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                 Is your Child a Target?

           A pamphlet for parents and teachers 
   on the dangers of hate group recruitment in Canada

* Hate groups are composed of bigots and racists who hate
everyone unlike themselves - particularly minorities such as
Blacks, Muslims, Jews, Catholics and Homosexuals - not because
of anything they've done, but merely because of who they are.

* By blaming all of the past and present problems of society
on these identifiable minority groups, hatemongers feed their
own self image of superiority.

* Hate groups operate through a network of inter-related,
pseudo-religious and right-wing political organizations.

* In the 1990's, Canada has become fertile ground for groups
like the Heritage Front, Ku Klux Klan and racist Skinhead
gangs. There are approximately 40 known hate groups in Canada
today, networking nationally and internationally to promote
their White Supremacist ideology.

* They are known to join both political and religious
organizations, especially in Caucasian Christian communities,
but their ideologies are far from Christian.

* Current hate group activities include telephone "hatelines"
across the country run by the Heritage Front, Ku Klux Klan,
Liberty Net and others; racist rock concerts sponsored by
groups like the Church of the Creator [transcription note:
now defunct. knm]; paramilitary training camps for young 
recruits; assaults against anti-racist activists; and an 
increase in gay-bashing and racially motivated crime.

                      A Brief History

Racism and hate propaganda have long been part of the Canadian
experience, beginning with the campaign of dehumanization of
Native peoples by European settles, resulting in cultural
genocide and unpunished abuses. There is also evidence of
rampant anti-Semititsm in the early days of Canada, with later
hate propaganda against Chinese, Sikh and Japanese Canadians.

By the 1920's and 1930's, Blacks, Catholics and Jews were
being viciously attacted by hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
As immigration increased after World War I, so did the
backlash against foreigners, minority groups and individuals.
Hate groups feasted then, as they do now, on tension and

During World War II, prominent Canadians praised Hitler's
leadership, while government policy denied safety to European
Jews fleeing Nazi persecution.

Hate group activity is related to shifts in attitudes towards
politics and minority groups. In times of prosperity, as
acceptance of diverse groups and communities rises, hate group
and overt racist activity decline. Economic downturn is usually
accompanied by scapegoating of minorities and immigrants by
those looking for someone to blame for their problems. As in
the 1920's and 103-'s, the recession of the 1990's has
proved to be an opportune time for a rise in hate group

In these difficult economic times, many young people, unless
parents, teachers and others are observant, can be enlisted
through exposure to continuous hate propaganda aimed at
recruiting them to the racist cause.

       The Thread of Hate Groups and Hate Propaganda

The goal of hatemongers and hate propaganda is to falsely
portray a group as inferior, even less than human, undermining
the norms and values of a society by potentially taking
control of the culture through power or sheer numbers.

Hate propaganda plays on people's doubts and fears. It feeds
on misconceptions, increasing barriers to misunderstanding.
Hate propaganda contributes to disunity in society,
compromises democratic values and maintains inequality and

When one group is aggrieved, we are all aggrieved. Hate
propaganda is not a free speech issue. It is the promotion of
hatred against an identifiable minority group and is against
the law in Canada.

                      The Current Reality

Hate groups are growing steadily and are currently at levels
not seen in Canada since the 1920's. The League for Human
Rights has measured a 200% increase in reported anti-Semitic
incidents since 1988. This evidence has been corroborated by
police and community groups documenting racially motivated

Hate groups such as the Aryan Nations, Heritage Front, Church
of the Creator, Ku Klux Klan, Northern Foundation and the
Mountain Church are all actively recruiting young people in
Canada today.

Recently, established white supremacist groups have attempted
to co-opt the "skinhead" movement. While not all skinheads are
racist, many in Canada are, and show a propensity towards
violence. Since 1990, at least 24 racially or sexually
motivated murders have been committed by skinheades in North

                 Is Your Child a Target? Yes!

* Hate groups concentrate their recruiting efforts primarily
in high schools and to some extent in colleges and

* Young people are more likely to accept at face value the
racist ideology of the hatemonger. They are often naive and
easily brainwashed by racist propaganda because they don't
have the experience or facts at hand to refute the lies and
myths being fed to them.

* Lonely, marignalized youth seeking a sense of identity and
belonging are both the most attractive targets for racists and
their most useful tools once recruited.

* Emotionally vulnerable or angry young people are easily
indoctrinated by hatemongers and are often convinced to engage
in violence and to commit criminal acts to prove themselves by
following orders.

* Eager to be accepted, young recruits don't recognize the
abuse of power by the leaders and can be used to intimidate
opponents and to recruit other new members.

                   How Hate Groups Recruit

* Through rituals, regalia and impressive ceremony, individual
youth are easily impressed and recruited, often due to their
lack of identifiable future, and are catapulted into an
environment of violence and hatred.

* Disenchanted youth who are abused, angry, unemployed,
dropouts or runaways, and who may be looking for someone to
blame for their problems, are prime targets.

* Hate groups prey on lonely youth who are socially isolated
by learning their weaknesses and drawing them into a group in
which they feel accepted.

* They befriend students and invite them to meetings, making
them feel wanted and important, providing membership cards,
titles and a sense of belonging.

* Hate groups recruit followers by distributing flyers and
leaflets at schools and on the street, attracting young people
to meetings, concerts or rallies and inviting them to call a
hotline for more information.

* Members of racist groups provide a false camaraderie and
friendship that is motivated by reasons not readily apparent
to the target.

* They intimate that their hate group is simply a social club,
or a legitimate nationalist political party or movement
interested in preserving Canadian culture.

* They always lie to new members, never telling them of their
true agenda of hatred and violence before it is too late.

