Much of the public along with Facebook have committed an error in lumping journalist Faith Goldy together with the alt-right and other hate groups. This has led to Patreon, and more recently, Facebook banning her from their platforms. A major factor in the mislabelling of her as a racist in the public eye has to do with her reporting style. Faith Goldy’s style of news reporting mimics gonzo journalism. The late Hunter Thompson employed this art form of news reporting, in which the reporter inserts himself into the news story and becomes himself the centre of the news. The personal point of view and passion of the reporter take the lead over just plain objectivity. The news story then becomes at once both entertaining and informative. The form can be provocative. The whirlwind controversy that followed Faith Goldy’s coverage of an extreme right-wing rally in Charlottesville led to her being falsely labelled as an alt-right, a white supremacist, a neo-Nazi or a neo-Nazi sympathizer in the public consciousness.
Let us first review what is gonzo reportage and other similar forms of journalism that use a narrative in which the journalist performs the starring role. Hunter Thompson’s rise to fame came with the publication of his book Hell’s Angels in 1967, which documents his time living with the Hells’ Angels. Although Thompson first coined the term “gonzo” to describe the new sub-genre of journalism he created, the roots of gonzo journalism went back even earlier to the nineteenth century when a female reporter by the pen name of Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochran Seaman) went undercover as a mentally disturbed patient in the notorious Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island. Her articles of this story first appeared in the New York World and eventually turned into a book published in 1887 entitled Ten Days in a Mad-House. The difference in the case of Faith Goldy, the insane asylum is not a building but the entire English-speaking world.
Variations of gonzo journalism can be seen in movie theatres and on television today. The filmmaker Michael Moore carried out a form of gonzo journalism successfully in documentary films such as Roger & Me and Bowling for Columbine. Movie producer and actor Sacha Baron Cohen elevated the art form further when the difference between a fictional narrative and a true story became virtually indistinguishable. In his feature film, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Cohen, a British actor, portrayed the fictional character Borat Sagdiyev in the story about a Kazakh TV reporter who was sent by his government to make a documentary about American society and culture. In the course of filming, various members of the American public participated in the film production without realizing that Cohen was making fun of them. The films of Michael Moore and Sacha Baron Cohen may be also considered as “mockumentaries” because they used liberal doses of humour and satire.
Lisa Ling reprised the Hunter Thompson coverage of a motorcycle gang when she embedded herself with the Mongols Motorcycle Club of Waco, Texas for her CNN television series “This is Life with Lisa Ling”. Club members were involved in a number of criminal and violent incidents over the years since its founding in 1969. Federal police officials viewed the Mongols as a notorious gang, and tried but failed to get a court order to remove their patches. Ling was invited to follow the Mongols as they go about their daily activities. She won some critical acclaim for framing the notorious bikers in their quotidian and somewhat banal lifestyle.
Faith Goldy’s reportage emphasizes facts and critical thinking along with her direct participation in the current events she is covering. This distinguishes her from the pure gonzo style practiced by Hunter Thompson or the style of the mockumentaries acted out by Michael Moore or Sacha Cohen. She nonetheless mingles with white supremacists and neo-Nazis in order to cover a news story of what she suspects of a trend in white racial consciousness.
The style Faith Goldy uses to carry out her coverage of the rise in a white racial consciousness is not original, but she is a good journalist and has an innate capacity for drama. Although Faith Goldy never describes her work as gonzo journalism, her actions and style do often place her at the focal point of a good news story. She is quite adept with the social media platforms of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and her own blog web site (recently frozen for unknown reasons).
Given her journalistic experience and talent, she was more than sufficiently prepared to report on the Unite the Right protest in Charlottesville in August of 2017. A gonzo style of reportage may be a questionable style though for covering the events that unfolded in Charlottesville and the subsequent events that followed the death of a counter-protester. Gonzo journalism requires a certain amount of sophistication and an appreciation of irony on the part of the audience or reader. The Internet and its derivatives in social media platforms probably do not lend themselves very well to irony in certain situations.
