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2014-06-26 at 13:21

Political fallout

Protesters gathered Thursday outside the Chronicle Journal’s Cumberland Street offices, still upset at the paper’s decision to run a controversial, racially charged political ad on June 10.
Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
Protesters gathered Thursday outside the Chronicle Journal’s Cumberland Street offices, still upset at the paper’s decision to run a controversial, racially charged political ad on June 10.
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By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- The fallout from a controversial political ad is still haunting the city’s daily newspaper.

About two dozen Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal protestors gathered Thursday outside the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal’s Cumberland Street headquarters for a rally espousing anger at the paper for running a racially charged ad during the recent election campaign by outspoken Libertarian candidate Tamara Johnson.

Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy said he was shocked the paper allowed the ad, which suggested First Nations people believed in a culture of entitlement and think themselves above the law and owed a debt by today’s taxpayer, to run within its pages.

Beardy said he’s concerned that if people don’t stand out and voice their disfavor with the paper and the attitudes the advertisement encouraged, racism will continue to escalate in Thunder Bay.

“It’s important we come out and deal with it before it gets out of hand,” Beardy said, adding he knows many of the sentiments expressed by Johnson in the ad are shared by people in the community.

“We need to deal with it collectively, not just one group, but all members of society from the grassroots community level needs to figure out how to strengthen our relationships.”

It was a mistake to run the ad, Beardy added, saying the paper must make more space available for First Nation stories.

“We need to be given space with the CJ to make sure that our stories as First Nations people are published, our successes, our challenges, so that it educates the general public. Racism comes because of a lack of information or outright ignorance,” Beardy said.

“I think it’s very important with the newspaper and the media that space is given to us to be able to tell our stories.”

He added that the calmness of the protest suggest people want to co-exist peacefully.
Chronicle Journal publisher Clint Harris, who has agreed to print submissions from First Nations groups, said he has no regrets about allowing Johnson’s ad to run in the June 10 edition of his paper.

According to Harris the ad sparked a much-needed dialogue in the community.

“It’s created this,” he said, pointing to the protestors. “It’s created awareness and I think it’s about time,” he said.

Harris said he’s not worried about any long-lasting negativity toward the Chronicle Journal.

“I think the newspaper has a role to play and I believe the newspaper will come out on top in almost any circumstance, not allowing censorship and making sure people get their say in whatever media there is,” he said.

“If we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t be a newspaper and it’s important that people get to say what they need to say to make sure the information that gets to the community is accurate.”

Peterborough’s John Fox made the trek to Thunder Bay for the protest and said the advertisement has ramifications across the country and did nothing but foster hatred and division. There’s already enough fear in the First Nations community. And it’s unnecessary, he said.

“So far what I’m hearing this morning is they want to be recognized as contributors to this community and that stereotypes shouldn’t be allowed and that racism shouldn’t be tolerated by anybody. That’s why you have Native and non-Native people at this rally. We want to try to bridge the community to move away from what’s been going on.”

 

 


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Comments

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idontknowitall says:
One of the signs in the photo reads, 'Red Power'. Can anyone tell me what that means? I've never heard the phrase before.
6/26/2014 1:52:40 PM
imbroglio says:
I can perceive the phrase "Red Power" on the sign to be racist. Much the same as if I were to protest with a sign saying "White Power"
6/26/2014 3:06:05 PM
S Duncan says:
Funny if you were holding a "white power" sign the media would climb over themselves to label you a white supremecist.

but a red power sign only makes you a protester.

There certainly is a double standard today and its all over the place.
6/26/2014 3:12:51 PM
Royalflush says:
Shameful behaviour, I must say!
6/28/2014 7:14:05 PM
Pierre says:
Give it a rest folks. You are not helping your cause. The CJ did nothing illegal and you have no right to tell a privately owned newspaper what they can and cannot print.
6/26/2014 2:15:10 PM
working_man says:
This is exactly why no one is allowed to even voice their "opinion"... The Chronicle takes the heat for being an avenue for someone voice her opinion. I certainly don't agree with all the items on the "list", but some opinions were right on the money. I don't think that makes me a racist, a realist maybe.
The way I see this all unfolding, It seems to appear that "opinions" or "points of view" are only allowed to be one sided. I assume that iI will now be bashed, scrutinized..and of course labeled, so shame on me for even thinking that in some cases, the truth just might hurt a little for some to hear. Doesn't make me right, or wrong, and certainly not a racist. Just a point of view.
By the way, I really do hope the bridge opens soon, so everybody is happy, prosperous and most importantly safe from our own crazy habits in making untimely left hand turns or unsafe merges. Best wishes to all!
6/26/2014 2:54:55 PM
S Duncan says:
Heck, even comments that clearly and fairly address this issue are not allowed.

