Humboldt the untouchable: L’affaire Nora Loreto and the uselessness of hate

It is, unquestionably, a catastrophe, and the worst nightmare for dozens of families. A bus carrying a men’s junior hockey team, travelling to a game in small-town Saskatchewan, collides with a large truck carrying cargo, and the resulting crash leads to 14 people suddenly dying. Of the 15 survivors, two will later die from their injuries, and most of the others are still in serious condition — some have permanent paralysis, some are so injured as to be unrecognizable, to the point where one survivor and one deceased were mistaken for one another.

The response to the Humboldt Broncos bus crash has been overwhelming and heartwarming: coast to coast media coverage, statements of support from public figures in Canada and abroad, even a campaign by regular people to leave hockey sticks on their porches overnight as a show of moral and spiritual support. And a fundraising campaign that has raised more than $9 million to help the victims and families affected.

It’s a nice reminder, in the face of such horror, that we are one big family.

But $9 million is a lot of money. It works out to more than $300,000 for each person on that bus. When the campaign passed the $7 million mark, it prompted a question in me: is that enough?

There are undoubtedly costs that result from this incident, whether the victim is alive or dead. Hospital costs, rehabilitation costs, costs to adapt homes for disabilities, funeral costs, psychological counselling, and loss of revenue from people who may never be able to work again. Maybe add on the cost of a memorial, or a scholarship in the names of the victims.

Some of these costs should, and will, be covered by the provincial government, or by automobile insurance. Too many won’t, because governments and insurance agencies tend to be conservative in what they’ll cover. For those costs, it’s nice to know that grieving families and suffering survivors — even if they may have the means to cover those expenses out of pocket — won’t have to worry about how expensive it will be.

Is it enough? Not enough? Too much? It’s an uncomfortable question to ask. Maybe it’s inappropriate to ask. Maybe it shouldn’t be asked.

But people should be allowed to ask it.

So I did. Kinda.

Well, it’s not really a question, grammatically, but more of a thought for other less publicized but still devastating catastrophes whose victims won’t see nearly as much money.

Nora Loreto, a freelance writer based in Quebec City, also asked, wondering aloud whether the victims’ maleness, youthfulness and whiteness made Canadians more generous than they would otherwise be.

She immediately made clear that she’s not against the campaign or families getting money. She doesn’t want less for them. She just wants more for others who are in similar situations but get less media attention.

For that, she was called a “leftist cunt”, a “fat bitch”, and “Quebec white trash.” People told her she should die, that her children should die. The Toronto Sun’s editor wrote a column on how wrong she was. Rebel Media made a four-minute video out of itThe Daily Caller had a post on it. The right-wing Ontario Proud social media accounts have targeted her. And on Facebook and Twitter, countless warriors of outrage condemned her as a monster.

And when she pointed out the death threats and disgusting misogynistic language (about 10 tweets a minute for days, by my count), she got more hate, accusing her of playing the victim for attention.

All because she said being young, male and white made the victims of this crash more sympathetic to Canadians. For that, she deserves to die.

For the record, I don’t agree with Loreto. I don’t think maleness or whiteness or youthfulness were such significant factors in Canadians’ sympathy. If this had been a women’s hockey team, we’d probably be just as heartbroken. (Certainly one of the victims being a woman hasn’t changed anything). And if some or even most players had been black or hispanic, it probably wouldn’t have changed much either. If it had been a bus full of seniors, I think we’d be as heartbroken, if not more so.

I don’t even like Loreto that much. I’ve never met her. She’s a bit radical on the political spectrum. And she’s directed call-outs toward me in the past.

But it would be wrong to say that different people don’t get different amounts of sympathy because of who they are. The same week of the Humboldt crash, a bus in India fell into a gorge, killing 27 people including 24 children. I could not find any Canadian crowdfunding campaigns to raise money for their families. Okay, that’s in another country, but as this National Observer post points out, a two-vehicle crash in small-town Ontario six years ago that killed 11 migrant workers also didn’t generate that much response. But, of course, they didn’t play a sport that so many people relate to.

I work at a newspaper, and I know what people care about, what the media cares about, which stories buried on page 25 prompt huge public reaction and which ones at the top of the front page get ignored. The amount of news coverage and public sympathy for a disastrous event is related as much to its distance and relatability as it is to its scale.

