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MRU prof vows to battle the ‘woke’ culture trying to take her down

Widdowson said the BLM movement has “destroyed MRU” and she “doesn’t recognize the institution anymore”, adding professors will “strike” either Tuesday or Wednesday to make a point about racial inequity.

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Frances Widdowson is surrounded on all sides.

The Mount Royal University professor is conducting a “crazy” battle against what she calls the new “woke” crowd. She’s being fought by the public, students and even fellow faculty members at the southwest Calgary university because she has voiced opinions they have deemed to be objectionable.

But when things seem to be at their most bleak, Widdowson remembers a quote from the great British war-time hero Winston Churchill.

“Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured,” Churchill said.

“I have been fighting this for 12 years. We are at a time where anytime someone disagrees with something, people feel they should suffer consequences,” said Widdowson.

“I’m now thriving in a strange way. I have reverted into satire. I will fight these people.

“I can’t enter into rational discussion with these people so I will continue to mock (anonymous accounts) them.

“Fighting them is good, because you don’t feel defeated.”

Widdowson said a total of 41 fellow faculty members in various fields are against her. But she’s grateful the leaders of the school haven’t spoken to her at all about her positions.

She admits the fact she is tenured at the university makes it easier to lash out. It would be very difficult to fire her.

Widdowson said the Black Lives Matter movement has “destroyed MRU” and she “doesn’t recognize the institution anymore”, adding professors will “strike” either Tuesday or Wednesday and walk out of classes to make a point about racial inequity.

“You’re supposed to be teaching. That’s your job. You can go on strike to protest police brutality but what does it have to do with you?”

“A ‘woke’ faculty is now in charge. This isn’t going to be good.”

For Widdowson, the latest battle was joined after the Wendy Mesley controversy erupted at CBC in June. The veteran broadcaster was pilloried and suspended after she used the N-word twice during a closed staff meeting to quote the title of a book a potential guest had written.

The baying mob of Twitter quickly gathered and took Mesley down, a situation Widdowson found utterly ridiculous.

“It also was revealed that, in September 2019, Mesley had committed the word crime of referring to the title of Pierre Vallières’ book White N….. of America,” said Widdowson in a lengthy interview with the Western Standard.

“In normal times it would have been realized that mentioning someone else’s use of a word is completely different from uttering it yourself, and that even the derogatory word “n…..” can be used non-denotatively without implication by the utterer.

“In the haste to signal virtue in condemning racism, the “woke” are eager to prove their moral purity by punishing completely appropriate actions like those of Wendy Mesley.”

“The most distressing aspect of this story was the grotesque apology that Mesley felt she needed to make.”

Widdowson also blasted Mesley’s colleagues who were quick to pounce on her when blood was in the water.

She also likes to use the term “race hustler.”

“This has been defined as a person who becomes a self-proclaimed spokesperson for a particular racial identity during a perceived incident of racial tension, so that the individual can exploit the situation to serve their own interests,” writes Widdowson, in a yet to be published paper for the September 2020 issue of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship Newsletter.

“The race hustling surrounding Mesley continued at my university when I defended her.”

The issue exploded on June 18 when Widdowson tweeted: “You did nothing wrong @WendyMesleyCBC”.

“I elaborated with the following: “You were using the word in a QUOTE! Shame on CBC for making Mesley grovel’. I then asked “Are we now going to censor Wikipedia?!!!” and attached the relevant entry about “the word” from this source,” she said.

“In all of these posts, I intentionally avoided mentioning the word “n…..” because I was aware of the perfidy of race hustlers. This was until an anonymous twitter account that had lobbied to get me fired a month earlier “innocently” asked: “If the word is so benign, why do you refuse to say it?

“Although I almost never make a reply on twitter (especially to trolls), and I knew I was being set up, I thought that it was important to show the CBC that Mesley had done nothing wrong. I took a deep breath and showed my solidarity with Mesley by mentioning the word in the same way.”

She said her tweet barely caused a ripple, until it was retweeted by an Indigenous member of the faculty at MRU.

The tweet read: “Accordingtothisindigenouscolleague,“[s]tudentsareraisingcritical.awareness [sic] around certain faculty who hide behind academia to spread racist views! No one knows another person’s intent. Focus less on intent and more on outcome.”

What disturbed Widdowson even more was the fact the tweet was “liked” by six other members of the faculty.

“36 professors and other MRU staff and entities expressed their support for what appeared to be an academic mobbing. Over a number of days I was accused of being “anti-Black”, “mak[ing] neo-nazis and white supremacists happy”, “spewing hate”, “us[ing] violent racist slurs”, “outright harassment” and saying that BIPOC students were “less than human”,” she writes.