Unlike the experiences of her predecessors Hunter Thompson, Michael Moore or even the more comparable Lisa Ling of CNN, Faith Goldy’s merging of the art of entertainment and journalism has created mostly misunderstanding and infamy for her on the Internet and later on in the real world. Perhaps, social media, which allow for audience interaction and interconnectedness, also have given rise to an unstable environment of public discourse. It does seem that way. Her reportage of the rise of white racial consciousness starts out as a gonzo style news investigation, or as she calls it, a social experiment, but soon explodes into a barrage of hatred aimed directly at her. The labels of “neo-Nazi”, “white supremacist” and “alt-right” are thrown at her willy-nilly and stuck, fueling hatred towards her at an accelerating rate.
In addition to Faith Goldy being labelled controversial, alt-right, white supremacist and neo-Nazi, she is also accused of being a neo-Nazi sympathizer in public discourse. Let us see whether any of those labels accurately describe Ms. Goldy.
Faith Goldy is a journalist of about ten years’ experience and in 2018 ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Toronto. She acquired her journalistic credentials working in mainstream news outlets such as the Toronto Sun, Bell Media, ZoomerMedia, and the National Post.
The host of the TV program the “Michael Coren Show” gave Faith Goldy her first break in television on the now defunct Sun News Network. There Michael Coren presented her as a young conservative of the mainstream variety. She later moved onto working as reporter and commentator for Ezra Levant, founder of the Rebel Media. Many considered Rebel Media as a right wing news media outlet on social media. Some accused Rebel Media of being a mouthpiece for the alt-right. Levant disavowed any sympathy toward such extremist groups. Until the Charlottesville controversy, Ezra Levant was considered mainstream conservative.
Faith Goldy is also a devote Catholic and a conservative political commentator. Until her controversies of the last two years, she was often also considered a mainstream conservative. In the beginning of their work association, the Rebel Media was a good fit for her. Her journalistic style though mimics that of radical journalists, in particular, the gonzo style of the late Hunter Thompson. As with that alpha male reporter, Faith Goldy embeds herself into her news stories. She often ends up becoming the main character of the story. That is simply the result of a gonzo style reportage.
CHARLOTTESVILLE – THE BEGINNING OF THE CONTROVERSY
While employed with the Rebel Media, she was mired in the biggest controversy of her journalistic career thus far. It was the series of events in Charlottesville, Virginia leading up to her employer Rebel Media firing her. Against her boss Ezra Levant’s wishes, she travelled from Toronto to Charlottesville to cover the Unite the Right rally–a rally to protest against the proposed removal of a Confederate statue and to unite right wing groups. The organizers of the rally were members of various far right groups, which many journalists lumped together as the alt-right.
She had observed a rise in the Western world of what she called “white racial consciousness”. Her journalistic instincts prompted her to investigate deeper into the heartland of the alt-right. Certainly, an ugly and evil version of “white racial consciousness” manifested in groups such as the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups. She did not advocate or adhere to their ideology. Her knowledge of them was sparse at the time, a lot less than what many folks give her credit for now. This was early on in her coverage of white right-wing groups.
While on the streets in Charlottesville covering the Unite the Right rally, she stood near a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, who was counter-protesting the right-wing protesters. Shortly after Faith Goldy began live streaming video of the scene at street level, a neo-Nazi sympathizer named James Alex Fields drove a Dodge Challenger at accelerating speed into Heather Heyer, who was severely injured and eventually died from her injuries. Raw footage of the incident showed a distraught Faith Goldy, struggling to ascertain the situation. She gathered her nerves and sought out police to give details of what she saw in order that the killer be caught. All the while, she was live streaming video of the surrounding chaos. She observed that the police had vacated their post. She shouted, “Where the hell are the Police?” Their job as officers of the peace was to separate and protect both the right-wing protesters and the left-wing counter-protesters, but during the time immediately before and shortly after the Dodge Challenger crashed into Heather Heyer, the police were nowhere to be seen near where Heather Heyer lay dying.
Faith Goldy holds police generally in high regard, but in Charlottesville, August 2017, she lamented on her mobile device, “This is an absolute failure of police. An absolute failure.” Her on-the-scene reporting was impeccable in making observations of fact as well as her taking action to assist the police when they did arrive eventually, albeit late. News commentators accused her of bias when she complained that the police in Charlottesville showed favour toward the leftist counter-protesters. Subsequent reports confirmed her reporting. On his live-stream (8:57 minutes), another reporter Jon Ziegler, also verified Goldy’s observations about the police. Ziegler had a clearly leftist bias, but he also verified Faith Goldy’s conclusions about the police being absent. More than three months later, the report commissioned by the City of Charlottesville confirmed police bias against the right-wing protesters.
