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Paul Fromm: The Lonely Voice of Canadian Hate

By Alexander Zaitchik on August 20, 2010 - 2:49 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Last week, a slew of Canadian media outlets reported that the country’s most notorious white supremacist, Paul Fromm, had organized a protest against a boat of Tamil asylum seekers docked near Victoria, British Columbia. In a rare group show of interest in Fromm’s thoughts, the Canadian press allowed him to broadcast his desire to curtail non-white immigration and maintain “ethnic balance.”

Fromm, who founded and directs the hate-spewing, but mildly titled Canada First Immigration Reform Committee, is one of very few veteran professional racists in Canada. Fromm is also popular in the U.S., where he serves in a leadership position for the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens and spends a lot of time speaking at events put on by other American racist groups.As noted in Canada’s National Post, Fromm’s campaign against the recently arrived Tamil refugees “began last month from his home in Ontario, with impassioned messages posted to Stormfront.org, the Florida-based neo-Nazi website of which he is a ‘sustaining member’ and radio host.” Previous to his appearance in British Columbia, Fromm led a group of Aryan Guard skinheads to the office of Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, where they presented him with a letter demanding the Tamils be denied asylum.

This is not the first time Fromm has managed to gain a hearing for his views in mainstream outlets. In 2008, Fromm appeared on Fox News as a “free speech activist,” despite the fact that his license to teach high school in Ontario had recently been revoked for his activism against non-white immigration and ties to the Canadian neo-Nazi group Heritage Front.

Fromm’s recent media coup in British Columbia also spotlighted about two-dozen fellow protestors who shared his “Keep Canada White” message. According to those who monitor extremism and the immigration debate in Canada, this small number of protestors is representative of Fromm’s infinitesimal following. Despite the addition of more than 250,000 immigrants each year to Canada’s relatively small population, observers say there has been no groundswell of anti-immigration sentiment among the public comparable to that seen in the United States in recent years.

“There are no extremist groups organizing around immigration to speak of,” says Paul St. Clair, executive director of the Roma Center in Toronto. “It’s just not a political issue the way it is in the States, even though we sometimes see little flare ups when a boat of refugees appears like the Tamil ship. Canadians welcome immigrants and want to naturalize them because we need their taxes to pay for our pensions. We could use an additional 100,000 a year and the government is streamlining the asylum process. This is widely understood as a positive development.”

Each year, roughly 300 hate crimes are reported in Canada, the vast majority of these cases limited to graffiti. The number has risen slightly in recent years, but observers attribute this mostly to increased awareness and reporting. Very few of these incidents deal with immigrants or refugees. Still fewer are violent.

“There is a different sensibility with regard to immigrants and refugees in Canada,” says Bernie Farber, who heads the Canadian Jewish Congress in Toronto. “In the 1970s, Vietnamese boat people were at first resisted by some, and now they are accepted as stalwart citizens. Even our current Conservative government is very clear: Canada is a refuge for those seeking asylum. Not a single MP has made the kind of comments you see being made in the United States Congress.”

Paul Fromm’s prospects for growing a constituency and fueling a backlash against refugees and immigrants, says Farber, are as grim as ever, despite the increasing influx of immigrants from around the world.

“I remain shocked when legitimate media give him even a modicum of credibility,” says Farber. “It’s like the New York Times giving Don Black credibility on immigration matters. David Irving and David Duke are [Fromm’s] friends; he is a white supremacist. He holds no view that is in any shape or form even a minimal view here in Canada.”

  • SAS

    Canada is still a very very tolerant country…….I hope it lasts.

  • american wetback

    just like in the u.s. pretty soon those old tea party racists will realize that we need new hard working blood to sustain the drain they are causing in their pension system, just look at how many are taking advantage of the social security system which they like to use to bash the democrats with. “limited government. but i still want my check.” :)

  • nos

    “It is entirely legitimate that Paul Fromm be described as a free speech activist, as his work through the Canadian Association for Free Expression which he founded in 1981 attests too that fact.”

    Funny that, because back in the 60s and 70s he was part of an organization (the Edmund Burke Society which he founded and which later became the Western Guard) which actively sought to shut down people they disagreed with. The used violence and shouted down their opponents. Add to this Fromm’s censorship of opposing, though polite, viewpoints on social networking groups he has a hand in, well, I sort of call into question his commitment to free speech.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    How many times do you need to be reminded that America never needed a “post-hoc” justification for entering WWII. Germany fired on US ships without the US declaring war on her, Germany attacked and sank British ships as early as 3 September, instead of heeding Britain’s weak ultimatum to negotiate(in which they could have easily received Dresden). Germany deliberately expanded the war as it had planned from the beginning, and conquered and occupied a number of countries including neutral ones. The nature of Germany’s pact with Japan also didn’t require Germany to declare war on any enemy of Japan. This is why Germany was at war with the USSR whereas Japan had a non-aggression treaty with the latter that went all the way to August 1945.

