The portrayal of mayoral candidate Faith Goldy as a white supremacist, and use of that unfounded characterization to blackball her from candidates’ debates, and ban her advertisements from CTV is outrageous. I happened to encounter Mayor John Tory this week, and while he said he considers the Goldy campaign distasteful, fair-minded man as he is, he heard out my contemptuous views of the attempts to silence it and did not object. I understand he now says he was emphatic that she was a white supremacist and does not agree with my position, but that is not my recollection. He is an old friend and I wish him well in Monday’s election.
In August 2017, Goldy reported on the demonstrations at Charlottesville, Va., which were ostensibly over whether to retain or remove a statue of Confederate States military commander, Gen. Robert E. Lee. Lee is generally reckoned to be one of the greatest generals in American history. He opposed secession in 1861, but felt his first loyalty was to Virginia rather than the United States. It was his father who eulogized George Washington as “First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen,” and Abraham Lincoln offered Lee the command of the Union armies. Lee concluded his career as head of what was renamed in his honour, Washington and Lee University.
There was a legitimate argument to remove his statue, because of the odium of secession and slave holding (though Lee’s status as a slave owner was no more offensive than that of Washington’s or Jefferson’s). But there was also a strong argument to retain it — he was a very distinguished man and general and history cannot be changed by moving statues around.
Goldy made the point on air, as President Trump did subsequently, that there were good people on both sides of that argument, which, unfortunately, was generally taken over by extremists on both sides; neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan among the retentionists, and among the removers, Antifa (left-wing street bullies purporting to be anti-fascists — hence their name) and Black Lives Matter, whose anti-police rhetoric apparently helped inspire the killing of eight policemen in Dallas and Baton Rouge the year before. But after one protester was killed and several people injured when a neo-Nazi rammed his car in to them, Goldy’s coverage and her remarks were attacked by the left in Canada, much as Donald Trump was in the U.S. over his remarks.
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