“We are deeply concerned that incidents of hate crime rose yet again in Canada in 2021. This disturbing trend clearly proves the need for proactive measures to stop the rising hate targeting diverse Canadians based on their identity.” - Shimon Koffler Fogel, President & CEO, CIJA
Statistics Canada released police-reported hate crime data for 2021 revealing, once again, that hate crimes targeting the Jewish and Black populations remained the most common reported by police.
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Last weekend, British rapper Tyron Frampton (stage-name Slowthai), performed at Osheaga, a large annual outdoor music festival in Montreal, wearing a T- shirt emblazoned with a large red swastika.
The T-shirt was a replica of British designer Vivienne Westwood’s 1977 anti-fascism piece. Research showed that he has a history of using attention-getting ploys to drive media interest.
Whatever the intent of the T-shirt, most concertgoers only saw a musician sporting hateful symbolism. When it comes to antisemitism and the swastika, CIJA’s position is that there should be no room for confusion.
We determined that both Slowthai and Evenko had failed: Slowthai should have known better than to wear a T-shirt with a Nazi symbol on a public stage; and Osheaga’s organizers, Evenko, should have required that the musician change his shirt before his performance.
We demanded an apology from both the performer and the event organizer in a way that did not effectively reward the performer’s disgraceful behavior with free publicity. We sent letters to Evenko and to Slowthai via his agent. Read those letters here.
Both the festival organizer Evenko and Frampton issued public apologies. Pursuant to receiving our letter, we held a productive discussion with Evenko where they acknowledged their culpability and where things went wrong, and pledged that such a display would never happen again. We look forward to continuing our conversation with Evenko.
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Osheaga music festival apologizes after British rapper appears in shirt with swastika (Globe and Mail)
Osheaga festival apologizes after rapper performs in T-shirt emblazoned with swastika (CBC)
Race relations foundation urges more help for victims as hate crimes rise further (National Post)
Statistics Canada is reporting that Jews remained the religious group most frequently targeted by hate crimes in 2021 (The CJN)
Canadian Jews under attack: Close to 50% rise in hate crimes towards Jews in 2021 (JPost)
StatsCan Data Shows Hate Crime Up in Canada (CP24)
Increase in Hate Crimes (CTV News Toronto)
Director of Government Relations (Ontario)
Associate Director, Partnerships and Community Engagement
Executive Director – Atlantic Jewish Council
Vice President Operations - Jewish Federation of Ottawa
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