A protester poses with a sign beside a guillotine with the words "CUTS ARE POLITICAL VIOLENCE" written on it outside of Queen's Park on Wed, May 0/19. Twitter/@TorontoNaomi

Stop Trying To Reintroduce The Red Scare: A Response

Spending amounts do not equate to substantial or equivalent programs.

NOTE: Before reading, please see the following articles as reference:
May 2 2019, Toronto Sun – Lilley: Red protesters call for Ford’s head to be chopped off
May 6 2019, Toronto Sun – Lilley: Time to stop flirting with the commies

Brian Lilley is a right-leaning echo-chamber alarmist.

Lilley claims that he is the journalist who first spotted the guillotine on the lawn of Queen’s Park during the May Day protest.

While the symbol has sparked outrage among politicians and the Toronto Sun, Lilley has gone down a dark path of red herrings and mis-reason to explain the motivation.

In the article from May 2, Lilley provides a condescending history lesson about the French Revolution saying “For those not in the know, the French Revolution was not about democracy or basic rights, it was about overthrowing those in power and many of them died after having their heads chopped off by the guillotine.”

Not only is this demonstrably misleading, it is arrogantly ignorant. It throws what almost sounds like a history lesson, but hits like an egg, in the reader’s face because the French Revolution was about basic rights. It was about access to food and social services.

The way forward in this case was that the people needed to overthrow those in power; those aristocrats and plump business moguls that turned a blind eye to the harm being caused to the people.
Remind you of anyone, Brian?

The reason people are protesting is not that they’re absentmindedly trying to bring back the communist revolution or the revolts of 1917.

People are looking at competing ideologies and seeing that there is one that better supports communities, marginalized people, and the individuals in society; neighbours and friends.

The current PC government is not helping community growth.

It is willfully stifling education, and people are angry.

People did not protest the liberal government this much, because the rights and services that people use and need in their day-to-day lives were not being threatened.

There is a lot wrong with the new policies, and you might be surprised Brian, but it’s not all about the budget.

Our world is in a global climate crisis and our province is encouraging the bulldozing of the small amount of green space we have left in this part of Southern Ontario.

(A brief aside (again), just because the previous government was not one you agree with, does not mean that everything counter to it is right. The Liberals in Ontario also had huge issues with spending, but they did not go out of their way to crush the people they were supposed to be governing.)

It comes down to what kind of province you want to live in, or what kind of country?

Is it a place where everyone needs to fend for themselves, scrape by on the dregs of a carefully crafted upper class, or one where people can live and build together, with mindful advances and cooperation?

For most young people, this question is an easy one. We can no longer look at the older generation and find safety in their example.
It’s up to us to forge a better path forward.

So, you don’t like communism. That’s fine, you were probably raised on dastardly stories of the cold war, raised to hate those who are different. Raised to love-hate.

This is where I want to try and answer the ignominious question from the May 6 article where Lilley asks, “Why do we give communists a pass?” just before explaining why we don’t do the same for Nazi’s.

Dude, seriously?

In addition to all of the above, I cannot handle when people who should know better – who have a public platform – say objectively misleading statements because they don’t consider history or the present.

Lilley attempts to use Venezuela as a cover-all example – in the same way he did on May 2 – and points out that “defenders of communism” tell him that the governing structure “hasn’t been done properly yet” he follows this discussion by pulling a Dwight Schrute and saying “Wrong. Communism always ends this way.”

Important to note, Lilley also provides the reason that “communism always ends” in death.

“Democratic socialism that has morphed into communist dictatorship” he says is always the “end result”.

While, yes, that has happened in the past, any journalist who makes sweeping claims in absolutes is inviting to be proven stupid.

Yes, the people protesting are wearing communist garb, but Lilley insinuates that they are advocates for a dictatorship through their ignorance.

If they are, show me. Don’t use a guillotine, symbol of the French Revolution where the balance of power swung back to the people who formed a democratic-socialist government (after an admittedly long period of uncertainty) to prove to me that people are advocating for a communist-dictatorship. Stay on topic.

They were protesting cuts to the health care system.

Cuts that health care professionals say will increase hallway care, increase wait times, decrease accessibility and increase the access to people who can pay to get out of the public system.

If public health care is the bread, and private healthcare is the cake, maybe the French Revolution isn’t such a bad analogy after all.

The whole mess here comes down to what kind of society people want to live in, and Lilley makes it very clear that he is not on the side of the people.

This is not front page “news.” Stories and opinions like Lilley’s help to reinforce the hate that so many people around us grew up with.

This narrative does not encourage unlearning, it does not encourage learning. The people most at risk of doing the most harm to our society are those who will see Lilley as justification to keep messing with our fellow citizens, our province, and our world.

Smarten up. “The commies” are not what is wrong with our Province.

Written by
Jack Fisher

Jack Fisher is an independent journalist. He holds a BAH from the University of Guelph, and a post-graduate certificate from Sheridan College in journalism.
@Jack_Fisher_4 on Twitter and Instagram

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Written by Jack Fisher