I don’t know how much racism may have played a role. You only need to read about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across the country, or about the Bruce McArthur case of seven homicides of men with ethnic-sounding names in Toronto’s gay village — dating back up to eight years — to realize that victims are not treated equally. If this had been a bus of south asian immigrant kids headed to a cricket match, or a bus of Inuit kids in Nunavut going hunting, would our reaction have been the same? I honestly don’t know. We’d need examples, rather than assumptions based on our personal biases, to really make a case either way.

But let’s have this discussion. Or at least allow it to take place, even if you find it’s too soon or too raw to participate yourself.

Because I’m worried about the state of our social discourse if what happened to Loreto becomes the norm. I’m not a free speech absolutist, nor do I believe speech should be free from legitimate criticism. But I’m worried about the next person (particularly a woman or someone in a vulnerable group) who has an unpopular, uncomfortable but important thing to say about a topic who will become too afraid to say it because of the possibility it goes viral and a mob of thousands of angry people decide to pressure her employer to be fired from her job, or start yelling things at her and members of her family they can find online, or start making rape and death threats she can’t be sure aren’t real.

Freedom of speech means we need to be able to hear ideas that challenge us, that make us uncomfortable, that go against the grain. And we can disagree with those things, passionately, but rationally and respectfully.

This mob mentality isn’t doing any good to anyone. Just like you get more flies with honey than vinegar, you’re not going to convince someone to change her opinion by calling her a cunt and threatening to kill her. You’re not going to get someone to realize she was wrong by cancelling her. Making enemies of people simply pushes them farther to the other side.

There are reasoned rebuttals to Loreto’s comments (though I don’t agree with them either) that are unfortunately lost amid the tsunami of hate. If everyone responded that way, we’d all be a lot less angry and hurt, and maybe we’d understand each other a bit better, and we’d stop seeing each other as inhuman.

I still don’t know if the $9 million raised in the GoFundMe campaign is enough, not enough or too much for the victims of the Humboldt bus crash. It’s definitely better than nothing, and if we’re going to err, let’s err on the side of too much compassion. I can definitely live with that error.

But while I’m happy to see the Humboldt victims get their financial support, and hope that the government does its job so much of that won’t be necessary, I want to support worthy causes that aren’t privileged with as much media and public support. So I just donated $100 (a bit more than the average donation to the GoFundMe campaign) to the Canadian Red Cross, that helps people in need in Canada and around the world, whether they’re seniors caught in a devastating nursing home fire in small-town Quebec or people in a country you can’t spell who suffer from a natural disaster. I checked the box that gave them the power to use it wherever they feel it was most needed.

If you agree with Loreto that other victims should get an equal amount of support, I invite you to do the same. And if you don’t, I invite you to donate to the Humboldt campaign. Or if you’re undecided, you can do both. Either way, lead with your heart instead of your hate. If more people did that, maybe she would be less cynical, and all of us would be a lot less angry.

104 thoughts on “Humboldt the untouchable: L’affaire Nora Loreto and the uselessness of hate

  1. Anthony Bonaparte

    Very well said Steve. But the age of reasoned debate is sadly over. Moronic tribalism and easy access to platforms where the drooling mob can gang up on the other to spew hate and convey threats is here to stay. If you have a contrary opinion to the ignorant masses, it might be best to stay quiet. Look at what happens to those who oppose wankers like Trump, for example. Freedom of thought and speech are really quaint notions.

    Reply
    1. Debra Smith

      Ignorant masses???? Freedom of speech should be just that, no I don’t agree with the hate but it is unfortunate that with freedom of speech , all get their say. good, bad or ugly. So, if a person doesn’t want rebuttals in all forms, they should not make public posts

      Reply
  2. John C Jepson

    Steve, as usual when you take on a serious subject this article was well thought out and very balanced. Discretion being the better part of Valor, Lotero should have kept her comments for a later time allowing the overwhelming emotions of last weekend to cool . I have my own concerns about the reactions of the Quebec based media to this event last weekend. At 1:30 PM on Saturday, more than 18 hours after the story broke, I watched a full 30 minute sports news report on RDS and there wasn’t a word. I did hear a report on CJAD at 6AM Saturday . Nothing I could find on the Gazette website around 11AM Saturday. This is a discussion for another day.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Define “vulnerable group.”

      In this context, I’m referring to people who face systemic discrimination on the basis of grounds prohibited under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

      Reply
  3. Andrea

    It is a very sad thing that a person who tries to share expansive thinking is slaughtered online. People are sensitive, I get that. But violently attacking someone verbally for having the courage to speculate, surmise, etc. says something bad about you — who said it — and not about the person you said it to. Please learn to read things with kindness and reply with intelligence.

    Reply
    1. Razor

      Sometimes, the messenger IS as important as the message. On Jan. 9, Loreto twitted “White men are the worst beings that orbit the Sun.” That’s ”expansive thinking” for you.

      Reply
  4. Richard G

    It’s not that complicated . Loreto used her right to make a snarky unfeeling comment . Others have the right to harshly respond to her . Still others have the right to whine about the second group being inappropriate towards the first . And others comment on those commenting on the second group commenting on the first .
    Simple .

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Loreto used her right to make a snarky unfeeling comment.

      How was it snarky? There was no attempt at humour here.

      Others have the right to harshly respond to her.

      Death threats are not protected speech.

      Reply
      1. John C Jepson

        I really dislike what Lotero said. But if there really were death threats,or even threats of any violence against her, that should be reason for criminal investigation? Even in Quebec?

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          But if there really were death threats,or even threats of any violence against her, that should be reason for criminal investigation?

          Probably. Though some of them might be up for interpretation. (Is “I wish you were dead” a death threat? Is “I wish you got hit by a bus”?)

          Reply
              1. John C Jepson

                That would be the kind of response I would expect from a sphincter muscle as opposed to someone who usually has intelligent things to say. But even though it’s directed at me I don’t believe it qualifies as a threat. You didn’t say you were going make sure I died a horrible death you only wished it on me. However Steve if it gives you any comfort I can tell you I will indeed be suffering a horrible death as I have been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer which has spread to the liver. So if you can be a bit patient…..

              2. Fagstein Post author

                But even though it’s directed at me I don’t believe it qualifies as a threat.

                So you don’t believe it’s illegal but it is a ridiculously crappy thing to say to someone. On that point at least I think we can agree.

  5. Rad Kyle

    You’re assuming that systematic racism is still an issue in Canada, which it was up until the end of the residential school system. Canada is not the USA as many poorly informed columnists tend to espouse. There are certainly isolated cases of racism and bigotry in Canada, but not deeply rooted systematic racism. So, to say that Nora has a leg to stand on is as misguided as her initial tweet. But, journalists are not historians and 2 years in a college journalism course hardly give one the depth and breadth to comment with any confidence – just as you have done here.

    Reply
    1. LA Confidential

      Systemic racism is still an issue in Canada and racism is a daily reality for many minority and Aboriginal Canadians. Sexism, misogyny– these are also still daily issues for many Canadians. While Canadians may not be as forthright, outspoken, obvious, or even downright hateful in their racism as those in the US (or sexism or misogyny), it still exists here. I beseech you to consider this as a truth and a reality, as this comment is coming from a woman of colour and is based on her experiences as well as the experiences of her many (female) relatives of colour, and her many (female) friends of different nationalities. Beyond my inner circle, these experiences of discrimination repeat themselves over and over and over again— Canada is not a utopia of equality, even though we want it to be. I’m beseeching you to consider this as a reality and a truth because this is the only way that the systemic injustices will stop– they won’t stop or be recognized if people claim that they are “over”.

      Reply
      1. dilbert

        Calling racist “systematic” is greatly overstating things. Canadian institution are, for the most part, color blind, blind to your sex, sexuality, and personal preferences. Compared to almost anywhere else in the world, Canada is a shining beacon in integration and equality. In fact, it’s often overdone to the point of pain (reasonable accommodations, anyone?).

        That said, racism, sexism, ageism, or whatever ism you care to spout up exists on an individual case basis. I will say it also exists in the reverse, people painting themselves as an oppressed minority of some sort or another to get sympathy or privilege. Playing the race card is a real issue that harms everyone else involved.

        Part of the problem is that everyone has to meet at some point. It’s not on the majority to move all the way over to the desires or needs of the minority to the detriment of the majority. We can all give a little, that is for sure. The best way to feel included in society is to include yourself, not exclude yourself by claiming to be special. Canada is a big melting pot society with plenty of space for people to be themselves. You can join in or sit on the sidelines and complain. That is really up to you.

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        1. Fagstein Post author

          Canadian institution are, for the most part, color blind, blind to your sex, sexuality, and personal preferences.

          What do you mean by “institution”? And what evidence do you have that they are blind to colour, sex and sexuality? Statistics about poverty, incarceration, drug use and other things suggest we still have a big problem with race in this country.

          The best way to feel included in society is to include yourself, not exclude yourself by claiming to be special.

          Do you believe non-white people are responsible for their exclusion from white society?

          Reply
          1. dilbert

            “Statistics about poverty, incarceration, drug use and other things suggest we still have a big problem with race in this country.”

            All of those are valid questions, especially if you are looking for excuses. Canada is a big multicultural melting pot, with all of the reasonable accommodations and such. The playing field itself is general as level as it can be given all the circumstances.

            The problems you point out are often more related to one’s own culture, and not specifically to racism. Calling racism is an easy way to avoid dealing with your own issues. If a culture tolerates drugs use, idolizes gangsters, or thinks of women as second (or third) class, it will clash with other cultures who do not feel the same way.

            There is also the difference in question between transient poverty (being poor because you just moved to Canada and are working your way up) versus cultural acceptance of poverty and the perpetuation of it (think Trailer Park Boys). The concept of Poor White Trash pretty much kills off the idea of racism as being a determining factor for poverty.

            “Do you believe non-white people are responsible for their exclusion from white society?”

            Now that is a loaded racist question, isn’t it? By calling it “white society” you are already starting a we v. they situation that is entirely unfair.

            Yes, Canadian law and the base of Canadian culture comes from the British, the French, and so on. Our legal systems, our Parliament, and the basis of many of the things we do are traditional to those sources. Yet we are not stuck there. Canada has continues to evolve, to move forward, to accept people from all over the world, allowed them to bring their culture and traditions with them, expanding and accepting and moving forward.

            The results in Canada is that you may have a mosque next door to a Green Orthodox church, as an example. Your school may be closed because it’s a “Jewish holiday”, or everyone may be off because it’s Christmas – even then, some cultural communities work through Christmas and only close stores and such as required by law.

            Racism does exist, let’s not forget that. Some people cannot accept others. That happens, and that is really too bad. There is always the question of how the practices of one culture or one religion is handled when it goes against that of the majority.

            The whole Niqab / Hijab / women’s status situation that comes with the Muslim religion is hard for many to accept and in turn creates situations where women have a harder time to integrate into Canadian life. They are often excluded or kept on a “short leash” in a manner that most Canadians are not comfortable with. If that discomfort is taken as racism, it’s really too bad, as it really isn’t. Equality is a fundamental value that Canadians generally find hard to give up on.

            You will always find racist people. It’s unavoidable. You will also find many good people, fair people, considerate people. It’s what Canada is all about in the end.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              The playing field itself is general as level as it can be given all the circumstances.

              But … it’s not. The descendants of slave owners still have more money than the descendants of slaves. That’s a systemic thing. People who live on First Nations reserves don’t get the same health care funding as the rest of the country. That’s a systemic thing. People who have hard-to-pronounce names are much less likely to be hired for a job regardless of what their CV says. That’s a systemic thing.

              Just because the laws appear on the surface to disallow discrimination doesn’t mean discrimination doesn’t happen.

              Reply
        2. Muchael Black

          My great, great grandmother left a message for you “I would rather not go to Canada; how would I an uneducated dark halfbreed look among the fair and accomplished ladies?”. That was 1854 in Red River.

          Her photo is in the Museum of History, at least the website, representing the half-breeds of Red River. One could argue that she’s “culturally appropriating”, since she’s wearing European clothing, but it’s actually assimilation.

          People want their identity because that’s what others tried to take, or indeed did take. The story is too often one sided, all those westerns with the indians attacking the settlers, my great, great, great grandfather spent a winter with the Syilx, the only European, and no problem. He was married for 46 years, until he died, he was probably the first European she saw. How can people be so different if such marriages happened? All those westerns with the indians speaking broken English, making People look dumb, but lots of People who joined white society after fairly early contact.

          Most people don’t know enough to reconcile. People aren’t all off on reservations, half the native population in Canada isn’t, and in the US the percentage away from reserves is higher. The CBC carries endless stories, but except when they are local, they are “aboriginal stories” where someone has to deliberately look.

          So missed is the story of two school kids who organized a bake and hot dog sale at their school to raise money for the hockey players, something like $1500. Or a story about a native kid in new movie, picked because he played hockey, the role needed that ability. People want to be a part of other things, but on their terms.

          Indians are everything anyone else is, except they want their identity. But if they don’t “dress indian” you won’t realize the Minster of Justice is. On one hand they get stereotyped, the other they aren’t recognized as native.

          The biggest reason I’ll apply for a Metis card is because it was erased from my family. That’s the way society wanted it, but the cousins have survived and keep the culture. A Timentwa, and thus likely cousin, on the Colville Reservation in Washington State won a Bill Gates scholarship a few years go. My great, great grandmother’s brother was a newspaperman and then a lawyer, an early minority to what became the U of T. And Chief Justice in the Provisional Government. Someone torched his house after the expeditionary force got out there. There are streets in Winnipeg named after family members, children of a good Syilx woman. The day Tina Fontaine’s body was pulled out of the Red River, I found a list of those streets. How could she be treated so badly in a place that had been Metis, and have those streets? She is another reason to apply for a Metis card.

          Most white people never get the chance to be minority. I once went to an art exhibit as part of the Asian Heritage Festival (they’ve changed the name since). And immediately I felt out of place, and soon left. Later I realized I’d felt I didn’t belong, then realized I was the only white person there. Non-white people experience that all the time. That’s why it’s easy to dismiss minorities.

          Michael

          Reply
  6. Mtl

    If someone described the situation of First Nations and Inuit kids to Canadians, but described it as happening in another country, we’d be horrified. 10 year olds committing suicide en masse, kidnapping children, systemic abuse, forced sterilization, dirty water, serial killers… we’d be holding fundraising galas and sharing our heads. We’d have travel bans.

    Empathy is my finite, but gosh does it still favour a certain type of victim.

    Reply
  7. Karl

    “But I’m worried about the next person … who has an unpopular, uncomfortable but important thing to say about a topic…”

    Seems like there are a lot of untouchable topics these days. Are you worried about the next person who says something uncomfortable but important about diversity or women in STEM? How about gender? Immigration? You don’t even need a position on those topics to observe that only one position is allowed, and that the hate mob and consequences extend well beyond Twitter.

    Also, if Loreto is genuinely concerned about the recognition of non-young-white-male tragedies, a better course of action would be to spearhead a campaign the next time one occurs. More work than a tweet, but definitely less cynical.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Also, if Loreto is genuinely concerned about the recognition of non-young-white-male tragedies, a better course of action would be to spearhead a campaign the next time one occurs.

      Indeed, that would definitely be more constructive.

      Reply
  8. Asa

    My guess is, she knew what she was saying, knew what the reaction would be and everyone fell into her trap. Instant semi celebrity.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      My guess is, she knew what she was saying, knew what the reaction would be and everyone fell into her trap. Instant semi celebrity.

      Nobody expects to get thousands of messages of hate for expressing an opinion on Twitter. And I don’t see what becoming “semi celebrity” here does for her.

      Reply
  9. Stephanie

    “She just wants more for others who are in similar situations but get less media attention.”

    Just because the Humboldt tragedy crowdfunding campaign raised a lot of money doesn’t mean that people forget the other victims of horrible tragedies or the systematic injustices many minorities in Canada face.

    As a journalist, she could have easily produced articles for media publication that bring similar situations the attention they deserve, and use her platform (on Twitter and otherwise) to be specific about those who need help. Instead she chose to pick at the Humboldt victims’ immutable characteristics (white, male) and take a jab at the [alleged] motives of the crowdfunding donors to virtue signal for her own sense of moral satisfaction.

    Scrolling through Loreto’s feed, her tweets from even before this backlash, such vitriol.

