(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
By: Candice Malcolm
June 19, 2018
When is it OK to publish a photo of a migrant?
The Conservative Party of Canada released an ad showing a man walking into Canada at an unofficial border crossing. The man, wearing nice clothes and pulling a new suitcase, is shown walking over Prime Minister Trudeau’s infamous “Canada will welcome you” tweet.
If you look closely — I didn’t even notice at first — the man is Haitian.
Because of this innocuous fact, according to the self-appointed political correctness police on social media, the ad was deemed racist.
Liberal activists like former party leader Bob Rae and reporter Dale Smith jumped in to criticize the Conservatives for daring to show a dark-skinned migrant in their ad.
Radio host Charles Adler boasted on Twitter about pressuring Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to take down the ad, in a series of Tweets he has since deleted.
And just like that, the ad was taken down. The Conservatives folded to the slighted bit of pressure, and tacitly admitted there was something wrong with the ad.
But wait a minute, what was wrong with the ad?
The image was from a real photo, taken at Roxham Road. It was shot by Associated Press photographer Charles Krupa, and was used in several media stories on the border crisis. The man is identified as Haitian in some of the descriptions.
Far from a disingenuous depiction of the situation at our border, the image accurately represents what is going on at Roxham Road.
The top two countries of asylum seekers are Nigeria and Haiti. Eritrea and Somalia are also in the top 10.
When I visited Roxham Road in April and saw migrants streaming across the border illegally, they were all African.
This isn’t fear-mongering. It isn’t racism. It’s simply the reality on the ground.
But a handful of loudmouth activists, possessed by identity politics and consumed by political correctness, insist on censoring the truth. They don’t trust Canadians, and think that merely showing images of actual people crossing into our country will spark some kind of racist, xenophobic backlash.
Ironically, these sorts of activists are the same people who jump to exploit images of migrants when it suits their agenda and allows them to manipulate the story.
Think back to September 2015, when hundreds of boats began leaving North Africa to cross illegally into Europe.
Three-year-old Alan Kurdi was on his father’s boat, which capsized and the boy’s lifeless body washed ashore on a beach in Turkey. The heart-breaking image of the dead child was politicized and used to demand sympathy for Syrian migrants.
False media reports claimed the boy’s family was rejected by the Canadian immigration department, and almost no media outlet reported that his father — now charged with several counts of human trafficking — wasn’t fleeing war, he was going to Greece for a dentist appointment.
The boy’s tragic, senseless death was the result of a reckless father’s actions — and had nothing to do with Canada’s response to the migrant crisis.
But that’s the thing about images of migrants. According to Liberal orthodoxy, it’s OK to show images of migrants, so long as the goal is to push for open borders.
When the story shifts, and people are concerned about migrants breaking laws and taking advantage of our generosity, it becomes racist and wrong to show these...(READ MORE)