While the death of Heather Heyer was at the centre of mainstream media news, Faith Goldy also reported on the events leading up to the car crash that killed her. She remarked that the police were in full force and in riot gear for much of the day but then later withdrew and allowed the left-wing counter-protesters to corral the much smaller groups of right-wing protesters in quadrants of the city. She reported this chaos just before the Dodge Challenger struck Heyer. Faith Goldy was a journalist right in the thick of the crowd and shared her observations with her viewing audience. That she reported there was other violent activity in addition to the Heyer death echoed President Trump’s comment that “both sides” committed violence. This comment likely contributed to Faith Goldy being tarred with the same brush as Trump. Her comments differ from Trump’s in that Trump expressed an opinion based on reports to the White House, while Faith Goldy reported what she observed at the scene of the violence. Raw footage of streamed video taken by her as well as by Jon Ziegler, and together with the City of Charlottesville report backed up her observations of the withdrawal of police that allowed violence to escalate.
In the live streaming video, Faith Goldy emphasized the fact that the right-wing protesters had a federal court order that allowed them to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue and to hold the Unite the Right rally. Violating the court order, the police did not allow right-wing protesters to gather at the scheduled rally site but allowed the bigger counter-protest crowd to corral smaller groups of right-wing protesters into different sectors of the city. Antifa along with Black Lives Matter counter-protesters were allowed to intimidate the right-wing protesters. More than three months later, the report commissioned by the city of Charlottesville proved her right. Witnesses had heard the Charlottesville police chief say, “let them fight, it will make it easier to declare an unlawful assembly.” This shows that the withdrawal of the police force was a deliberate move to invalidate the rights of the protesters, rights affirmed by the federal court order. The ensuing violence provided the pretext for Charlottesville police to intervene and disband the Unite the Right rally. The recklessness of the police likely contributed to the death of the counter-protester Heather Heyer. This report did not make many headlines when it was released to the public on a late Friday night, months after the rally.
ALT-RIGHT PODCAST INTERVIEW AT THE KRYPTO REPORT
While still in Virginia, shortly after the Charlottesville rally, Faith Goldy went on ”The Krypto Report”, a podcast presented by the Daily Stormer, a media outlet created by members of the alt-right (alternative right). The alt-right consist loosely of an amorphous “grouping of white supremacists/white nationalists, neo-Nazis, neo-fascists, neo-Confederates, Holocaust deniers, and other far-right fringe hate groups”. The term has become so vaguely defined that sometimes even law abiding, mainstream conservatives are tossed into the definition of the alt-right.
The Daily Stormer holds anti-Semitic views and advocates white supremacy. It is truly a neo-Nazi group. It is accurate to describe the Daily Stormer as white supremacist. Why would Faith voluntarily participate in an interview on “The Krypto Report” podcast? Before the Charlottesville riots, she had never heard of “The Krypto Report” (5:20 minutes into Red Ice TV interview). Apparently, she saw it as an opportunity to learn more about these racist fringe groups, because prior to Charlottesville she had already observed a trend of rising far right movements in response to the identity politics dominating mainstream life and the news. It was her observation of a trend, not an endorsement of the trend in far right movements. Just as Hunter Thompson embedded himself with the Hells’ Angels to report on them, Faith Gold embedded herself with white supremacists at the Daily Stormer in order to report on the rise in white racial consciousness.
This Krypto Report interview delivered the first blow to her credibility as a journalist and associated her with the alt-right despite any of her rejection of the alt-right. Her boss at the time, Ezra Levant fired her. The rising celebrity academic Prof. Jordan Peterson accused her of not asking enough hard questions of her alt-right host during the interview. She was later disinvited from a panel discussion on free speech in Toronto of which Peterson was a panelist. Despite Levant and Peterson’s strong stance on free speech, they both caved into pressure to distance themselves from a gross but inaccurate public perception of Faith Goldy as a racist of the worst kind merely by association of her with an alt-right podcast. Any denial of an association with the far right on her part was ignored. In the final analysis, conservatives like Levant and classical liberals like Peterson abandoned her in order to save their own enterprises or projects.
