We stand in solidarity with victims of hate in Hamilton and call for a thorough investigation into the alarming voicemail messages recently left for the office staff of Ward 3, home to the city’s only racialized councillor. We stand in solidarity with Councillor Nann and the Ward 3 staff.
The timing of these calls highlights how hatred, intolerance and exclusion already present in our community may be triggered by influences south of the border. In the days following insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the malicious caller issued violent and threatening messages toward Black people and cited contacts with far-right and white-nationalist groups. These disturbing calls follow on the surge in local hate incidences after the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. President in January 2017.
We must acknowledge our society’s own complicity in allowing hate to grow and work to keep it at bay. Hamilton has among the highest rates of hate crimes and hate incidences in the country, and this should compel us to examine the structures and practices that have allowed for this dubious distinction. It also points to the need for loud and unequivocal checking of hate manifestations as they occur.
We echo Cllr Nann’s commitment to “report the act of hate, speak about it and act with an even deeper commitment to democracy, accountability and justice.”
As Hamilton celebrated Lincoln Alexander yesterday, “a man who rose above existing prejudices and racism to help shape the diverse and inclusive country that we live in today” (quote from Hamilton Police Service statement), we urge HPS to fully investigate these incidences of hate, including any ties with far-right and white-nationalist groups involved, and to set a high bar for addressing it.
We also call on Mayor Fred Eisenberger and every member of City Council to denounce these incidents and to respond to them with the full power of their offices.
No Hate in the Hammer is the Hamilton coalition of individuals and organizations working together to make Hamilton a truly inclusive city where everyone is free from all forms of hate.