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Klein: Believes in freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, but …

Posted on April 29, 2021 by Maple Creek

To the Editor of the Maple Creek News:

I’m disappointed in the article(s) that appeared in the Maple Creek News regarding the rally that was held in Maple Creek. It lacked counter-argument from the 99% of us that didn’t attend. Instead, there was a full page of photos celebrating the event and an article which was completely one-sided. The editorial commentary justified leaving fake news and false health information on your Facebook page. This was not journalism.
Before you go calling me a communist or a ‘sheeple’ (whatever that is) I want to state I believe in free speech and I believe in our right for peaceful assembly. I also believe a strong business community equals a strong community. I’m not advocating for the boycotting of businesses; I want us all to succeed.
However, I have two primary objections to this event. First, is the poor timing. We are in the middle of a covid outbreak and this rally will only help further spread covid. Not only does this put our seniors and other vulnerable people at risk, it also puts our youth at risk. It put us ALL at risk. Maybe the number of deaths from covid has been relatively low, but the number of people who are facing debilitating health effects from stroke, heart, lung and brain issues is staggeringly high (I expect this will be covid’s real legacy). In addition to the health impacts, prolonging the spread of covid in our community is only going to prolong the negative impact on our struggling business community and hurt the efforts of our health care workers.
My second issue is the choice of speaker and his historical use of hate-filled language including praising Hitler (I’m not going to quote him here, because it’s the vilest of the vile). I’ll give the organizers the benefit of the doubt; maybe they didn’t research him enough to know he was a well-known hate speaker. But once they knew, this rally should have been cancelled.  I know the speaker’s belief that ‘all races are not created equal’ is not shared in the community. We have a responsibility to stand up to hate.
Canada is an amazing country. We all have a lot of freedoms, but those freedoms have always been limited.
We generally call those limitations ‘laws’ and we follow those laws to the benefit of our communities and society-at-large. I think we can all agree that covid sucks. I think we can all agree that we’d like to put the pandemic in our rearview mirrors. The only way we are going to get there is as a community. Together. I pray and have faith that Maple Creek will stick together to keep our neighbors and families safe.
Let’s stick it to covid; not each other.

Best regards,
Mike Klein

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