    On your second point, if trying to minimize the crimes of the Nazis isn’t about legitimizing the Nazis, then what is the point of it. Tell me what is the aim of trying to show that instead of say, 4.8-6 million Jews(commonly acceptable numbers), only 3 million Jews died? Moreover, the focus on the Holocaust actually does minimize Hitler’s death toll in a way. This man started a war which in the end killed 50 million people. Yet because the Holocaust as it is termed claimed about 12 million lives(Jew and non-Jew alike), people often come up with the calculation that Hitler killled only 12 million or so people, leading to idiotic claims like “Stalin killed more people than Hitler!!!”

  • B.B.

    The Holocaust was not necessary to “legitimize” US entry into WWII. Japan attacked, Germany declared war.

    As I said, the holocaust is a post-hoc justification for the moral rightness of American (and British) intervention in Germany during WWII. Germany declared war on the U.S because of American government supported the British.

    And while people don’t automatically become Nazis by being around them, there is a reason why these people attract so many Nazis. They legitimize Nazi Germany.

    To claim that Nazi Germany committed massive crimes against humanity, but they were somewhat less massive than mainstream accounts is hardly a moral legitimization of the Third Reich. For sure, Nazi’s have an interest in minimizing the holocaust, but other groups do as well for other reasons.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    The Holocaust was not necessary to “legitimize” US entry into WWII. Japan attacked, Germany declared war. The first act alone quickly changed the minds of even many isolationists at the time.

    The guarantee of Poland existed because Britain wanted to appear as though it would make a stand somewhere against German expansion. The thing is though, that the areas which were mostly German clearly weren’t all that Germany wanted. If that were the case they could have quickly seized such areas, and then after 3 September pulled their armies out of Poland and started negotiating with Britain(which is basically what they wanted). They most likely would have been able to keep Danzig because Britain would do nothing about that. Instead they tried to take all of pre-war Poland(and were stopped by the Red Army), and even ethnically cleansed Polish areas and resettled them with Germans(Wartheland).

    And while people don’t automatically become Nazis by being around them, there is a reason why these people attract so many Nazis. They legitimize Nazi Germany.

  • B.B.

    Carter, I find this supposed connection between minimizing the holocaust and idealizing the “Wild West” tenuous at best.

  • Carter

    “I don’t understand why the SPLC, ADL and other such organizations treat these situations like some sinister crypto-Nazi plot.”

    Perhaps because by minimizing the Holocaust the similar social agenda is put forward by those who idealize the “Wild West”.
    What better way to forget the “Trail Of Tears”, the use of germ-warfare against native peoples, the slaughter of women and children, the destruction of homelands, homes, families, friends, and neighbors.
    John Wayne (the Draft Dodger) typifies & idealizes the “hero” that “defends” those who are “victimized” by “savages”, “red-skins”, half breeds, & a whole host of devils who want to destroy the white man who “civilizes” the “Wild West”.

    When one minimizes suffering, it becomes much more excusable.

    “Oh it wasn’t six million, it was MAYBE three or four million”. “There were NO gas chambers, it was typhus.” (You know; because Jews are dirty: boxcars had nothing to do with it”.)

    “The Red-skins were murdering our missionaries who were only trying to bring them to heaven!”

    Or perhaps they (the “civilizers”) forcibly took them from there and threatened them with the alternative. Perhaps they arose against slavery, of which they saw ample example?
    Just how many “Promises”, treaties, & sworn statements from the white leaders were broken? How much of that is anyone going to put up with & not strike back?
    They (the promises & treaties) were broken for greed, for potential profit, & because when you de-humanize a person, your “relationship” to that person becomes less than a promise to an animal.

    In the Nazi film “The Eternal Jew” the theme of the movie was to demonize and the comparison to vermin.
    The statement: “Oh they breed like rats.” is used today with several other groups….

    The colonizers came to this land to escape from religious persecution & to find religious freedom. How much of that freedom were they allowing the indigenous peoples to have?