THE FOURTEEN WORDS, A WHITE SUPREMACIST SLOGAN
Further controversy followed in December 2017 when Millennial Woes released a YouTube interview (43:20 minutes into interview) in which the alt-right host Colin Robinson asked Faith Goldy to recite what is known as the Fourteen Words. She said these words: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for our children.” In fact, she did not recite exactly the racialized version that has been most popular among alt-right circles.
Here is the Fourteen Words slogan in its most common form parroted by the alt-right: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
Faith Goldy recited the word “our” in place of the word “white” in the Millennial Woes interview.
In the video, she appeared to be not aware that she was reciting a version of the white supremacist slogan that was authored by David Lane, a white supremacist. He was serving prison time for the murder of Alan Berg a Jewish talk show host when he penned the slogan. Faith Goldy noted that there was nothing controversial or bad about the words themselves. The text is not racist at all, even with the word “white” in it. She later proved this point with an on-camera survey in Toronto where she dressed up as a social justice warrior and showed Torontonians a version of the Fourteen Words statement where the word “white” was changed to “aboriginal”. All of those surveyed on the video agreed to endorse the statement with their signatures.
There is nothing racist about the text of the Fourteen Words. What is ascribed as racist has to do with its author being racist, not so much with the content of the slogan. Its author David Lane was an anti-Semite and a white supremacist, no doubt. Even though the actual text shows no evidence of racism, many people have ascribed guilt of white supremacy to her for simply saying most of the words in the Fourteen Words on the Internet, even though she did so only once. Some in the social justice crowd impute guilt to her based on how she delivered her line. Many, including censors at the crowdfunding platform Patreon, accuse her of quoting the Fourteen Words too casually, concluding that she is sympathetic to neo-Nazis. Others accuse her of cheerfully reciting the Fourteen Words and condemn her as white supremacist as a result. One person claims she was word perfect in her recitation, and therefore, she must be alt-right because in order to recite the slogan off the cuff, she must have spent effort memorizing the words. Yet, nobody would accuse the atheist Christopher Hitchens of being a Christian for merely quoting from the Bible.
Simply quoting the words of a white supremacy slogan does not make anyone a white supremacist. Remember, she is a journalist. When she attended a podcast of a neo-Nazi news outlet, she was doing a social experiment. It was gonzo journalism. Journalists embedding themselves with their subjects on camera was nothing new. When documentary filmmaker Michael Moore became a member of the NRA in order to interview NRA president Charlton Heston, he was not a NRA advocate nor a far right-wing Second Amendment survivalist. He was filming the documentary Bowling for Columbine, a film with an anti-gun theme. When journalist Lisa Ling chummed around with a motorcycle gang on CNN, she did not become a gang member and descend into criminality. She was a journalist covering a story on motorcycle gangs—as Hunter Thompson did a generation before her. When actor and filmmaker Sacha Baron Cohen rallied with racist rednecks at a rodeo and shouted hatred toward Iraqis, he did not become a racist. He is known to produce documentaries that mock unsuspecting Americans of the right-wing ilk.
THE INTERNET ACCELERATED MISINFORMATION
Moore, Cohen and Ling all three have created entertaining and informative movies or TV programs. Faith Goldy was no different when she reported on the events concerning the Charlottesville rally. She saw a trend in society and wanted to investigate the phenomenon further. She embedded herself into the story, and became friendly with her subjects. Her subjects happened to be white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Her comments were factual and balanced. For example, the text of the Fourteen Words is not racist. She reported it as not racist. It does not mean that she approves of the racist ideology of its author David Lane. The white supremacist Richard Spencer’s Charlottesville Statement is a thoughtful document. She reported that it is so. It does not mean she approved of Spencer’s ideology of white supremacy. She in fact denounced white supremacy and neo-Nazism.
If the mad man named James Alex Fields had not ram his Dodge Challenger into an innocent, counter-protester named Heather Heyer that summer day in Charlottesville, the reporter Faith Goldy may have produced something comparable to Lisa Ling’s CNN episode on the biker gang Mongol. Had Goldy not been fired under a suspicious cloud of controversy from Charlottesville, her audience would have had a clear window into the white supremacists and neo-Nazis’ attempts at a quieter public profile. Nearly twenty-one months later, a Globe and Mail article published a report similar to hers of alt-right groups in Canada.
Faith Goldy finds nothing racist in the Fourteen Words and finds Richard Spencer’s Charlottesville Statement of 20 points as thoughtful. This does not make her a white supremacist. It shows her impeccable journalism. Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts. She uncovers a genuine threat coming from the far right. The threat is not the hideous faces of Nazis screaming like banshees but a racist movement hiding behind non-racist text of statements and slogans that do indeed sound robust and well thought out. The danger Faith Goldy uncovered is the rise of white supremacy and neo-Nazis dressed up as legitimate politicians in the eyes of the unsuspecting public. The public ought to be thankful for her efforts investigating and uncovering the trend in white racial consciousness. Her efforts, instead, are interpreted as acts of identification with the extreme right, despite her explicit disavowal of their violent tenets and extreme positions.
Unfortunately, Faith Goldy’s media platform at the time of the Charlottesville rally was social media on the Internet, not a major broadcaster like CNN or an old fashion movie theatre. The behaviour of the audience engaging with social media is quite different from the passive audience consuming mainstream media such as cable television. Rumours on the Internet are magnified. Rumours on the Internet made their rounds at light speed until they have the feel of fact.
Her observations and commentaries about the Charlottesville event were twisted into alleged racist diatribes. It did not help that President Donald Trump said something almost a mirror image of Faith Goldy’s words. “There is blame on both sides.” This was merely an accurate observation of what was happening on the ground in at least one of the quadrants of the City of Charlottesville based on reports to the President. She claimed that the police mysteriously withdrew from the crowds, not serving to protect anyone. This was obvious in the raw footage of her live streaming from the ground in Charlottesville. Caught by Goldy’s smart phone camera: there were no police in any direction until well after Heyer was mowed down by one crazy neo-Nazi in the Dodge Challenger. The mainstream media such as CNN mostly ignored the far left counter-protesters committing violence on innocent protesters. They focused news coverage instead on the death of Heather Heyer and President Trump’s comments.
FAITH GOLDY IS NOT A WHITE SUPREMACIST
A white supremacist is someone who believes that their white race is superior to all other races. Moreover, they expect to have more power, authority and status over non-white people. Faith Goldy does not hold any of these racist views. She has long been of the opinion that Asians and Ashkenazi Jews score better in intelligence and education than other people of European origin.
At one point, she was concerned that Asian immigration might supplant European Canadians, taking good jobs that required a high level of education. She admits to a preference for immigrants with a European cultural background over other immigrants. What is wrong with that? Non-European folks share a similar view but for their own kind. I remember my Chinese parents used to harp on me about marrying within the Chinese race. Many Chinese immigrants prefer to be among their own. Yet today, progressives do not consider the Chinese racist to the degree that a white man be deemed a racist when he speaks of preference for white Europeans.
The leftist crowd have accused Faith Goldy of making speeches on outrageous topics that seem to suggest “white genocide”. To date, I have found nothing where she actually used the term “white genocide” in the promotion of white supremacy. Her former employer Rebel Media previously posted a video entitled “Faith Goldy: White Genocide in Canada?” I can only find an archive copy of this and nowhere in the video does Faith Goldy talk about white genocide. I suspect Rebel Media or Faith Goldy had used poor judgment to come up with a catchy, provocative title containing the phrase “white genocide” and later regretted doing so and pulled down the video. In this archive version of the video, she only discussed the demographics, the hard statistics and the projections based on these statistics. She behaved professionally in presenting the facts and the projections based on such facts. Some racist people may have used this data to promulgate an excuse for hatred or violence against minorities. Faith Goldy though rejects any form of violence in preserving an ethno-state of majority white people. She does favour an immigration policy to reverse the current bias of about 80% non-whites among the immigrants entering Canada. This does not make her a white supremacist, and certainly, not a neo-Nazi. This does though define her as a sort of nationalist.