    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” –Mr. Fred Rogers

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Just because the Humboldt tragedy crowdfunding campaign raised a lot of money doesn’t mean that people forget the other victims of horrible tragedies or the systematic injustices many minorities in Canada face.

      Well, it could. Donor fatigue is a documented phenomenon. When people donate to one charitable cause, it might make them less likely to donate to another, because they feel they’ve already done their good deed.

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      1. Beverley Ratch

        Annually the Kinsmen in Saskatchewan raise millions of dollars with their telemiracle which is used to help handicapped/disabled individuals and families. They have been doing this for 20 plus years. They have bought handicapped vans, wheel chairs, scooters, computers etc for individuals. They have helped families that have had to take their children to hospitals in Ontario for surgery etc. Everyone in Saskatchewan knows someone who has benefited from the Telemiracle at one time or another. They helped to lpurchase the first MRI machine for Saskatchewan. Before that you had to travel to Calgary or Minnesota. I worked with a woman who’s son is in Wascana Hospital after a vehicle acident. She is from a small town miles from Regina. She left her full time permanent job to take a part time much lower paying job in Regina so she can be near her son. Her community raised money to purchase the materials to renovate her home in that small community and then the community renovated her home. She lives in Regina while her husband and other boys live back in that small commlunity. Her son has been in Wascana for several years and will probably spend the rest of his life there. The Humbolt fund will probably mean that these boys will be less reliant on the Telemiracle and will help even those in Alberta and Manitoba.
        That Nora would bring the topic up for discussion before any of the funnerals had happened was insensitive and showed a lack of compasion. Bring the topic up in 3 months or 6 months fine but not yet. She obviously does not understand Saskatchewan at all. We are a province of about 1 million people but between the Humbolt fund and the Telemiracle we just had we have raised over 20 million dollars. All since January 1st 2018. The other charities will do just fine as well. There will be no donor fatigue in Saskatchewan. We support our neighbors.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Annually the Kinsmen in Saskatchewan raise millions of dollars with their telemiracle which is used to help handicapped/disabled individuals and families.

          That’s great. Good for them.

          Bring the topic up in 3 months or 6 months fine but not yet.

          This is a common argument, and I can understand it, but the fundraiser is happening now. I’m not a fan of the idea that we should put politics on hold for months when a catastrophic event happens.

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        2. Michael Black

          But traditional fundraising, while labor and money intensive, is a form of gatekeeper. It’s not perfect, but there’s some overall judgement. It’s not a cause of the week, or to someone who magically got more visibility by chance. Thy deal with individuals, but generally within some framework. They know this cause will come up again and again, so they won’t throw money at one incident because they have to help others.

          On the internet, you can get a lot of people to donate small amounts, and it’s relatively easy, but next week there will be another story and another fundraiser. There’s no expert in between handing out the funding. For those left out, that’s a good thing, But there seems no limit. Set up a webpage to raise money becomes an automatic response. If it was for a specific purpose, and to raise just enough for that purpose, it might be okay. But right out of the gate people are setting up such pages, sometimes without contact with the people involved or what thy might be needing. Or it starts off to raise XXX amount, but it overflows, is it right to give it all to the person, a sort of jackpot for getting good press? Seems like the extra should be given back, because the goal was reached and to use it for something else isn’t fair to the donors.

          Every hard luck story gets a fundraiser like this, some do better than others. But some of the stories, the person could easily be overwhelmed with the money, that’s a real waste of money.

          Maybe the money is needed later, not now. Sure, the momentum is lost later, but maybe it’s a more reasonable assessment at that later date.

          Maybe giving money is a feel good thing. Maybe donating blood, or agreeing to organ transplants if you die, is more helpful. When Emru Townsend needed a bone marrow transplant, his sister campaigned for it. Nominally a selfish act, the immediate result was more people in the catalog because in trying to be a match, they were more likely to match someone else who needed it. (He found a match, but not through the campaign, but he died, I can’t remember if he got too sick for the transplant or if it didn’t set.) There was that girl who recently died, who wished for people to do a good deed. That makes things better for everyone, but she got to see that she had that power to convince people to do good. I suspect some of those other campaigns are more important than the fundraising. And they don’t take away from fundraising.