One colleague even suggested Widdowson had violated the university’s Code of Conduct with the content of her tweets. There were even suggestions offended students should be able to withdraw from her classes, she said.

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“Two members of the faculty association executive board also criticized my actions, and one suggested that I should be reported to my employer for using “derogatory language”.

She thinks fellow faculty are behind the anonymous student Twitter account.

“Students take their lead from the faculty. The faculty gets them all fired up.”

Widdowson then took it up to another level with a tweet that referred to herself as a “C-word.” Our use of quote marks, not hers. She used the full word.

“This action seemed to destabilize the “student-led initiative” of MRU Racial Advocacy, leading the faculty organized Mount Royal Anti-Racism Coalition to spring into action. On August 6, the coalition’s twitter account (@MRUAntiRacism) posted five of my controversial tweets that had been mined over the last year, tagging MRU’s President, the Students’ Association and a local Black Lives Matter group,” she wrote.

“This problem of pandering to race hustling (or to that of any other identity) is also apparent in universities. There is tremendous pressure to appease activists in the hopes that the “storm will pass”.

“Race hustling is a symptom of a wider disease, and it needs to be confronted head on to keep it from metastasizing and destroying the academic character of post-secondary institutions,’ she said.

Widdowson notes every generation of post-secondary educators faced challenges. In the 50’s, it was discussions around religion. In the 60’s, it was the era of McCarthyism.

“The left is being destroyed by ‘wokeism’. They have ten groups all fighting the same thing. There is no commonality on which to start discussions that could lead to change. They are just trying to tear each other apart,” she said.

Widdowson points out the case of Don Cherry, fired Nov. 11 from his job as a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada’s Coach’s Corner, for pointing out he didn’t see immigrants wearing poppies during a drive through downtown Toronto.

“It was politically correct totalitarianism. There was no debate. There were no discussions about what did Don Cherry mean with those comments. They just demanded he be fired,” she said.

“People who agreed (with what Cherry said) were fearful to voice their ideas.

“That’s what universities are supposed to be about, a place to talk about ideas. But now we have university administrations begging faculties to reign in the craziness.

“I’m keeping all my materials in case they come after me. I’m not giving an inch. I will fight them all the way.”

Up next for Widdowson is research into Canada’s residential school history.

“What people don’t realize is that these Indigenous children were able to get an education that normally they wouldn’t have received,” she said adding the term “genocide” to describe residential schools is incorrect.

Widdowson said she knows the baying mobs of Twitter will be back for that one, and she’s ready with a survival list:

  1. stay calm and be strategic;
  2. document everything;
  3. toughen up;
  4. don’t take things personally;
  5. focus on principles, not individuals;
  6. avoid demanding punishment;
  7. build up a supportive network of colleagues with diverse viewpoints;
  8. admit mistakes, but don’t apologize (unless wrongdoing was intentional);
  9. resist appeals for compromise and identify Trojan horses; and
  10. maintain a sense of humour.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Editor of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Police on the hunt for armed killer who gunned down man in Coquitlam Park

Dozens of witnesses potentially saw the shooting occur.

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Police are calling on the public to help them locate the person responsible for killing a 20-year-old man next to a basketball court, where there may have been more than a dozen witnesses.

On April 19, about 6:30 p.m., Coquitlam RCMP members rushed to Town Centre Park to investigate calls of a shooting.

When police arrived, they found Bailey McKinney lying on the ground. He was pronounced dead at scene.

“We believe this was a case of an individual being targeted for murder and not the park itself,” said Sgt. Frank Jang, of the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

“Unfortunately, we know too well that these types of events can happen in any community.”

IHIT has control of the investigation and is working closely with the Coquitlam RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Services and the B.C. Coroners Service to gather evidence.

Now police are looking for anyone who might have seen something, or has other information that would help Mounties nab a suspect.

“We are aware that there were several people in the immediate area when the shooting occurred,” Jang said.

“Many of them fled the scene, understandably, from the shock of having witnessed a shooting. However, if you were one of those people, we need you to come forward now.”

McKinney was known to police, and cops said he had conflict with certain individuals who may be responsible for his murder.

McKinney was due to be in court next month for a litany of charges — including drug charges and assault with a weapon, to using a firearm during a criminal offence, and uttering threats to kill or cause bodily harm — acquired late September when he was involved in crimes in Coquitlam.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the IHIT Information Line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.
mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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They’re home! Police give pupdate on stolen bulldog babies

Three American Bulldog puppies were stolen April 10 during a break and enter.