In our multicultural society, we respect an immigrant’s preference for the food and culture of their original homeland. Why not respect a white woman’s preference for things European? She clearly has disavowed herself from white supremacy and the alt-right in her statement for the Rebel Media after she returned from Charlottesville.
FAITH GOLDY IS NOT ANTI-SEMITIC
One of the false profiles making the rounds is that of Faith Goldy promoting an anti-Semitic book entitled For My Legionaries written by a Romanian fascist named Corneliu Codreanu. This false narrative push us to conclude that she is anti-Semitic. She did in fact recommend this book, but at the time, she had read only part of it. After she discovered an anti-Semitic element in it, she refused to endorse the offensive part in the book. However, her detractors continue to smear her character with the anti-Semitic label.
Nuances in the real world do matter here. Nazis are truly evil in their ideology and in their actions that follow from this ideology, but not everything about a Nazi is bad. He can be very, intelligent, well educated, disciplined and highly efficient. These good qualities in an evil person no doubt make his evil acts even more horrible and despicable. That Faith Goldy made some observations of the better qualities in Codreanu’s book did not mean she had become a fascist or a neo-Nazi. It means she can be objective, examining all sides of a story–the good and the bad.
Prior to the controversy of the Charlottesville protest and related incidents, she worked for a Jewish boss, Ezra Levant, at Rebel Media. Even after he fired her for appearing on the alt-right podcast “The Krypto Report”, she never said anything mean towards Levant, and even expressed continued praise and respect for him. Although she was upset at the firing, she appreciated Levant’s desire to keep his media company financially afloat. In Rebel Media videos, she is also strongly pro-Israel and advocates a one-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In his video commentary on the firing of Faith Goldy, Ezra Levant reciprocated with kind words for her. She was smart and a hard worker. His only reason for firing her was her appearance on a podcast from the Daily Stormer (“The Krypto Report”). He did not comment about her ironic quip about Levant being cheap when “The Krypto Report” host asked her to say something about her Jewish boss. Many readers forget that friends sometimes can make disparaging remarks about each other without offending each other. Levant and Goldy were close associates in their common goal to do good journalism without the restraint of political correctness. With the sudden and deep loss of revenue resulting from the undeserved social media storm, Levant simply had to make a business decision. He had to publicly announce firing Faith Goldy for her appearance on the alt-right podcast.
If Faith Goldy has any bias, it would be in favour of Jews. On the old Sun Network, she hosted what appears to be some kind of infomercial about the Tavor TAR-21 rifle manufactured by an Israeli small arms manufacturer. When she visited Israel and the Gaza Strip, her news reports clearly supported Israel’s call for a one-state solution. The creators of repugnant alt-right web sites such as alt-right.com suspected Faith Goldy as Jewish and urged that their followers not trust her.
FAITH GOLDY IS NOT A NEO-NAZI NOR NEO-NAZI SYMPATHIZER
I have not found any mainstream media journalist use the terms “Nazi” or “neo-Nazi” to describe Faith Goldy. It is likely they recognize the possibility of facing a libel lawsuit. It also might explain why a tweet of Toronto Mayor John Tory that called her a neo-Nazi, has been deleted. This of course does not stop private individuals from using those terms to describe her in their blogs, tweets or other social media. Some mainstream media outlets have used the term “neo-Nazi sympathizer” to label her. Sometimes journalists describe her as interacting with neo-Nazis but without directly calling her a neo-Nazi.
It is clear she is not a Nazi as she is not anti-Semitic. In addition, she is not a neo-Nazi, because a neo-Nazi is someone who believes in some revitalized form of the German Nazi Party or its ideology.
She does not believe in fascism but in parliamentary government. She merely acknowledges the differences in peoples, not superiority of the white race over all others.
At the heart of National Socialism or Nazism is socialism but with the added feature of nationalism. The nationalist aspect was added in as an after thought when Italian socialists, including Benito Mussolini, realized that socialism had lost steam and needed a bigger motivator. The precursor of the Nazi Party is the German Workers’ Party. Faith Goldy vehemently opposes any form of socialism and denies Nazism specifically. She clearly states, “I’m not a damn neo-Nazi” (at about 1 minute into Rebel Media video). How much clearer do her detractors want her to denounce Nazism?
