SASKATOON — There are calls for the head of an Indigenous veterans group to step down because of controversial social media posts about gay people, Muslims and women.
Jesse Donovan, who was a reservist from 2011 to 2013, has started a petition saying Richard Blackwolf should resign as president of the Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association.
"His group claims to represent me, so that is very troubling to me to see someone who purports to be my leader making these discriminatory, hateful statements which I completely disagree with," Donovan said Wednesday.
Blackwolf and the Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association could not immediately be reached for comment.
His group claims to represent me, so that is very troubling to me to see someone who purports to be my leader making these discriminatory, hateful statements which I completely disagree with.Jesse Donovan
Donovan's concern started when he saw posts on Blackwolf's Facebook page. The posts are no longer up, but Donovan took screen grabs of the images.
One post said the Calgary Pride parade was a "parade of mutations and deviations" and a graphic also posted suggested Islam only offers violent acts such as beheadings.
Donovan, a research assistant at the University of Saskatchewan law school, says the post about Islam is "a gross misrepresentation of the religion."
"It's very strange coming from the leader of a veterans organization, because forming relationships with the Muslim communities in countries like Afghanistan is very important without denigrating their religion," said Donovan.
'Perilously close to hate speech'
He said he feels the post about the Calgary Pride parade "comes perilously close to hate speech."
"What that does is dehumanizes and vilifies a segment of society that has already experienced considerable discrimination throughout history."
Another post was sexist towards women with left-wing political views, said Donovan.
The post, above a picture of U.S. President Donald Trump's wife, Melania, and his daughter, Ivanka, read: "The further left you go the Ugly index increases Exponentially" compared to the "well maintained beautiful and intelligent women on the Right."
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