At 12:01 am this morning the newsroom strike at the Chronicle Herald officially entered its 12th week. To celebrate the occasion an anonymous scab reporter at the Herald wrote the craziest fucking thing to come out of the paper since the strike began. The story is absolutely incredible – by which I mean it lacks any credibility at all. But it’s also dangerous and xenophobic and plays into the worst stereotypes about muslims, children of colour and immigrants in general.
Racists will use this as proof that immigrants are some sort of otherworldy demons, children from a war torn region of the world who are trying to fit in in a new country have been slandered by anonymous parents talking to an anonymous hack reporter and the Herald has proven definitively that as long as this strike is ongoing it hasn’t just lost its title as Nova Scotia’s paper of record but that it is barely even a newspaper at all.
It’s hard to explain how fucking crazy it is so I will just show you my favourite quotes:
This here is “Missy.” She is one of the two parents quoted anonymously as the only sources to this story. Weirdly the other parent chose not to go by a pseudonym. But Missy always wanted to be called Missy, I guess. Also strangely the reporter does not appear to have tried to speak to the alleged assailants or their parents to get comment. Having once been a child I know that 100% of the things I told my parents in elementary school were completely and totally accurate and should have been portrayed as such in a major newspaper without any attempt by the reporter to verify or double check my story as told by my loving parents. Yup.
This is the fourth paragraph. A real newspaper actually published this! A REAL FUCKING NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED THIS PARAGRAPH. This is some Breitbart or Infowars shit. How did a reporter and an editor, even a scab reporter and scab editor, read this and decide that you can publish it? They assaulted her TWICE using a chain? On the playground? Two days apart they assaulted another student with a chain and tried to choke her to death?!
Was it the same chain? Was it hidden somewhere on site or did they carry it in their bags? Were they riding some sort of War Rig like in Mad Max: Fury Road? Why didn’t the reporter ask these question? Importantly our intrepid journalist friend did make sure to ask if Missy could confirm the size or exact work load limit of the chain. (I am going to go out on a limb and assume that she can’t do either of those things because it doesn’t fucking exist)
I almost don’t even want to acknowledge the idea that the kids yelled “MUSLIMS RULE THE WORLD!” It’s the most outlandish part of the story and the part that should have made the reporter hang up the phone. First, as the article later mentions, the kids don’t even really speak English. That’s an unlikely first sentence for an immigrant child and is more likely to come from the mind of a racist talking to an incompetent reporter. Second, it’s a pretty unlikely thing to just blurt out in heat of the moment. Don’t believe me? Try yelling “MUSLIMS RULE THE WORLD” out loud. Right now. Do it. And try not to laugh afterwards. Just listen to how fucking insane it sounds.
Yo maybe this one actually happened. Athletes love doing this shit and elementary aged kids love doing dumb shit while playing sports. But the reporter writing that “refugee students” do it is totally fucking irresponsible and tars all these kids with the same brush. That throat slashing motion also isn’t a big deal. Like it’s a thing kids should be told to stop doing because it is rude, but it’s only a big deal if you already assume awful things about the person doing it (or in this case if you already assume awful things about ALL THE REFUGEE CHILDREN AT THE SCHOOL BECAUSE THAT’S WHO THE IRRESPONSIBLE REPORTER IS IMPLICATING IN THIS GARBAGE ARTICLE)
What?! They cancelled all intramural sports because some kids may or may not have made an innocuous but rude hand gesture? That seems crazy! There must be a more reasonable explanation for this!
Oh. Well then. Carry on.
(But seriously, if that’s the explanation then maybe that throat slashing thing either didn’t happen or isn’t a big deal)
Yo, bullying is a real things and kids of any age should not be slapping other kids. Schools need to do something about that. But including this incident and to say that the person who slapped this kid did it because they are a refugee is totally… wait… This anecdote doesn’t say anything about the assailant being a refugee at all. This appears to be a totally unrelated incident that was just dropped in to make this xenophobic piece of garbage writing even more inflammatory. Christ all fucking mighty. What a disaster.
(also: why doesn’t she get a cool pseudonym?)
Oh I see. After Missy and the reporter accuse these refugee children of being monsters who choke innocent Canadian girls with chains of unknown strength and imply that they’re little ISIS executioners in training our anonymous journalist and pseudonymous mom think this is just a linguistic misunderstanding. Gotcha. Too bad there aren’t some sort of experts the scab reporter could call up and talk to about the challenges facing refugee children and the institutions that need to try to help them. That might provide some context and reality to this nightmare of an article and we wouldn’t want that.
I don’t want to link to an article at a struck newspaper so full text after the jump: