Henderson speaks out after interaction with protesters at Maxime Bernier event

Opinion Sep 30, 2019 by Don Henderson Hamilton Mountain News

Apparently in the view of some I’m “Nazi Scum.” I just didn’t realize it.

As I and my retired and slow-moving mother made our way to the front doors at Mohawk College — the PPC event was going to be her first political event in almost 40 years since her ex-husband was a town councillor — a black-masked and rage-filled youth decided to scream as loudly as possible in her ear that she was a Nazi. Once inside, my mother complained of having trouble hearing in that ear which was particularly cruel since we were attending an event that required us to listen to ideas. I felt terrible because I wanted to treat my mother to an evening out while preparing to make an informed vote in our federal election.

On our way in, those same mask wearing youths decided they wanted to "school" me on how I was also a Nazi. The irony of this attempt to be educated by the uneducated outside an institute of education is not lost on me.

What these bullies did not realize is that I’ve already had an excellent teacher on the subject. My grandfather.

Related Content

And unlike these misguided youth, he actually went to Europe to kill Nazis. He served in England, Italy, France and Germany.

My fondest memories of my childhood were sitting on the carpet next to my grandfather’s recliner, wide-eyed as he would tell story after story of World War II. Yet, despite the horrors he endured, each story was laced with a life lesson well beyond the norms for his generation. I remember him explaining why racism doesn’t make sense since you can take the heart out of a black man and put it into a white man and it works just fine.

He did his best to speak in a positive way, but behind the stories he carried the weight of the sacrifices that war puts on a person. His brothers were captured and force-marched as prisoners of war. Tortured and starved until the end of the war, they came back to Canada as damaged souls, one of them sleeping under his bed out of fear and unable to have children.

The other side of my family is no stranger to fighting oppression either. Two of my grand-uncles went to Vimy Ridge where one of them was killed in the first wave. My grand-aunt, a tough as nails R.N., was part of the Medical Corps and received the Royal Red Cross.

Every Remembrance Day, I reflect on the blood, pain and death our family paid to help keep Canada free.

But let’s get back to this masked group that often identifies as Antifa, standing for antifascist. It strikes me as contradictory that a group opposing Nazis or fascists would engage in these tactics. The suppression of opposition is a cornerstone of fascism, while it is our freedom to debate ideas that is a cornerstone of democracy. During the event, I didn’t hear one idea that remotely resembled the Nazi party. I didn’t agree with every policy they put forth, but that’s point isn’t it? I’m free to disagree.

Though it angers me to see such ignorance, my mother reminds me that when the NDP was first created, they were constantly called Communists and worse. I hope with the passage of time, the same holds true for the PPC.

I don’t know who I’m going to vote for, but I do know this, many Canadians gave their lives to protect our freedoms.

Labelling someone because you disagree with them won’t lead to a better society. Especially when you don’t really know the person you are labelling.

I’m not a Nazi. My family gave everything to stop them and I would do the same.

If you need to wear a mask when you assault people, who exactly are you?

— Don Henderson was among the attendees of the Sept. 29 event at Mohawk College hosted by People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier and Dave Rubin.

Apparently, I'm 'Nazi scum'

Don Henderson speaks out after interaction with protesters at Maxime Bernier event

Opinion Sep 30, 2019 by Don Henderson Hamilton Mountain News

Apparently in the view of some I’m “Nazi Scum.” I just didn’t realize it.

As I and my retired and slow-moving mother made our way to the front doors at Mohawk College — the PPC event was going to be her first political event in almost 40 years since her ex-husband was a town councillor — a black-masked and rage-filled youth decided to scream as loudly as possible in her ear that she was a Nazi. Once inside, my mother complained of having trouble hearing in that ear which was particularly cruel since we were attending an event that required us to listen to ideas. I felt terrible because I wanted to treat my mother to an evening out while preparing to make an informed vote in our federal election.

On our way in, those same mask wearing youths decided they wanted to "school" me on how I was also a Nazi. The irony of this attempt to be educated by the uneducated outside an institute of education is not lost on me.

What these bullies did not realize is that I’ve already had an excellent teacher on the subject. My grandfather.

Related Content

And unlike these misguided youth, he actually went to Europe to kill Nazis. He served in England, Italy, France and Germany.

My fondest memories of my childhood were sitting on the carpet next to my grandfather’s recliner, wide-eyed as he would tell story after story of World War II. Yet, despite the horrors he endured, each story was laced with a life lesson well beyond the norms for his generation. I remember him explaining why racism doesn’t make sense since you can take the heart out of a black man and put it into a white man and it works just fine.

He did his best to speak in a positive way, but behind the stories he carried the weight of the sacrifices that war puts on a person. His brothers were captured and force-marched as prisoners of war. Tortured and starved until the end of the war, they came back to Canada as damaged souls, one of them sleeping under his bed out of fear and unable to have children.

The other side of my family is no stranger to fighting oppression either. Two of my grand-uncles went to Vimy Ridge where one of them was killed in the first wave. My grand-aunt, a tough as nails R.N., was part of the Medical Corps and received the Royal Red Cross.

Every Remembrance Day, I reflect on the blood, pain and death our family paid to help keep Canada free.

But let’s get back to this masked group that often identifies as Antifa, standing for antifascist. It strikes me as contradictory that a group opposing Nazis or fascists would engage in these tactics. The suppression of opposition is a cornerstone of fascism, while it is our freedom to debate ideas that is a cornerstone of democracy. During the event, I didn’t hear one idea that remotely resembled the Nazi party. I didn’t agree with every policy they put forth, but that’s point isn’t it? I’m free to disagree.

Though it angers me to see such ignorance, my mother reminds me that when the NDP was first created, they were constantly called Communists and worse. I hope with the passage of time, the same holds true for the PPC.

I don’t know who I’m going to vote for, but I do know this, many Canadians gave their lives to protect our freedoms.

Labelling someone because you disagree with them won’t lead to a better society. Especially when you don’t really know the person you are labelling.

I’m not a Nazi. My family gave everything to stop them and I would do the same.

If you need to wear a mask when you assault people, who exactly are you?

— Don Henderson was among the attendees of the Sept. 29 event at Mohawk College hosted by People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier and Dave Rubin.