From the Party Press

On the Issue of Hate Propaganda

TML Weekly, June 27, 1998

The demand to strengthen laws against hate propaganda is to divert the people from uniting against state-organized racist attacks. It seeks to divert them from waging the struggle against the anti-social offensive and for a pro-social program. It is not a new demand.

In March 1984, the Attorney General of Ontario, Roy McMurtry, issued a "Group Defamation" Report on hate propaganda. The Report was prepared by Patrick Lawlor, a former Member of the Ontario Legislature and a Queen's Council. It presented a pseudo-scientific psychological theory that racism comes from the "repressed hatred against the self" which "is projected out upon others," especially those who "are most vulnerable socially to assault, verbal or otherwise..."

TML Daily pointed out at that time: "As a Queen's Counsel, the author of this report should know that the British colonialists did not engage in the Irish and African slave trade because of a 'repressed-hatred against the self.' Similarly, they did not engage in racist violence against the Native peoples of North and South America for that reason. They engaged in such pursuits in order to plunder the land and labour of the peoples in these colonies. It is not without reason that they referred to India as their 'jewel.' Not only did the British colonialists engage in racist violence but they justified the subjugation of these peoples with racist theories such as the theory of 'white man's burden.' They also used racism to 'divide and conquer' various peoples so as to preserve their colonial rule. How the British colonialists incited communal strife in India between Hindus and Muslims is well documented.

"Racism is the preferred policy of the bourgeoisie to maintain its profits and preserve its rule. The bourgeoisie uses this policy at all times to single out certain sections of the people for the most vicious exploitation and to increase the exploitation of all the people. It uses this policy to incite division amongst the exploited and oppressed based on race, nationality, language and religion to liquidate their struggles against the exploiters and their system.

"This report, like the 'Green Paper on Immigration' issued in 1975, describes the people coming from Asia, Africa and Latin America in racist terms and divides the people of Canada on a racist basis, on the basis of skin colour, just as the South African apartheid regime does.

"Thus, according to this report, there are l.7 million 'non-whites' in Canada, described by the racist term 'visible minorities.' The Native people are also considered to be foreigners in their own land. Everyone else is called 'white.' This racist outlook does not originate from a 'repressed hatred against the self' but from the class interests of the bourgeoisie."[1]

The Report claimed to address hate propaganda coming from the anti-Semitic and white supremacist groups like the Western Guard and Ku Klux Klan. TML Daily pointed out at that time: "These groups, of course, are one source of the racist propaganda, but they are far from the only source and they are not the origin of hate propaganda.

"What about the bourgeois mass media? The czars of the mass media are the main promoters of racist and fascist groups like the Western Guard and the Ku Klux Klan. When the white supremacist KKK came to Canada in 1980, its entire 'organizing drive' consisted of massive publicity from the newspapers, radio and television stations owned by the millionaires and the state.

"And what about the various levels of government? The 1975 federal government 'Green Paper on Immigration' and the 1979 Metro Toronto Council-sponsored Pitman Report were all racist in their content, as is the recently released report from the parliamentary 'Special Committee on Visible Minorities in Canadian Society.' They all describe the people coming from India, the Caribbean countries, and other places in racist terms. They all divide the people of Canada on a racist basis, on the basis of skin colour.

CPC(M-L) organizes demonstrations, pickets and meetings across Canada during 1975, to mobilize opposition to the federal government's Green Paper on Immigration that aims to divide the Canadian people on a racist basis. Photos (top to bottom) from Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo.

"And what about the bourgeois educational system? Racist theories are taught which falsely relate colour of skin with intelligence, poverty, and crime. Such racist views are promoted in the subjects of anthropology, history, psychology, sociology and other fields too. But the provincial study on hate propaganda makes no mention of these things.

"Any study which ignores whose policy racism is and its aim, which is verifiable by past history and the present, is not dealing with the problem of hate propaganda. It is merely a study to make the people believe that the government is concerned about the problem while diverting attention from the real origin of racism and racist attacks, including the racism of the KKK and Western Guard, which is the bourgeoisie and its state."[2]

The People Must Rely on Their Own Strength to Defeat Racist Attacks

In 1965, twenty years before the "Group Defamation" Report on hate propaganda was issued, the Canadian Minister of Justice established a "Special Committee on Hate Propaganda in Canada." It was known as the Cohen Commission, named after its chairman. Based on its recommendations, the Criminal Code of Canada was revised in 1970 to include sections dealing with the advocacy of genocide and the incitement and promotion of hatred.

These laws have never had any effect in controlling the hate propaganda of racist and fascist groups. TML Daily in an article in 1984 pointed out: "It is very interesting to note that the Cohen Commission Report even refers to the hate propaganda of the current leader of the 'Western Guard.' In other words, for twenty years this individual has carried on his hate propaganda despite the revisions to the law and the commissions of investigation.

"The same situation exists in British Columbia. In 1982 John McAlpine headed a commission for the BC government to make recommendations to the government regarding the hate propaganda of the Ku Klux Klan. In the same year, based on his report, the BC government passed its 'Civil Rights Protection Act,' but this has not stopped the racist and fascist propaganda and attacks of the KKK in that province.

"Is the problem just one of formulating a law which has no loopholes for the racist and fascist groups to escape through? This is not the problem. The bourgeoisie and its governments do not want to stop the hate propaganda of these racist and fascist groups. At the same time they must give the appearance of trying to do something to stop the hate propaganda because of the outrage of the people against this activity.

"The bourgeoisie and its governments defend the right of the racists and fascists to speak and organize and they are behind these gangs. The author of the Ontario government report on 'Group Defamation' even states that he does 'not advocate the banning of hate-mongering groups as such, as the United Nations calls for...'

"This shows that the people cannot rely on the governments and its commissions to defend their rights and freedoms from attack by these racist and fascist groups. Instead, they must rely on their own strength and wage revolutionary mass struggles to defend and extend their rights."[3]


1. TML Daily Vol. 14 No. 94, April 3, 1984.
2. TML Daily Vol. 14 No. 93, April 2, 1984.
3. TML Daily Vol. 14 No. 95, April 4, 1984.

(TML Weekly, Vol. 3, No. 21, June 27, 1998)

This article was published in
Volume 54 Number 23 - March 28, 2024

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