the media is scared of its own shadow.
6/26/2014 3:18:30 PM
moi says:
I agree with yours and Pierre's comments...as much as Stan is entitled to his opinion that the paper was wrong to run the ad, imo the protestors were wrong to parade up and down in front of a privately owned business.If FN's are so upset with what is contained within the pages of the CJ...then by all means they are free to start-up their own newspaper,in which to run the ads they see fit, what reflects their particular point of view,and have a public voice in which to counter the opinions/ads they have an issue with.
I commend Clint Harris for sticking to his guns and making no apologies.Lord help us if we're not politically correct these days.News papers are in the business of printing a variety of pov's and opinions...and the CJ is no different.
6/26/2014 3:49:12 PM
glass half full says:
Red power????

Does this have the same meaning as " White Power".

Paid protesters who have no clue about the real issues at hand. Some people just want to protest.

Cheers.
6/26/2014 3:09:30 PM
kurt says:
it was a PAID ad. thats why it was printed in the paper - if you feel the need that the paper should make room for native stuff in the paper - maby you should place an AD .
6/26/2014 3:35:04 PM
fairlane says:
Stan, the Chronicle is in business to report, not educate. They owe no obligation to you or anyone else to do so. They're there to report news and events that's 100% supported by advertising.

As for your protestors, I'm offended by the "Red Power" signs. If a white person carried a similar sign I'm sure you'd be on it in seconds. Yes, we have a long way to go on both sides. But be careful what you wish for.

I didn't agree with everything Tamara has written or posted, but to see images of the hatred, the threats, and vulgar language from Nations Citizens directed at her doesn't help your cause either.
6/26/2014 3:41:48 PM
Tannoy says:
Red Power Signs... why is that ok and White power signs are racist? Its such a blinding double standard when it comes to racism.
6/26/2014 3:45:36 PM
ring of fire dude says:
I wonder if the sign "Red Power - Power to the Peace Full was held high at Caledonia or even Oka ? I wonder how I would be greeted if I stood with a "White Power - Power to the Peaceful" sign outside of the APTN studio or at a local Pow Wow .
6/26/2014 3:49:05 PM
ranma says:
So why is tbnewswatch posting such a blatantly racist sign? Red Power, literally is the same as White Power, Black Power, etc. It is racist.

If you were to wear a "white pride" shirt or hat, people would think you were racist. But if you wear a "Native pride" shirt or hat, it's ok? Enough with double standards. This is racism plain and simple
6/26/2014 3:51:59 PM
jamisuplate says:
All of these comments, these non-racial, non-racist comments that everyone is so quick to point out contributes to this: "Stats Can report shows Thunder Bay has 2nd highest rate of reported hate crimes in Canada. #tbay #cbctb" - In Canada?!
6/26/2014 4:16:11 PM
Tannoy says:
A note on that by the way, were #2 because of the amount of awareness and education our city has when it comes to what a hate crime actually is, that's why there are so many reported, its not that they don't happen in other cities its they don't get reported because they are not recognized as such.
6/27/2014 9:50:42 AM
jamisuplate says:
The Red Power sign is about pride. That is all. And yes, if people wanted to wear White Power shirts and hats, please do. Red Power! evolved from the 1960s demonstration era when Native people were marginalized, broken and treated as second-class citizens in their own country. The movement created pride and confidence and helped raise a generation of strong-willed and educated Native people. Please educate yourselves.
6/26/2014 4:28:37 PM
enos012 says:
Do you know how many stories of past and now there are? Please don't get defensive in people's lack of knowledge on ALL topics because it is almost impossible. There is a big difference between being strong willed and stubborn just as much as PRIDE is a deadly sin. Until we put the past sins of out forefatehrs behind and start working together as a city in EQUALITY than the divisions of our minds and spirits will always be divided.
6/26/2014 5:43:44 PM
Today1 says:
You've truly missed the point, and are so wrong about about wearing White Power clothes.
6/27/2014 12:04:14 AM
sudbury yahoo says:
What happened to free speech in this country?
Instead of shooting the messenger, run a counter ad saying Tamara Johnson is full of it?
Racially-charged ad....pullleeeasse.
6/26/2014 5:22:23 PM
animiki says:
The ad ran. People are protesting the ad. We're reading an article about the issue. You made a comment about the article. I'm replying to your comment. There's no indication the state or its agents (e.g. the police) are going to get involved.