          Michael

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      2. Lucy Bean

        And yet, it’s not really any of Loreto’s business who contributes to what, now is it?Threats of violence and death aside ( inexcusable), most of the backlash she is experiencing is really very deserved. People who gave to the Humboldt chose to do so. Probably for 9 million different reasons, none of which need to be justified to the likes of Loreto, or you, or me. Her smearing them all with her racist, sexist, ageist nonsense brush is not justified. If she wants more for other people, let her give more. Let her write more about other tragedies. One example being tossed out is about the family of a young man who was killed by police in Montreal, trying to crowdfunding $20, 000. They’ve got about half so far. Nora, et al . . .give them the other half. And shut up. Whether significant numbers of others do or don’t give to the same cause remains absolutely none of your business

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        1. Fagstein Post author

          And yet, it’s not really any of Loreto’s business who contributes to what, now is it?

          By that logic, none of what’s happening here is any of your business either, but that’s not stopping you from commenting on it. We all comment on events in the news, even if they don’t impact us directly, and Loreto’s comment was about a larger societal issue.

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          1. Lucy Bean

            How do you know if it’s any of my business? Do you know if I was one of the people who chose to give to Humboldt? Do you know if I had a connection to some or all of the players? No, you don’t. But ignorant and inflammatory comments, although part of free speech, are also subject to backlash, and Loreto deserves most ( not all) of what she’s gotten on that score.

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    2. Debra Smith

      Agree totally. To react with such a tweet, shows her own discrimination. She should stand up and help others in less fortunate circumstances instead of dissing those that received help! The sad part of the whole tragedy, in a month it will be put aside for another big news story and there will be families that will have their lives altered in such a way that can never be forgotten but they must carry on.

      Reply
  10. Chris C.

    Ms. Loreto seems to have conveniently forgotten that the oldest victim was 59 and several young professionals (one who happens to be a woman) were also killed. I find it a despicable attempt to draw attention to herself through a moronic “commentary” on the generosity of Canadians.

    You know what plays a major role in driving donations? People relating to the cause. Young hockey players and their coaches/trainers/supporters travelling long miles by bus to play a sport they love and chase the dream. This is a uniquely Canadian tragedy that strikes to an experience known (or at least understood) by a huge swath of Canadian society.

    My question to Ms. Loreto: so what? It’s a lot of money going to a worthy cause. Leave it at that.

    By all means, highlight fundraising efforts that matter to you. Instead of shaming other Canadians (hinting they are racists, seriously?), she would be wise to follow your lead and put her money towards causes that matter to her, leaving her fellow Canadians to do the same.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      You know what plays a major role in driving donations? People relating to the cause. Young hockey players and their coaches/trainers/supporters travelling long miles by bus to play a sport they love and chase the dream. This is a uniquely Canadian tragedy that strikes to an experience known (or at least understood) by a huge swath of Canadian society.

      This is a better way of expressing her point. But remember that hockey is a sport that is dominated by young white men. We relate to them more because they’re like us. So Canada’s hockey culture plays a significant role in the number of donations.

      My question to Ms. Loreto: so what? It’s a lot of money going to a worthy cause. Leave it at that.

      As she explicitly said, it’s not that she wants less for this cause, it’s that she wants more for other causes. She probably could have given a few examples.

