Public sector executives received a 'triggering' lecture last month from the Department of National Defence as they learned their implicit racial biases and white supremacy "completely infected" Canada.
On December 13, social justice professor Rachel Zellars from Saint Mary's University graced the attendees at an EX Town Hall event with her insight on the topic. Deputy Minister of National Defence Bill Matthews and Associate Deputy Minister Stefanie Beck joined her on stage in solidarity.
"White supremacy is a global problem that has completely infected our nation," said Zellers. "It comes in all shapes and sizes and cleans up real good."
According to the recap provided by National Defence, the controversial keynote speaker expressly referred to the Freedom Convoy in her remarks.
National Post columnist Jonathan Kay took aim at the conversation, expressing grave concerns about the Canadian military's combat readiness. "The next time Canada goes to war, we're going to blow our enemies away with our knowledge of anti-oppressive praxis, intersectionality, decolonization, and trauma-informed pronoun usage," he tweeted.
The talk aligned with the department's growing obsession with tackling allegations of systemic racism within the armed forces.
In May 2022, the Ministry of Defence released a report documenting white supremacy as one of the more significant problems plaguing the Canadian military.
The final report of the Minister of National Defence Advisory Panel on Systemic Racism and Discrimination includes a 15-page glossary defining terms such as "ableism," "cisgender," and "invisible disabilities." Within the 108-page report, its authors claimed the country is inherently racist and recommended that monotheistic religions like Christianity have no place in the military.
"The failure of the Defence Team to be representative of Canadian demographics is rooted in the system created by European settlers," the report reads. Without corroborating evidence, it also claimed that Canada has "300 active far-right extremist groups" operating in the country.
The report recommended the military adopt discriminatory hiring practices that target specific religious organizations, including Christian religious leaders. "Indigenous Peoples have suffered unimaginable generational trauma and genocide at the hands of Christian religious leaders through initiatives such as Residential Schools and Indian Day School programs," it reads.
Last December, the Department of National Defence held an "ask me anything" event on "white fragility." It shared "pertinent information related to allyship" and discussed how to dismantle systemic racism through several anecdotal accounts.
Controversial author Robin DiAngelo coined the term "white fragility" in a book with the same moniker. In her literature, she writes, "White identity is inherently racist; white people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy."
"White people raised in Western society are conditioned into a white supremacist worldview because it is the bedrock of our society and its institutions," continues DiAngelo. "Entering the conversation with this understanding is freeing because it allows us to focus on how — rather than if — our racism is manifest."