Words Matter – the breeding of hatred in Victoria

letters@timescolonist.com

It started with a @JohnsonStBRDG tweet that was quickly amplified by others.

“Honestly, I have very little bandwidth for caring about police being struck by motorists when virtually nothing is done by those same police to ticket or prosecute drivers…”

Tweeters rallied around the account hailing the poster as an inspiration.

I found myself looking back at the past 2 months realizing I am living in a city where citizens are encouraged to and honored for  actively promoting hate.

There’s a twitter feed “Not JaniceWilliams” for council, devote to lobbing stones at her every word, and a Missing Middle Housing Initiative (MMHI) Discord group where members ridicule people who oppose their views. They have gone as far as organizing verbal assaults on those who disagree with them (“please send me one of their user-names the game is on”) and calling a private citizen in their home.

This toxic soup of hate has boiled over into our public forms. A few weeks ago, a UVic student spoke at the MMHI public hearing and put residents on notice:

“because of some $^&@-you I got mine mentality, be prepared when we have very little empathy for your complaint.”

It’s all becoming overwhelmingly common and very mainstream. As we witness the debate of the fate of our city through hatred one has to wonder how many people will reconsider their desire to run for council. I know I am reconsidering mine.

Susan Simmons

3 thoughts on “Words Matter – the breeding of hatred in Victoria

  1. Please run. We need you!
    The only way to stop these bullies us to stand up to them. You have our support. They are a vocal minority that need to be taught a lesson.

  2. It’s totally toxic. Would love to see a new council that calls it out for what it is and names it. Telling the perpetrators that “we know who you are” and the more you do this the less likely it is that we will listen to you.

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