The Nazis are associated with a cult of violence. Faith Goldy on many occasions denounces explicitly any form of violence. Yes, she wishes to maintain the white population as the majority in Canada, but she would prefer that the government adjust the political conditions such as immigration quotas more favorable to white Europeans. Yet the so-called progressives paint her as someone filled with hate and a perchance for violence like the Nazi image they paint of her. They paint her discussions on demographics as racist. They do so without convincing evidence.
FAITH GOLDY IS A NATIONALIST
No doubt, Faith Goldy is a nationalist. At the very least, her nationalism would be consistent with the Oxford’s dictionary definition: “Identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.” This indeed is in line with US President Trump’s meme: America first. Putting one’s country ahead of all other countries is reasonable for most people except for the extreme cosmopolitan who holds that the best position to take with respect to one’s country is to do away with all forms of nationalism. Who wants their own country to give up its sovereignty to another nation?
What muddles further the public perception of Faith Goldy is precisely her nationalist bent, but not all nationalisms are bad. In history, nationalism has been impetus behind both great achievements for humanity and also behind the most horrendous destruction of human life. Much of today’s high tech inventions arose out of the space race between America and the Soviet Union. Life was much improved as the result of miniaturisation of computer circuits, development of communication satellites and discoveries in material science. Some things only a large and centralized nation state can accomplish that smaller groups or individuals cannot achieve. Examples include the building of transcontinental railways and highways. Nationalism can also be the impetus for the rise of totalitarian states. The rise of Nazism and Soviet Communism is a couple examples of the evils that arose in the twentieth century. It also took alliances of nation states to defeat evil totalitarian states. Only the massive resources of nation states could repel a global enemy as monstrous in scope as Hitler and the Nazis.
Of late, the popular mind, especially among those who consider themselves progressive or liberal, view nationalism in a bad light. Sometimes, far left liberals react reflexively to the word “nationalism” as something immediately and obviously immoral or even evil. Therefore, it is with ease that Goldy’s critics react instantly to her strong expression of nationalism regardless of where along the nationalist spectrum she actually occupies. The most common error among the far left is to conflate her nationalism with the nationalism of Nazism. An equivalence between nationalism and Nazism first establishes itself in the minds of the far left, and then if repeated often enough, the mainstream media pick up the meme of equivalence and run with it. Eventually, the general public adopts a notion that something is not quite right with nationalism. Nazism has a component that leans on nationalism (and this came later in the development of Nazism), but nationalism alone does not equate to Nazism.
The term “nationalism” or “nationalist” has accrued a simulacrum of nastiness over the years until any allusion to nationalism triggers a Pavlovian response of indignant repulsion on the part of some people and nonchalance on others. The latter might ask, aren’t nations just the course of the evolution of the human species on one hand; and on the other, a sign that something has gone wrong in anyone who hints at having a nationalist bent, no matter how subtle.
Part of the problem here is that every one thinks they know what nationalism means and assume their opponents share the same understanding of nationalism. A reading of eminent social scientist Craig Calhoun’s book Nations Matters, quickly reveals how nebulous the idea of nationalism can be. Nowadays in the mind of the extreme Left, nationalism is an evil to be eternally extinguished. In the mind of the Right, it is a necessary condition for the welfare of its citizens and their descendants. Some would fervently argue that nationalism has led to wars and genocides. Their opponents, equally fervent, offer evidence of the need for a nationalism to rise up to the challenge of stopping foreign aggression, such as the nationalism among the Allies that arose in WW II being a prime example. Calhoun points out that elements of civic nationalism and ethno-nationalism are not mutually exclusive but intertwined in varying degrees in a functional nationalism that avoids devolving into a fascist nationalism.