Seems to me that free speech in this country is just fine, doing its thing.
6/27/2014 11:12:15 AM
thatsright says:
So based on these predictable comments, the actions of TWJ and The Chronicle Journal can be excused under the banner of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press but the same courtesy and respect can't be extended when an oppressed group rallies in response to the hateful attacks against them that have been ongoing on social media for months?

And for anyone to seriously suggest what would happen if they carried signs that read "White Power" you're first problem is making this about you which it is not. Get a clue - our society IS "White Power".
6/26/2014 5:38:04 PM
roaches says:
This is educational reading. I just learnt about the White power flag, when I came across an news article about 'Nazi hunter' says some WWII criminals still live in Canada, and they breed here freely in Canada. Now that's power, makes me feel sad, could this hatred be the off springs of that great man with the black hairy lip. White, brown, red, yellow, some people are proud of rainbows. Just let it be.
6/26/2014 6:20:57 PM
tsb says:
What have the white power and white pride movements done in the past?

What have the red power and native pride movements done in the past?

Figure both out and maybe you'll understand the difference.
6/26/2014 6:42:04 PM
anarnosti says:
It really frustrates me when protestors set up shop random places... Why are they protesting at the cj because they ran a political parties ad? Go protest outside the political parties office.. It's almost as bad as the anti abortion church group protesting across from McDonald's on memorial avenue... go stand outside an abortion clinic or your church. Irritating.
6/26/2014 7:59:04 PM
faster says:
The CJ is back peddling already with the ridiculous count down for number of days the bridge has been closed. Begging CN to find a resolve. What a JOKE
6/26/2014 8:19:53 PM
Truthandjustice says:
Is it just me, why does it seem that all of these protests take place when people should be working. How do these people get the time to protest when they should be working? I have no problem if people want to protest but they should not be allowed to disrupt the public (see the blockage of the bridge in Nipigon a few days ago). Also I often see children in attendance when they should be in school. I lose a lot of respect for these protests or their concerns when they come across as professional complainers.
6/26/2014 10:24:01 PM
jb says:
How effective do you think a protest in front of a closed business would be?
6/27/2014 9:43:57 AM
Tiredofit says:
Perhaps you should try getting a job as a FN person in this town, it's not that simple, but hey, you know better don't you TruthandJustice don't you
6/28/2014 12:14:00 PM
eventscentre says:
Equality for all!!!
6/26/2014 11:04:22 PM
skoday says:
It's a grass roots peace movement by people concerned about the direction some Native haters want to take Thunder Bay. I share their concern for their safety, and of the youth especially. This ongoing anti Aboriginal rights discourse has helped lead to an escalation of verbal attacks. For the real militant racists, this validates an escalation to physical assaults. In short, the ongoing disrespect towards our Indigenous peoples, constantly emanating from forums such as this, contribute to a rise in racism. Believe it!
6/26/2014 11:46:32 PM
OdieCleghorn says:
Great comment, 100% agree. This website and Chronicle Journal are doing more harm than good by providing a platform for this touchy subject. Native rights, event centre, Marina... this is truly becoming a city divided.
6/27/2014 12:05:46 PM
opinions2014 says:
It is nice to see the points of view of people I have read some comments on TBNEWWATCH..facebook...and im quite surprised by some of the people views and how these people have latched on a certain persons views and follow and admire this person like a cult. I am actually embarrassed to say I am from Thunder Bay. I know of some who seem to befriend other cultures but when it comes to natives, these people lump all natives together...the educated, the disabled, the diseased(alcoholism is a disease) the hardworking. No matter how hard working or educated natives are ....they are still considered just "INDIAN" I pity such people...everyone is the same but just live it differently.
6/27/2014 2:36:27 PM
boofer69 says:
I would say most people that deserve respect get it. Your comment is not true to most people.
6/27/2014 3:19:43 PM
Tannoy says:
Tbay is ashamed to have you here to
6/27/2014 3:28:12 PM
opinions2014 says:
^^^^Tannoy...spoken like a true immature manner. Have a great weekend people...put away the hate and learn to respect all cultures and races. Waste of time ...some people's thoughts with never change.
6/27/2014 3:39:22 PM
unknowncronik says:
the words "red power" = racism plain & simple.
6/29/2014 6:25:18 AM
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