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With dogged determination, Surrey Mounties have recovered the last two of three puppies stolen 10 days ago.

Three American Bulldog puppies were stolen April 10 during a break and enter at a home in the 17400 block of 8 Avenue.

One of the three stolen pups was quickly returned to the owners two days later, on April 12, when officers, acting on public tips, located one of the puppies that had been sold to an unwary attendee at a car show in Mission, BC.

Then, four days ago, Surrey RCMP Property Crime Target Team found the remaining two puppies. The wee pooches were returned to their owner and then reunited with their mom.
 
RCMP did not give details of the rescue, but did note the owners are very grateful to the public.

“Everyone feels good about being able to return these little pups to their family, and it was made even better by the fact we did it with help from the public,” said Cpl. Dan Barrows, of the Surrey RCMP Property Crime Target Team, said in a release.

“This was a rewarding investigation for our officers.”

The puppies — valued at about $3,000 apiece — were last seen snuggling their mom.

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard. mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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B.C. father of transgender girl to appeal sentence and fine

The father reached a plea bargain deal for a 45-day sentence and 18 months probation – but B.C. Supreme Court Justice Michael Tammen decided to sentence C.D. to six months in jail.

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The B.C. father of a teenaged girl given male hormones against his wishes will appeal his sentence and fine for criminal contempt of court.

C.D., as he was known in court documents, pleaded guilty to the charges last week and was sentenced on Friday. He defied orders not disclose details that would reveal his child’s identity or that of the doctors responsible for cross-gender treatment. 

The father reached a plea bargain deal with prosecutors who recommended a 45-day sentence and 18 months probation. However, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Michael Tammen decided instead to sentence C.D. to six months in jail.

C.D.’s lawyer Carey Linde told the Western Standard he hopes to get his client out on bail while he appeals the sentence.

“We’re doing the bureaucratic steps to try to get him out,” Linde said.

“It depends on what the Crown’s position is going to be. And they’re not going to take a position until they can read the judgment. And the judgment has not been posted yet.”

Linde believes the sentence is excessive, especially given the plea deal.

“The responses that I’m getting from lawyers who are criminal lawyers say that…it’s absurd,” Linde said.

In his decision, Tammen said: “I do not accept (the father’s) intention was otherwise than to attempt to undermine the authority of the courts and overall administration of justice… Moreover, I expressly reject (the father’s) sworn assertion … that he had no desire to share information that would harm (the child).”

Linde said: “The judge has gone off the deep end of law and order. Why? He gave a very reasoned argument, if you agree with him…justifying draconian measures.”

In his decision, Tammen said: “No member of the public can decide when, in what circumstances and which court orders to follow… Unless and until successfully appealed, court orders must be obeyed. They are part of the legal fabric of society and, thus, the law. Without the ability to enforce court orders, and if citizens were free to disregard them at will, there would not be democracy but anarchy.”

Linde believes Tammen never grasped what his client tried to do.

“He never understood it. He kept coming back and talking about you can’t avoid punishment, people aren’t free to go out and break the law because they think it goes against their conscience. But that’s not what civil disobedience is, Civil disobedience, says, ‘I do this in the knowledge and the acceptance of being punished.’ So my client always knew that he would get something.”

In court, C.D. said, “I’ve never once gone after my child for the choice she made wanting to be a male…I only tried to prevent her from making a medical choice she might regret later.”

When asked if he planned to continue his campaign in the future, the father said he had already done his part, adding, “I pass the torch on.”

Tammen granted C.D.’s 46 days jailed in pre-trial custody to count towards the 180-day sentence. C.D.’s crowdfunding website, which contained materials in breach of the court orders, had raised more than $50,000. Tammen instructed the father to donate $30,000 to a children’s charity within six months of his release from jail. Linde also plans to appeal the fine.

Linde said his client’s goal was to raise public awareness on “the school programs [that teach gender fluidity and transgender concepts]; the Infants Act, which allows doctors to do what they’re doing legally; and rapid onset gender dysphoria…You and I are talking, where we wouldn’t have two years ago. These things are moving.”

When asked about his client’s mood following the long sentence, Linde said,

“Obviously, he’s not happy, he would rather it didn’t happen…He doesn’t object to being sentenced…[but feels] he’s been singled out somehow, misunderstood…

“He pled guilty. And his evidence was that he had accomplished what he set out to accomplish. He never asked for any of this. He was a defendant…And he just wants to go back to live as much as he can the life he had before all this happened to him.”

Harding is a Western Standard reporter based in Saskatchewan

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