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Books

Canadian Hate Crime Books listed Alphabetically by Author's Last Name

  • B

    Barrett, Stanley R. (1987). Is God a Racist? The Right Wing in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

    In Is God a Racist? The Right Wing in Canada, Stanley Barrett focuses on uncovering and better understanding white supremacism, anti-Semitism and the right wing in general in Canada. He does this through identifying patterns, converting raw data into abstractions, and studying the deeper levels of society. A study that focuses on the Canadian right wing was completed because such little research has been done. He presents data on more than 100 right-wing organizations in Canada. He discusses and compares many hate groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, the Western Guard, the Nationalist Party, the Canadian Nazi Party and the Edmund Burke Society. These are some of the most prominent hate groups promoting hate and racism throughout the western world nations. James Keegstra’s case is discussed in two ways:

    • The good-man embracing a racist world view.
    • The significance of the Keegstra case.

    Finally, the author explains institutional racism and the question of how a country based on tolerance and acceptance can have such racist and hateful groups. He ends the book with the question of why the right wing exists, which helps to summarize the previous chapter on institutional racism as well as all the important ideas surrounding racist groups in Canada.

    Bracken, H. M. (1994). Freedom of Speech: Words Are Not Deeds. Westport, CT: Praeger.

    Harry M. Bracken discusses three subjects pertaining to free speech in his book, Freedom of Speech: Words Are Not Deeds. He focuses on a philosophical and historical interpretation of the free-speech principle, as well as the shift in American society from 'freedom of speech' to 'freedom of expression.' Although the book has an American focus, it does compare the United States and Canada in the third major topic of the book, the erosion of free speech in the interest of group rights. This comparison is evident in Chapter 5 of the book, which discusses hate literature. The struggle that Canada has faced in implementing the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is explained through the examples of cases such as R v. Zundel and R v. Keegstra. The courts have decided that the values of a free and democratic society guarantee rights to the citizens of Canada and in certain situations can justify the limitations on those rights. The book includes a discussion about how Canada is an officially a bilingual society that bases laws on multiculturalism, which makes it important to protect the minority. Pornography is discussed as an area of the law which the free-speech principle creates difficulties in both countries. Chapter 5 is especially useful in comparing the two major North American countries and their hate crime history and legislation.

    Braun, S. (2004). Democracy off balance: Freedom of expression and hate propaganda law in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

    In this book, Stefan Braun presents an analysis of hate censorship as a paradox of modern democratic discourse. The author systematically creates a multifaceted case for rethinking hate censorship, which consists of intersecting arguments that emphasize an overarching theme: “As a feature of ordinary democratic discourse, the right to silence hate is theoretically deficient and functionally flawed” (page 9). He argues against the supposed public interest served by hate speech laws and examines the complex forces—the politically self-contradictory thinking and the socially self-defeating assumptions—that impel censorship in Canada. Braun states that hate censorship does not and cannot promote tolerance, equality and harmony, fight ignorance and prejudice, and protect and promote democracy as progressive hate censors expect it to. The author uses censors’ own terms of social and political reference to demonstrate how hate censorship actually undermines their causes. In addition, he illustrates how hate speech law oversteps its legal boundaries and conditions and corrodes public discourse.

  • C

    Cohen, M. (1966). Report to the Minister of Justice of the Special Committee on Hate Propaganda in Canada. Ottawa: Queen's Printer.

    Through meetings, discussions, gathered information and special technical studies, a report on hate propaganda in Canada was prepared by a Special Committee. The report opens with a background on hate propaganda within the country. It discusses the major themes and people who are targeted by hate propaganda, including the Jewish and Black communities, as well as other visible minority groups. These groups have been targeted by right-wing groups such as the National Socialist Movement and the National White Americans Party. The next section of the report discusses the social-psychological effects of hate propaganda. A dangerous problem exists in Canada. The damage from hate propaganda is not necessarily reflected in the amount produced; many people are susceptible, and the materials circling around the country are hurtful to many. The role of law and education is key to combating hate crime and limiting the resulting damage. The next topic is the condition of the law against hate in Canada and elsewhere. The report states a number serious problems, such as inadequate legal remedies to combat hate propaganda and protect those affected. The affected groups listed in the report were those distinguished by religion, colour, race, language, ethic or national origin. The final section concludes with recommendations for combating hate propaganda. Recommendations include introducing legislation and amendments. Note: this report was published in 1966; since then, new legislation and amendments have been introduced, such as the addition of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the Canadian Constitution.

    Cohen, T. (1988). Race Relations and the Law. Willowdale, ON: Canadian Jewish Congress.

    Although this literature was published in 1988, Race Relations and the Law provides useful information regarding hate crime. It describes the use of law in two ways: as a means of oppressing, and as a way of furthering justice. Although the law protects people against discrimination and promotes equality, it can be used to legitimize racism in Canada. Certain laws have been used against particular groups in Canada, including the Chinese Immigration Act; the Chinese Regulation Act of 1884; and the 'continuous passage' law of 1914, which restricted immigration from countries where people could not travel to Canada on a continuous trip, without making any stops before arriving in Canada. The book describes a number of different definitions pertaining to hate in Canada, including racism, prejudice, discrimination, race, ethnicity, visible minority and multiculturalism. It describes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an international document that has affected Canada through policy and other means. There are sections on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, human rights in relation to discrimination, immigration, education, harassment, the criminal justice system, and the directions of human rights law. The most important section regarding hate crime focuses on hate and racist expressions. This section describes the types of racial expressions, criminal law in relation to hate, legal protections against propaganda, extremist groups, and different types of protection offered under the law. The book explains that the law should not be the only means of combating hate and discrimination, though it is a useful tool for many people who have encountered hate.

  • D

    Davies, A. (1992). Antisemitism in Canada: History and Interpretation. Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press.

    This book discusses anti-Semitism in detail and through many different subjects, each important to the history of discrimination in Canada. It is a collection of many pieces of literature regarding anti-Semitism in Canada. The introduction is written by Davies and discusses the long, complex history of anti-Semitism. Since the Second World War (WWII), the views on anti-Semitism in Canada have changed. Prior to 1945 the focus was perceived to be a Jewish problem, after the war it became more public with much more awareness. Each piece addresses anti-Semitism in its own way from the colonial period to the 20th century. The book covers topics on anti-Semitism related to:

    • anti-Semitism in Ontario and Quebec
    • definitional issues regarding anti-Semitism
    • First World War
    • Goldwin Smith
    • Jewish-Ukrainian relations in Canada since WWII
    • Keegstra
    • media
    • nazism
    • policies in Canada
    • pre-Confederation
    • Zundel
  • G

    Greenspan, L. & Levitt, C. (1993). Under the Shadow of Weimar: Democracy, Law, and Racial Incitement in Six Countries. Westport, CT: Praeger.

    Greenspan and Levitt have created a book of essays questioning whether a country should defend itself against racism and hate campaigning by passing laws that limit freedom of speech. There are a number of democratic countries struggling with this issue in legislatures, courts and the press. The essays in the book describe what countries have accomplished in the fight against hate crime and racism. In addition to Canada, the book covers the activities in France, England, Germany, Israel and the United States of America. Canada’s response to hate is explained in Chapter 7. It discusses major cases in Canada’s past (R v. Keegstra and R. v. Zundel) and the legislation that has been created to combat hate crime. Chapter 7 also explains the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the entrenchment of Canadians' freedom of expression. 

  • H

    Hall, P. W. & Hwang, V. M. (2001). Anti-Asian Violence in North America: Asian American and Asian Canadian Reflections on Hate, Healing, and Resistance. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

    This book takes a social, psychological and historical perspective on hate—specifically hate against Asian people. The book includes a number of essays bringing together the voices of Asian-Americans and Asian-Canadians from many different backgrounds. The introduction describes the authors of the essays as attorneys, teachers, activists, graduate students and professionals. The topics of the essays include immigration, violence, gender, civil rights, identity, Internet violence, the role of the victim, and community resistance. A number of essays are written from an American perspective, but there are also essays and information focusing on Canada and anti-Asian hate crime, such as Terry Watada’s essay on the connections between individual and social racism. The book allows for a specific focus on anti-Asian hate crime from all different perspectives across North America.

  • K

    Kelner, Greg. 1983. Homophobic Assault: A Study of Anti-Gay Violence. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Gays for Equality.

    Kelner wrote this report in response to the concern that violence directed towards gay people is serious and widespread and is not receiving the right amount of attention. Fair treatment of gay people under the law and the ability to live their lives openly and freely requires changes in law, perception and individual behaviour from the majority—but this is not occurring. The purpose of the study is to approach the issue of anti-gay violence by discussing homophobia. There is a notion that homosexuality is feared as widespread in society. This is acknowledged through a discussion of the history of homophobia and attitudes among both heterosexuals and homosexuals. The study moves on to discuss an explanation of the methodological problems which were found in the data, using cases of anti-gay violence in Winnipeg. The next two sections provide an explanation on the levels of awareness within two major groups in Winnipeg: the Winnipeg City Police, who are looked to for protection, and the representatives of hospitals and social service, who encounter the victims of anti-gay violence. This study points out that the issue of violence against gay people extends beyond the direct physical attack. The report concludes with recommendations for Winnipeg police and organizations, social service agencies and hospitals.

