KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The Canadian Navy in Halifax is a little too comfortable a place for racists, Islamophobes and xenophobes.
Recently a sailor with blatantly Islamophobic tattoo was only told to remove it after somebody posted a photo on social media and journalists started asking questions.
We’re not talking about a discrete little tattoo, no, this one was a whopper. Yet apparently for months on end no fellow sailors thought this required any action. Or if they did, it clearly went nowhere. Even more concerning, his direct superiors in the chain of command also looked the other way.
Neither did the sailor seem to worry much about what the tattoo could do to his career.
Turns out he was correct.
“Given his clear indication that no ill-will was intended or expressed, he was never approached by his chain of command in the past,” CAF spokesperson Mark Gough told the Nova Scotia Advocate.
The tattoo itself expressed ill will. The use of the word infidel is almost exclusively associated with Islamophobic weirdos and their organizations. They even reference the crusades! It’s especially popular among US soldiers who served in Afghanistan. Just do a Google search for “Infidel, Meme.”
And whether that ill will was intentional or not is irrelevant. That man walked around with a huge tattoo that is bound to offend Muslims, including Muslim fellow sailors. You shudder to think the guy was allowed to visit Islamic countries with that tattoo so visible.
Remember those four Proud Boys who made a scene at the Cornwallis monument?
They too were members of the Navy. There too no fellow sailors ever complained despite their racist Facebook posts being public and for all to see. They too felt no need to be discrete about their repugnant views.
Why was that? Is it because holding racist views in the Canadian Forces is actually a fairly common phenomenon, and not something you have to be particularly secretive about?
In the early nineties members of the Canadian military tortured and then beat and kicked to death Somali teenager Shidane Arone and bragged about it.
The subsequent inquiry found that the military chose to look the other way despite plenty of signs prior to that murder that racism was rampant in the regiment.
Of course not all Navy personnel is racist. Far from it. But it looks like racism is becoming part of the landscape in that workplace, and that is terribly worrisome.
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