I started off by sending your parent network a letter to let them know what has been published in your paper, specifically the article titled “Educate First Nations to be Modern Citizens.”
While I am not surprised by the overtly racist opinions that still exist in Canada, I am deeply offended by the notion that you see it fit to publish and spread this hateful speech. Are your advertisers aware that their messages appear beside such regrettable material? Do you think they’ll be keen to advertise in the future? But that’s just business, and is the least of my worries.
What about the human cost?
Do you know what an oppressive world looks like? Do you know what an oppressive world feels like? Do you know that so much of oppression happens because of what people believe? And do you know so much of what people believe is based on what they hear from people and publications that they trust? Do you have any idea of how much power you have? Do you have any idea of how deeply you’ve misused it? How can you sleep knowing that you are actually making the world a worse place to live?
I can tell you what an oppressive world looks like. It looks exactly like your newspaper right now.
I sincerely hope you learn something from this.
Update: Nanaimo Daily has pulled the article, though fortunately and unfortunately, it lives on through the Huffington Post.
Update: Nanaimo Daily’s publisher, Hugh Nicholson, has issued an editorial clarification, in which he states “the letter should not have run“:
In the Wednesday edition of the Nanaimo Daily News, a letter to the editor ran from Mr. Dan Olsen, which has caused considerable consternation among some of our readers.
While we would defend Mr. Olsen’s right to hold and express his opinion, the sentiments expressed were entirely his own and in no way reflect the views of the newspaper.
The letter should not have run.
We apologize for any distress this may have caused our readers.