    Kinsella, W. (1994). Web of Hate: Inside Canada's Far Right Network. Toronto: Harper Collins Publishers.

    This book is concerned with the most extreme elements of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. These are people who use violence and non-democratic means against the recognized order. Kinsella introduces the reader to many members of Canada’s neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. It discusses people such as:

    • Wolfgang Droege (Heritage Front)
    • David Duke (founder and leader of Knights of the Ku Klux Klan)
    • Terry Long (Aryan Nations Leader)
    • Matt McKay (soldier)
    • Malcolm Ross (writer, denier of Holocaust)
    • Alain Roy (Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan)

    A number of others are discussed as well. Doug Christie is referred to as the "counsel for the damned." He represented people like James Keegstra who were charged with hate crimes. The book discusses the first major appearance of the Ku Klux Klan in Canada with the burning of St. Boniface College in Winnipeg, the Aryan Resistance Movement (ARM), and the Canadian Liberty Net. Through the Canadian Liberty Net's phone service, a person could dial 88, which would lead to a menu where hate supporters would listen and voice their opinions. The number 88 was not a random number. The letter ‘H’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet; therefore, '88' represents 'HH,' short for Heil Hitler. Kinsella explains the workings of hate groups and the beliefs of their members. He discusses a large number of groups and people who have influenced Canada’s far-right past and present. 

  • L

    Loader, B. (1997). The Governance of Cyberspace: Politics, Technology and Global Restructuring. New York: Routledge.

    This book includes a number of essays divided into three sections:

    • A critical examination of the nature of cyberspace.
    • A consideration of how cyberspace may affect territories, organizations and policy processes of traditional nations.
    • Essays focusing on the exploration of policing strategies for cyberspace.

    The third section, written by Michael Whine, contains an important essay discussing the far-right groups on the Internet. It describes the neo-Nazi groups that use the Internet to spread their hate material. The Internet offers them a way to avoid sanctions, which may make their racist propaganda illegal in most countries. They have access to an impressionable young audience whose members have technological and communications skills that make them potential leaders of the next generation. The Internet also enables different hate groups to share ideas and resources while spreading hate propaganda. Whine writes that the neo-Nazi groups use the advances in communication and technology to promote hate through emails, web pages, articles and racial computer games. The book also discusses legal remedies to combating hate on the Internet. Whine believes an examination of domestic legislation is necessary. There is no case law in international law; however, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, prohibit the encouragement of race hatred.

  • M

    Matas, D. (2000). Bloody words: Hate and free speech. Winnipeg: Bain & Cox Publishers.

    In this book, leading human rights lawyer David Matas engages the contemporary debate against hate speech, the practicalities of legislation, and its impact on free speech in modern society using recent examples, including Rwanda, Bosnia, South Africa and Eastern Europe. The author argues that the modern struggle for human rights in a democratic arena creates new boundaries, where issues of free speech, freedom of religion, the media, the Internet and academic liberty include the potential for misuse by both radical extremes and those in power. Although many across the world pledged 'never again' in response to the atrocities of the Holocaust, keeping this pledge has proven to be difficult. The author notes that “since World War II, genocide has happened again and again, not to Jews, but to Cambodians, to Hutus, to Tutsis, to Bosnians, to Somalis, and one could go on” (page 9). He states that the Holocaust would not have happened if:

    • An effective universal system been in place to prosecute, convict and punish mass murderers.
    • Refugees had been offered protection.
    • Hate speech was banned.
    • People had not remained silent in the face of gross violations of human rights.

    Acting on these lessons to promote human rights, Matas has encountered four enemies: indifference, hypocrisy, helplessness and absolutism. Of these enemies, absolutism, “the belief that one human right, the right to freedom of expression, trumps all others,” has proven to be the most difficult to combat (page 11). The author states that the need to ban hate speech has been the hardest lesson to learn from the Holocaust; thus, he devotes his entire book to arguing against free speech absolutism. Drawing on many Canadian examples, the book covers topics such as:

    • boundaries of hate speech
    • harm of hate speech
    • hate laws in the German Weimar Republic
    • hate speech on the Internet
    • Holocaust denial as hate speech
    • myopia and inaction in response to hate speech
    • truth as a defence to the offence of propagating hate
    • Zundel prosecution

    Matas concludes by arguing that the right to be free from incitement to hatred is as much a human right as any other. For human dignity and worth to be respected, this right must be respected and valued as much as any other right.