For Calhoun, nationalism is here to stay for a long while. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s notion of a post-national Canada is extremely premature and unlikely anytime soon. It would take too long to insert a more thorough review of Calhoun’s ideas on nationalism here and best saved for another article on the subject. I only say here is that everyone should not simply react negatively upon seeing or hearing the word “nationalism” or its variants. The complexity of the subject though is summarized here:
Despite all the evils perpetrated in its name, nationalism is not a mere moral mistake. It is crucial to most existing democracy. It provides solidarity vital to projects of social inclusion and distributive justice. It offers potential for integration across lines of ethnic and other differences. It supports investment in public institutions rather than privatization. Nations are also bases for contesting neoliberal versions of globalization that threaten social institutions built through generations of struggle. (Craig Calhoun–Nations Matter, back cover)
Relying on the works of the philosopher and historian Hans Cohn, Calhoun’s discussion on civic nationalism versus ethno-nationalism reveals that even this pairing of opposing kinds of nationalism is not simple to unpack. Civic nationalism assumes that a citizenry’s solidarity of nationhood derives from their holding common political values and a belief in their nation’s political system. Examples of this form of nationalism are the U.S. and France. Ethno-nationalism assumes that the citizens’ solidarity comes from a strong emotional attachment to a common history, culture and ethnicity. Religion is also a huge factor in the makeup of a nationalism. The worst example of ethno-nationalism gone awry is Nazism. Calhoun’s analysis suggests neither civic nor ethno-nationalism are clear-cut forms of nationalism in practice. Despite the French ideals of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, the French Republic descended into imperialism and mistreatment of its colonies. The French Revolution relied on a bloody reign of terror in its establishment of the Republic. Without coercion or imminent threats, it is unlikely for any person to adhere fully to abstract ideals. In contrast, a strong emotional solidarity of nation can arise from a common ancestry, culture and history. This is evident in Nazism. As noted, the Nazis exploited this to the disastrous point of the Holocaust and World War II. Perhaps, the ideal form of nationalism lies somewhere in between civic and ethno-nationalism. A middle ground shows up in the example of the English speaking nations such as the U.K. and the U.S. Even so, the early American Republic is not without flaws where some of its states practiced slavery during the Industrial Revolution. Meanwhile, British imperialism pushed the opium trade on China during the nineteenth century.
No doubt Faith Goldy prefers to have the ratio of people of European descent revert back to 1965 levels or to have white Europeans at least remain the majority. That alone does not make her a neo-Nazi. During an interview with right-wing host Lana Lokteff of Red Ice TV, Faith Goldy has admitted preference for ethno-nationalism over civic nationalism. This would line up with the Japanese or certain Eastern Europeans who believe that a nation is defined by “a shared heritage, which usually includes a common language, a common faith, and a common ethnic ancestry.” Faith Goldy has also made it clear that her Catholicism is a big part of her nationalism.
The thing that concerns progressives about Faith Goldy’s nationalism is that it is a form of ethno-nationalism. Not only does she believe in a nation being defined by its common culture and language but she also insists that it be defined by the ethnic makeup of the nation. The fact is that her preference for the ethnicity of the current majority, namely descendants of white Europeans, would make her a white-nationalist in the literal sense. Does preference for people sharing one’s own ethnic background make someone a racist? The answer should be no. Especially in a country like Canada where diversity and multiculturalism is official government policy, why should not a Canadian of European heritage be proud of his or her heritage? Government policy and practice encourages all Canadians to be proud of their heritage.
There is another problem recently. The meaning of the terms “white-nationalists” or “white nationalism” has been expanded greatly in recent public discourse. Many on the far left consider white-nationalists equivalent to white supremacists or even neo-Nazis. This belief has made its way into the minds of the most influential people at Facebook. They now hold the policy that it is too difficult to distinguish white nationalists from white supremacists and therefore any censorship at Facebook would lump together white nationalists with white supremacists. This has led to Facebook banning Faith Goldy from their platform. It should be noted that in a response to a reporter from the Globe and Mail, Faith Goldy denies that she is a white nationalist and has no association with white nationalists. Given the expanded meaning of the term “white nationalist”, she is right to disavow any association with white nationalists.
There is insufficient evidence from published material to justify calling Faith Goldy a racist. I do believe though that her position of ethno-nationalism is flawed. She assumes implicitly that the majority Europeans today still believe in the Christian religion of their ancestors. If her Catholicism is as strong as she claims it to be, would she consider preference for Canada as a nation to welcome more non-European Christians if the majority of Europeans today rejected the Christian religion but the majority of non-Europeans have converted to Christianity?