    ……Just about the same as the Nazis allowed the Jews and Gypsies to have in their wonderful (& ever expanding) Germanic world.

    Today we KNOW that not all Germans are or were Nazis just as we know that not all colonizers were oath-breakers, murders, & lairs. But when someone rationalizes & intellectualizes the horrors that were undeniable; the truth seems to break free at some point!

  • B.B.

    B.B., the Holocaust had nothing to do with America entering WWII.

    Of course it didn’t. But post-war it was used extensively as a means of validating it.

    The US declared war on Japan and Hitler stupidly declared war on the US on 11 Dec 1941, at a time when Roosevelt never would have been able to make such a declaration.

    It is of my understanding that Britain (and France) had a treaty with Poland that if Germany invades them, Britain would protect them. Germany’s pretext for invading Poland was that it wanted to recover regions that were predominately ethnic German at the time.

    Ounce Britain was involved in the war, the United States got involved by enacted various pieces of legislation and policies that benefited Britain, such as the Lend-Lease Act. It was because the United States favored Britain that Hitler declared war on the U.S.

    At least, that is how I remember the basic story. Forgive me if I am wrong, as it has been awhile since I have read up on this issue, so I’m a bit rusty.

    As for Holocaust minimization, you may want to explain what you mean exactly, because Holocaust deniers invariably have some ties to neo-Nazis.

    You don’t become a Nazi by osmosis. Associating with a Nazi doesn’t automatically make you one yourself. I’d think it rather obvious, to be a Nazi is to accept the tenants of National Socialism, whatever they may be.

    People with differing ideologies sometimes have some mutual agreement on a few issues for differing reasons. These people, though disagreeing politically in many ways often come together to discuss these issues of mutual agreement. I don’t understand why the SPLC, ADL and other such organizations treat these situations like some sinister crypto-Nazi plot.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    B.B., the Holocaust had nothing to do with America entering WWII. The US declared war on Japan and Hitler stupidly declared war on the US on 11 Dec 1941, at a time when Roosevelt never would have been able to make such a declaration.

    As for Holocaust minimization, you may want to explain what you mean exactly, because Holocaust deniers invariably have some ties to neo-Nazis.

  • B.B.

    And a Holocaust denier is unavoidably an apologist for the Nazis; in other words, a Nazi sympathizer. In sum, Holocaust denial is hate speech, and there’s no good reason to tolerate it.

    It is obviously false to claim that all holocaust minimizers are invariably Nazi sympathizers. There are many reasons why someone would minimize the extent of the holocaust. Ignoring the possibility that they are right, and going straight to tactical political considerations, for instance minimizing the extant of the holocaust legitimizes opposition to American entry into WWII and by extension the legitimacy of other wars which pacifists consider unjust. It also casts modern Jewish organizations and political movements in a negative light because the mainstream view of the holocaust has played an integral role in their political activism.

    Holocaust minimization has been espoused by numerous people of diverse political orientations (libertarian, paleo-conservative, left-wing socialist, islamist, anarchist, etc). Many holocaust minimizers have expressed disgust with the Third Reich’s treatment of Jews and its policies in general.

    I really hated the Bush presidency, but I think it is ridiculous that people often compare him to Hitler. Am I a Bush apologist just because I don’t think Bush is on the level of Hitler?

  • Carter

    “CM” made the point that ” [A] Holocaust denier is unavoidably an apologist for the Nazis; in other words, a Nazi sympathizer.”
    Quite likely true…
    In encapsulation [CM further stated]:
    “In sum, Holocaust denial is hate speech, and there’s no good reason to tolerate it.”

    There may be one VERY good reason to allow it in the USA. Depending upon it’s contextual offering and it’s method of presentation, it may be a very significant 1st Amendment issue.

    Obviously, that no reason to endorse it or even believe it. But the moment we bring the 1st Amdt. issues from “shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” into some form of doctrine we find repulsive, repugnant, or lies, we start down a dangerous slippery slope.

    Perhaps the reason why Paul Fromm is so lonely up there in Canada is that the majority has a higher level of intellect – or maybe they’re just lucky….. who knows?

    However, one of the most self destructive things we can do with our Bill of Rights is to “pick & choose” those (Rights) we like or those we personally intemperate in our individual political perspective. This may be one of the most challenging things a mature individual can do.