* Hatemongers either demand "Equal Rights for Whites" or
denigrate minorities through racist and bigoted articles,
newsletters, rock music and cartoons.

* Young people are brainwashed through rituals, rallies,
training camps and the dissemination of hate propaganda, until
they give up their independent identity, join the cause and
become hatemongers themselves.

                    Early Warning Signs

A change in behavior or appearance of your teenager may
indicate involvement with hate groups. Some of the telltale
signs include:

* Sudden lack of interest in school

* Adopting new groups of friends and staying out late without
  any explanation 

* Violence or secretive behavior

* Overt hostility to parents and family, disobedience,

* Racist graffiti, drawings and doodling.

* Playing loud, heavy rock music with violent lyrics. This
  could be the racist rock music of groups such as RaHoWa
  or Skrewdriver

* Stereotyping and scapegoating of certain groups;
  namecalling, racial and religious slurs in conversation
  at all times

* Making racist or bigoted comments about minorities,
  immigrants or foreigners

* A marked repugnance to consider certain ethnic or religious
  groups as fully Canadian or even human

* The wearing or displaying of Nazi propaganda and symbols
  such as swastikas or the Iron Cross and/or military clothing
  and paraphernalia

* Becoming a skinhead or acquiring skinhead friends wearing
  black or red Dr. Marten's combat boots, tight jeans rolled
  up at the ankles, padded bomber jackets or shaved heads

* The writing or tattooing of racist symbols, slogans or 
  codewords such as RaHoWa (Racial Holy War), ZOG (Zionist
  Occupation Government) and JOG (Jewish Occupation

* Preoccupation with military themes, clothing and weapons

* The possession of hate propaganda and publications such as
  Holocaust denial materials, the Heritage Front's _Up Front_
  and the Church of the Creator's _Racial Loyalty_, as well as
  videos, music books, flyers and cards produced by hate

                         Once Recruited

Hate groups use techniques similar to religious cults in
recruiting and retaining members.

Once involved, the youth are encouraged to isolate themselves
from their former lives (parents, family, friends) and to
commit full-time to the movement, which often means engaging
in illegal activity.

Young people find it difficult, if not impossible, to leave.
Hate groups foster an atmosphere of violence, abuse and
intimidation, often forcing new recruits to commit criminal
and violent acts.

The racists learn so much about the recruit's life, that it is
next to impossible to withdraw.

Youthful recruits with second thoughts often find themselves
the target of threats and violence if they try to drop out of
the scene.

                         How to Respond

* Do not ignore evidence of hate gorup activity - speak up!

* Report any overt incidents to your local police service

* Most local police departments have either a Hate Crimes Unit
  or specific officers assigned to deal with hate groups.
  They are more than willing to help and should be contacted
  if you have knowledge of hate group activity.

* Save any written materials, posters or items that can be
  useful to police in their investigations.

* Your municipal race relations committee, local school board,
  the League for Human Rights and other agencies have the
  professionals trained in these areas and have experience in
  dealing with incidents of hate group activity and

* If you or your child are victimized by racist hate groups,
  contact one of the agencies listed on this pamphlet.

* Remember that the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits the
  distribution of hate propaganda and the promotion of hatred,
  incitement to violence or advocating genocide, and you will
  have the force of law behind you.

            Agencies Dealing With Racism and Hate

* Most municipalities have a Committee on Community and
  Race Relations that deals with these issues. In addition,
  most have Race Relations Divisions or departments within the
  municipal government that can offer assistance.

* Your provincial government should have an Anti-Racism
  Secretariat in the Ministry of Citizenship and/or Culture to
  offer assistance and programs in combatting hate and promoting
  anti-racist education.

* You may also need to contact the Attorney General's Ministry
  or the Race Relations and Policing Unit of the Solicitor
  General's Ministry if the incident has legal or policing

* The Multiculturalism program in the federal government of
  Canadian Heritage includes anti-racist initiatives; and the
  Ministries of Justice, Immigration and the Solicitor General
  also have useful information and expertise.

* The Provincial Human Rights Commission investigates
  complaints of individuals who are victims of discrimination
  based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

* The Canadian Human Rights Commission investigates complaints
  in their jurisdiction, such as telephone lines, electronic
  media and federal agencies.

* Contact community based organizations that can mobilize
  their members, conduct anti-racist training in schools,
  and can assist individual victims and communities.

                Remember - You Are Not Alone!

This pamphlet has been prepared by the League for Human Rights
of B'nai Brith Canada, a national volunteer agency dedicated
to combatting anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry. The
ojectives of the League also include human rights for all
Canadians, improved inter-community relations and the
elimination of racial discrimination and anti-Semitism. The
League accomplishes these goals through educational
programmes, community action and legal interventions.

League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada
15 Hove Street, Downsview, Ontario M3H 4Y8
Tel: (416) 633-6224  FAX: (416) 630-2159

15 Hove Street, Downsview, Ontario M3H 4Y8
Tel: (416) 633-6224  FAX: (416) 630-2159

Quebec/Eastern Office:
6900 Decarie Blvd., Ste. 219, Montreal, Quebec H3X 2T8
Tel: (514) 733-5377  FAX: (514) 342-9632

7330 Goreway, Unit 1, Mississauga, Ontario L4T 4J2
Tel: (905) 678-9691  FAX: (905) 566-0686

National Capital Region: 
151 Chapel Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7Y2
Tel: (613) 789-4922  FAX: (613) 789-1325

Manitoba Office:
370 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2K1
Tel: (204) 942-2597  FAX: (204) 956-2819

Western Region:
10655 SouthPort Road SW, Ste. 1400, Calgary, Alberta T2W 4Y1
Tel: (403) 255-5256  FAX: (403) 278-0176

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