    Mertl, S. & Ward, J. (1985). Keegstra: The Issues, the Trial, the Consequences. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books.

    This book does not portray James Keegstra as a bigot who passed hate to hundreds of students; instead, it paints a picture of the man you would encounter if you met Keegstra face to face. The authors state this is not an apology or acceptance of what Keegstra did, but rather, a warning against the idea that stereotyping Keegstra or others who are like him may make one believe the Keegstras in society are easy to pick out. This is not the case: Keegstra went unnoticed for many years. Mertl and Ward go into detail on the life of James Keegstra outlining not only his crimes, but also his life in the small town of Eckville. The book starts by discussing the Second World War and its treatment of the Jews, and then delves into Keegstra’s trial and opinions on the result of that trial. It discusses details regarding his students and his teachings (he did not teach from history textbooks provided by the school, but rather from his own records and literature on history). The longest chapter of the book deals with Keegstra's trial, outlining his lawyers, testimony and the legal charges laid against him. 

  • P

    Peters, C. (2004). Hate expectations: A narrative of the conceptualisation of criminal hatred in Canada. Master of Arts, Ottawa: Carleton University.

    In his master's degree thesis at Carleton University, Peters contends that the idea of hate crime did not appear in the 1980s (as commonly believed), but rather in the 1960s when the debate on hate propaganda surfaced. He argues that the hate propaganda laws established in the early 1970s signified a crucial moment in 'legislating out' discrimination. Before this time, legislation focused on governmental discrimination, but this new legislation allowed the government to intervene in the citizens's free expression where it was deemed to be hateful. Hate propaganda legislation propelled other legislation that protected against hate speech and crime. Peters uses both the actor-network theory (ANT) and the narrative method to analyze how the concept of criminal hatred has been embraced in Canada through the mobilization of allies in legislation. The ANT and narrative helps one understand the relationships that need to be in place for the new concept of hate propaganda to emerge, while a narrative constructs the types of descriptions that illustrate connections and transformations in legislation. Peters claims it was this network of legislation that linked the idea of hate to criminality. In the first chapter, he describes the common understanding of hate as an action rather than speech. In the second chapter, he describes ACT theory, which leads into the next chapter's focus on his methodology, including his narrative of the sequence of events. The fourth chapter describes the legal history of hate in Canada. The fifth and sixth chapters focus on the influential international networks that acted as the foundation for Canadian Legislation (UN declarations) and the distinctness of hate propaganda legislation as a group offence and its important ties to discrimination.

  • R

    Ristock, Janice. 2002. No More Secrets: Violence in Lesbian Relationships. New York, London; Routledege.

    Ristock’s book is divided into four main sections. The introduction begins by explaining the emergence of lesbian partner abuse in society. This section covers topics such as:

    • Lack of secrecy surrounding lesbian violence.
    • Violence in a male-dominated society.
    • Feminism and its role.
    • What is known about abuse in a lesbian relationship, and theories as to why it occurs.

    There is also a discussion on the approach Ristock has taken to research and understand lesbian partner abuse. The second section of this book, A Material Tale: Telling Stories, discusses the body’s role in violence and secrecy of lesbian partner abuse. It examines various discourses of abuse, gender and sexuality, and their effect on the ways violence is represented, understood and experienced. There is a focus in on material aspects: how it is experienced and recollected as well as the response to violence. The next section, A Discursive Tale: Exposing Language, examines the “struggles with categories and concepts to expose who and what are included and excluded by the assumptions” (page 111), which are rooted in society’s discourses. The final section, A Reflexive Tale: Raising Questions, focuses on the future, what can be done, who can help, and what to do if a person finds themselves in an abusive situation.

  • S

    Sher, J. (1983). White hoods: Canada’s Ku Klux Klan. Vancouver: New Star Books.