    During WWII the NAZIs were HERE (in the USA) in the form of the German American Bund. There were enough clear thinking individuals then that they made little progress beyond Madison Square Garden & ten’s of thousands of members..
    And we also had a President who put the rest of them and others in “Camps”.
    We must NEVER forget that the USA put individuals in Camps & took their livelihoods because of their nationality. One of the most highly decorated individual units in the Armed Forces during that War was a group of Americans with Japanese ancestry.

    Let that level of shame never befall our nation again.
    And it may not….IF we never forget what slippery slopes can lead to.
    We didn’t “Win the West”; we committed Genocide on an unimaginable scale.
    EVERYONE has feet of clay.

  • CM

    Pure coincidence, but the first Holocaust denier I ever met in person was a guy who had emigrated from Canada to the U.S. Maybe there’s something to this idea of restricting immigration after all.

    One thing I learned from this guy (indirectly of course) is that Holocaust denial is inherently anti-Semitic, despite the claims that “I’m not anti-Semitic, I’m anti-Zionist.” And a Holocaust denier is unavoidably an apologist for the Nazis; in other words, a Nazi sympathizer. In sum, Holocaust denial is hate speech, and there’s no good reason to tolerate it.

  • B.B.

    In 2008, Fromm appeared on Fox News as a “free speech activist,” despite the fact that his license to teach high school in Ontario had recently been revoked for his activism against non-white immigration and ties to the Canadian neo-Nazi group Heritage Front.

    An odd usage of the word “despite”. You seem to be saying that activism in favor of free speech and activism against further mass immigration into Canada are somehow mutually exclusive positions. A notion I find completely incoherent.

    It is entirely legitimate that Paul Fromm be described as a free speech activist, as his work through the Canadian Association for Free Expression which he founded in 1981 attests too that fact. You may object to the fact that it is focused on defending the speech of people on the far-right with views that Fromm is likely sympathetic too, but that doesn’t invalidate his being labeled a free speech activist. It is unsurprising that people are the most passionate when defending the free speech of people they agree with.

    For instance, I rarely hear leftists who have expended a great deal of energy complaining about the excesses of McCarthyism during the 1950′s expressing much interest in the imprisonment of holocaust deniers in Europe that is still going on today.

  • Paen

    If Fromm was hanging immigrants from tree and running around in a white sheet there would still be idiots to whine that he’s not racist and what a fine fellow he is.
    Mr.Braidfute might have a point though about not letting just any one breed because folks like him should not be reproducing themselves.

  • Bhanu Tiwari

    As soon as I surfed to the stunning The End Of Nations Hub on Hubpages I convinced myself that SPLcenter’s readers really must have their say on this link! http://hubpages.com/hub/Global.....Of-Nations

  • daemonesslisa

    Paul Fromm has recently come to the defense of a mentally ill woman named Michelle Erstikaitis. The defense: she’s being imprisoned for her white nationalist views…even though she’s made little to no mention of any views of the kind (she’s in prison for arson). Just because this woman—who has been in and out of mental institutions—wrote love letters to Timothy McVeigh, apparently Mr. Fromm thinks that equals support for white nationalism.

    http://anti-racistcanada.blogs.....helle.html

    Francis, the only people that Paul Fromm is putting to shame are himself and anyone stupid enough to support him.

  • Mindy

    Paul Fromm is a disgrace, and to say he is open-minded, tolerant, open or sincere in any way is simply laughable. He promotes a kind of cowardly ‘rhinestone racism’, hiding behind prettied-up language andnotions of ‘free speech’, all the while holding those not like him (thankfully few) in contempt. I feel sorry for all those students over the years who were under the tutelage of such a hateful human being.

  • http://in-gods-name.blogspot.com/ Francis Marion Braidfute

    Well I’ve spoken to Mr. Fromm, and he certainly doesn’t fit my definition of ‘white supremacist’ at all. To the contrary, he is far more open about discussing his views, hearing alternative views, and a discussion on facts, than anyone I have come across on this SPLC website, where all you people seem to do to anyone who provides you with facts or opionions is to scream ‘racist’…, its as if some of you are still in the dark ages, and just found a new word for ‘witch’ and ‘heretic’.

    To you it appears that anyone who does not agree with you.. is a ‘racist’.. you have absolutely no interest in stepping out of your ideological hateboxes, and just lisenting with an open mind to another person’s point of view, to their experiences, to what the foundation is for their opinion.

    I don’t agree with Paul Fromm on all, and neither would we feel obliged to, but I can say he is more than willing to listen to another point of view, to enquire into evidentiary facts etc..

    He puts you people to shame when it comes to sincere tolerance and sincere scientific enquiry based on facts…