Opinion: Canadians right to stop estate from funding neo-Nazis

Vermonters are generally decent and non-discriminatory citizens with respect for our fellow human beings and, in the words of George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, “answer to that of God in every one.” We find it fascinating to read an article in the recent quarterly issue of the “Intelligence Report,” a journal put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SCPLC), about a legal dispute in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
The subject was a report on a legal battle over the will of a declared Nazi Canadian citizen who wished to donate his estate to the USA “National Alliance” (“NA”), a neo-Nazi group with a reputation for violence. The amount in question was about $220,000 in cash, plus a collection of ancient Roman and Greek coins of unknown value.
In the article, many NA statements were quoted, the mildest of which from the NA “Foundation Document” follows:
“We must again have a racially clean area of the earth for the further development of our people. … We must have no non-Whites in our living space, and we must have an open space around us for expansion. We will do whatever is necessary to achieve this White living space and keep it White. We will not be deterred by the difficulty or temporary unpleasantness involved, because we realize that it is absolutely necessary for our racial survival.”
The deceased’s will was challenged by his estranged sister and brother. Legal support was provided by the SPLC and similar Canadian organizations. Judge Grant’s decision to negate the will was based on the “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms” and on Canadian law that makes “public incitement of hatred” and “willfully promoting hatred against any identifiable group” a criminal offense. Judge Grant (whose decision has been appealed as expected) described the NA statements as “disgusting, repugnant and revolting.
We in the Middlebury Friends Meeting (Quakers) find this event a small but significant challenge to our spiritual lives and beliefs. It is difficult to envisage practical actions against such prejudice, intolerance and hate, but to recognize and publicize what such groups are responsible for is a first step toward their elimination.
Stewart Kirkaldy
On behalf of the Middlebury Friends Meeting

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