    In this book, Julian Sher details the history of the Ku Klux Klan in Canada, and the movement that sprang up in opposition to it. The author notes that although the modern Ku Klux Klan (KKK) has never attained any strength, in both numbers and influence, comparable to its American counterpart, it has been bringing its message of hate to Canadians since the 1920s and thus cannot be ignored. Studying this political phenomenon can provide information about the social system within which the KKK can flourish. Sher argues that from the 1920s to the 1980s, governments at all levels have refused to seriously confront the Klan’s racism in a systematic fashion, often invoking narrow interpretations of the law to support this avoidance. She notes that countering racism has never been a high priority for Canada’s political leaders. When governments act against racism, their goal is to appear to do something rather than to actually solve the problem. The author argues that law enforcement agencies are equally unwilling to act, never bringing the full force of the law down on the Klan. Sher locates the strongest counteraction to the KKK within loosely-based anti-racism movements made up of ordinary Canadians. These movements have gained strength in more recent decades with the evolution of public attitudes to overt racism in the aftermath of the Second World War, and with recent calls for right recognition from various minority groups. The author argues that the anti-Klan movement “may have won a battle, but not the war;” remnants of the Klan and groups of a similar mindset still exist, and social conditions that allow for their resurgence, particularly economic recessions, are more present than ever. She concludes by comparing the KKK to a visible scar—only trace of a much deeper sore that runs deep in Canadian society. She notes that any fight against the KKK and other like-minded organized groups must be part of a larger effort to change an entire system filled with prejudices, inequalities and injustices.

    Sumner, L. W. (2004). The Hateful and the Obscene: Studies in the Limits of Free Expression. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

    In this book, Sumner explores the collision of the constitutional right to freedom of expression and criminal hate as classified by the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act. He discusses the blurred limits of freedom of expression and lobbies for the creation of the theory of free expression, which outlines a “coherent set of principles capable of answering the most important, conceptual, moral, and political questions about expressive freedom and its limits" (page 3). The book strives to develop this theoretical framework and to apply it to hate speech (as well as pornography). The focus of the book is freedom of expression, rather than hate crime, but Sumner provides an interesting analysis of the intersection of free expression and hate crime using Mill’s Harm Principle. Sumner explores the deep-seated impact of hate propaganda and hate speech on its victims and the wider community. This propaganda is often designed to recruit followers and contributes to the legitimization of violence against identifiable groups. But according to the Harm Principle, this harm is not necessarily enough to validate policy that prevents freedom of expression. Sumner concludes by making two recommendations specific to the regulation of free speech. He calls for no further content restrictions in criminal or human rights legislation that prohibits expressive material that incites hate. He also advocates for the use of context restrictions, such as an expanded criminal prohibition of expressive materials inciting hate violence.

  • W

    Weimann, G. & Winn, C. (1986). Hate in Trial: The Zundel Affair, the Media and Public Opinion in Canada. Oakville, ON: Mosaic Press.

    Weimann and Winn discuss Ernst Zundel and the many different aspects of his trial. They begin with the background of Zundel, where he came from, what he did and the basics of his life. Zundel denied the Holocaust and believed in anti-Zionism and Nazism. The book describes anti-Semitism as being a relatively recent term, created to give new strength to old-fashioned animosity towards Jews. The trial is discussed in detail; the authors discuss Zundel’s crimes and what he was charged with. The spotlight of the trial was on Zundel’s testimony, the comments he made to the press, and his entrances and exists from the courtroom. Many were concerned with public opinion after the trial, fearing it may increase hatred towards Jews, partially because the media had such a strong presence surrounding the trial. Weimann and Winn completed a study to test public opinion. Through a national survey they found that half of Canadians were aware of the trial. It was also possible the trial did not affect the public to the extent previously feared. The majority of Canadians were found to have become more, rather than less, sympathetic towards Jews. There is also a discussion of other hate-related trials, such as the trial against James Keegstra.

  • Z

    Zickmund, S. (1997). Approaching the radical other: The discursive culture of cyber-hate. In Steven G. Jones Virtual culture: Identity and communication in cyber-society, (pp. 185-205). London, England: Sage Publications.

    Steven Jones edited and compiled essays focusing on the consequences of the development and implementation of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and the Internet. Each author came up with a variety of perspectives, using theoretical work in sociology, political science, economics, communication, feminism and history. According to Jones, the consequences affect all people in society. Susan Zickmund’s article discusses cyber-hate and how it allows cohesiveness of subversive organizations. People who have Nazi ideologies traditionally operated in isolation—but the Internet has changed this. Zickmund focuses on the portrayal of the subversive culture that exists on the Internet and the relationship between radicals, society and 'The Other'—which Zickmund defines as a figure constructed to be of service to the white male group. The Other does not have a voice or opinion, and must remain mute unless spoken to. This group is broken up into two categories:

    • Social contaminant: past or present examples include the Black community, and the gay and lesbian community.
    • Conspirator: the Jewish community is viewed by some as a powerful and dominant conspiring agent.

    Zickmund’s essay also discusses interactive relationships in cyberspace. The Internet provides ways to reach new recruits, contact other radicals and allow for non-racist people to contact the radicals. Zickmund uses quotes from Internet sites to discuss the communication that occurs between people on these hate sites.


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