'Disgusting things to say': Petition calls for removal of Indigenous veterans leader
Social media posts, since removed, maligned LGBT groups, Muslims and left-wing women
A petition launched this week by a Saskatoon man is calling for the removal of the head of Canada's Indigenous veterans because of what he called "disgusting" social media posts.
The posts by Richard Blackwolf label the LGBT community as "mutations and deviations," Muslims as terrorists and pedophiles, and left-wing women as "exponentially" uglier than those on the right.
"These are disgusting things to say," said University of Saskatchewan law student Jesse Donovan.
Donovan, who is Métis, served as an army reservist from 2010-13 in the 15th Field Artillery Regiment when he lived in Vancouver. As a member of the Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association, Donovan said he was shocked to see the Facebook posts of longtime president Blackwolf.
Blackwolf, who is in his mid-70s, served in the navy from 1959 to 1972, followed by a 25-year career in the Department of National Defence, according to a CBC story. A sonar and electronics expert, he spent time in submarines tracking Russian positions during the Cold War.
Donovan said he admired Blackwolf's record of service, but these posts are another matter.
Donovan saved screen shots of Blackwolf's posts, all of which were posted in July of this year on Blackwolf's personal Facebook page. Donovan said Blackwolf deleted them when people began to ask questions.
Comments dehumanize groups, says member behind petition
On July 27, the Calgary Sun newspaper published an editorial about the controversy surrounding uniformed police officers attending Pride parades.
On July 9, Blackwolf posted a graphic titled "Let's discuss what Islam offers." Labels under black stick figures list included pedophilia, rape, slavery, hostage taking, burning people alive.
On July 23, he agreed with another post that theorized right-wing women are better looking.
"The further Left you go, the ugly index increases exponentially," Blackwolf wrote.
Donovan started the petition to remove Blackwolf this week. He said the comments dehumanize and vilify identifiable groups.
Donovan said it's ironic to see these views from the head of a group representing Indigenous military members and veterans, a group which has faced discrimination for decades.
Following the First and Second World Wars, returning Indigenous veterans were denied the farmland and other benefits given to their non-Indigenous brothers-in-arms. In some cases, First Nations land was taken away and given to these non-Indigenous veterans.
"So now it's sad to see discrimination coming from a group that exists to combat discrimination," Donovan said.