Oppose the Defamation of University of Alberta Lecturer Dr. Dougal MacDonald
— Statement of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist),
December 3, 2019 —
Dr. Dougal MacDonald is not a holocaust denier. But what can be said about those who seek to defame him?
In the matter of the defamatory accusations gratuitously leveled against Dr. Dougal MacDonald insinuating he is a holocaust denier, we state categorically that Dr. MacDonald is not now and never has been a holocaust denier. Dr. MacDonald has researched and, along with others, argues against the narrative of a genocide committed in Ukraine by the Soviet state. To equate this stand with denial of the holocaust is socially irresponsible. It lowers the level of political culture and discourse to disinform public opinion about the real matters of concern to society. Such defamation seeks to disarticulate the fight raging in society, especially in Alberta, against the anti-social offensive launched by the Kenney government. Shame on those who repeat these defamatory statements without any regard for the facts or their own social responsibility.
What is the aim of those repeating such defamatory statements? Why are they attacking a professor of science known for his integrity as a teacher, a trade unionist, and defender of the workers, Indigenous peoples and all those fighting for their dignity and freedom the world over?
Dr. MacDonald is born and bred in Alberta. His family fought in the anti-fascist World War II contributing to the democratic personality that emerged, which was codified in the verdicts of the Nuremberg Trials and the international rule of law espoused by the United Nations in its founding Charter. Based on his family tradition and that of the Alberta and Canadian working people, in addition to being an educator, Dr. MacDonald became a worthy researcher and journalist to settle scores with the old conscience of society so as to open a path for progress today. In this regard, one of the fields where he developed specific knowledge deals with the workings of the Nazi propaganda machine both prior to and after World War II directed against the Soviet Union and the anti-fascist resistance fighters led by the communists. He shows how those directing the Anglo-American Cold War against the peoples of the world as far back as the 1930s appropriated and spread Nazi propaganda.
Following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, he has opposed the resurgence of Nazi propaganda in the United States, Canada, the Ukraine and throughout Europe. All those who suffered profound losses at the hands of the Hitlerites are rightly concerned about these developments, as are all who stand today for peace, freedom and democracy.
The defamers’ insinuation that Dr. MacDonald is a holocaust denier is an attempt to isolate him by arousing contempt in those who do not know him. However, to defame those forces that fight for freedom and progress is itself a Hitlerite modus operandi which must not pass. This truth is not lost on Canadians, Quebeckers and the Indigenous peoples who are struggling to deal with the problems they and society face, and are confronted with disinformation or slanders to undermine the fights they are waging.
“A defamatory statement is a false statement of fact that exposes a person to hatred, ridicule, or contempt, causes him to be shunned, or injures him in his business or trade. Oral defamation is a slander whereas printed or published defamation is a libel.” (Oxford Dictionary)
Words spread gratuitously through official state media and other channels can cause harm, which may even be irreparable to the individuals being defamed. But the deeds of those spreading the defamatory statements are also a matter of public record. To think that the people can be silenced in the face of such outrageous defamation as that directed against Dr. MacDonald is to deny that what goes around comes around.
Some in authority are appealing to the public to oppose the hate speech of holocaust deniers. They do this in the name of defending democracy, human rights and the national interest and security of the country against enemies. A problem arises when those same people in authority who claim to oppose hate speech insidiously promote fear and hatred not only against Dr. MacDonald but against trade unionists, teachers and any forces fighting the anti-social offensive which those same authorities in power have unleashed against the people and society.
We intend to discuss these and related pertinent matters with the public for purposes of arousing opposition to the defamation of Dr. MacDonald and others. Clearly, when the state, its institutions, media and those in authority do not defend the individual, the individual has no recourse but to appeal to public opinion to defend not only her or his right to conscience and speech but, by doing so, defend the collectivity of rights as well.
Speak out in opposition to the defamation of Dr. MacDonald. Send him messages and letters of support at DMD@cpcml.ca.
On behalf of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist),
Anna Di Carlo