      Reply
    2. Heather

      It was a sad day in Canada as we collectively mourned the loss of so many lives. Canada is a hockey “town”, and as such, the loss of members of a hockey team, from the coaches to players to athletic therapists, leaves us all saddened as we all pretty much have someone in our lives that play or played hockey. You don’t have to have known any of the team personally, to feel a very personal loss. Every time I saw news coverage concerning this crash, it brought me to tears. The outpouring of sympathy, support and generosity to the injured and to the families of those who lost their lives, as well as the over 130,000 messages of kindness passed onto the truck driver, made me so proud to be Canadian.
      For the majority of us, we understand that no one sets out to get into an accident. We will not know the cause of the accident for some time, but in saying this, it doesn’t really matter who was at fault. Whether the truck driver or the driver of the bus, the fact is this will not change the result and the surviving driver will carry this burden for the rest of his life. Every day we all get into vehicles and drive to work, or for work, we drive to get groceries, or to pick up our kids, never thinking that such a tragedy could befall us, but it could at any time. This is why as Canadians, we will mostly show support to that truck driver, because we are an empathetic nation, we are able to place ourselves into the shoes of others and show compassion and mercy.
      There will always be those on social media who will vilify others, spouting cruel and mean-spirited words to people they have never met. These are the same people who, when something happens that they are responsible for, or involved in, will pass blame onto others without seeing the part that they play.
      As proud as I was to be Canadian when I read the words of sympathy and support to that truck driver after this horrific accident, I was equally saddened by the disgusting comments made to Nora Loreto on social media. Her comments were absolutely inappropriate! Her message may or may not have some truth to it, but, by making those comments so shortly after this loss while people are still grieving, she lacked awareness and understanding that there is a time and place to start a dialogue about other situations that get less support and media attention. Ms. Loreto’s bad timing does not in any way justify comments such as “her children should die”, “she should be raped”, “fat bitch”, and many, many more vile comments that cannot be written here.
      This is a country where we have the right to feel differently about topics, in a respectful manner. We have the right to agree to disagree. You can make a statement at the top of your lungs, while your opponent makes the opposite statement at the top of their lungs. At the end of the day, we still need to respect the other person’s opinion, even if we don’t understand it.
      There are many wonderful things about social media…the greatest of which in my opinion, is the ability to connect with our friends and families, especially those who live in different cities or countries. Social media has allowed us to stay connected, helping us to see that we are all truly global citizens in spite of our differences.
      The disturbing part of social media however; is that it allows anonymity to those who wish to do harm. One of the benefits of having to speak directly to people face to face is that we have an immediate response to the things that we are saying. If we have brought someone joy, we see it instantly on their face, and if we have hurt someone, we too must bear the guilt or shame of our actions immediately. We tend to use a more thoughtful, measured approach when speaking to someone face to face when we disagree. We don’t call them a “leftist c**t” because we risk an immediate response from that person, namely in the form of a smack in the mouth.
      When people use social media to troll others, and to say vial things anonymously, as they did to Ms. Loreto, they are cowards! They say these things because they can hide; no one knows their real name or face. I have to believe that a lot of the responses Ms. Loreto received were from people of other nations, and not just from our own, because we are not a nation of cowards! We are a nation that believes that we are stronger together, and when a neighbor is in need, we step up and help and don’t just shut our doors to their suffering. A nation like this should therefore choose to say to Ms. Loreto that her comments are inappropriate at this time, and even go so far as to boycott the organization she represents if necessary. We should never have to stoop to such low depths of conduct just because nobody will know who you are. We showed such compassion one week, and then spewed such hatred the next. Don’t allow your hurt and grief to let you get caught up in a mob-like mentality as this only serves to diminish the compassion and unitedness we feel as a nation.
      In the words of the Dixie Chicks;
      “And how in the world
      Can the words that I said
      Send somebody so over the edge
      That they’d write me a letter
      Saying that I better
      Shut up and sing
      Or my life will be over?”
      Yes, what Ms. Loreto said was unpopular and offensive to some, but we as a nation should never reach a point where speaking to someone is such a cruel, hateful way becomes a normal part of our society. I challenge us all to be better than this, to think about our words and to hesitate before posting messages in anger.

      Reply
  11. S. Eagle

    Very interesting article.

    I think you are so right about relatability. As soon as I heard about this crash I immediately thought of my 17 and 13 year old nephews – who also travel to sporting events on team buses – and it brought me to tears. I don’t know any migrant workers. So, although it’s very sad that many were killed in a bus crash, and I think about what their families would have been trying to cope with, I can’t relate to it the same way.

    Most people don’t want to admit, even to themselves, they have an ounce of racism or sexism in their bones. Folks tend to get very defensive about that. Regardless, there is no justification for threatening someone and their children for simply expressing an opinion. That is truly despicable, un-Canadian behaviour!

    Reply
    1. TK

      This is the most self-aware reaction I’ve seen to all this. For non-First Nations Canadians to simply admit that hey yeah we don’t know what it feels like to have child suicide be a common occurrence or to lack clean drinking water our whole lives– this ignorance is a shame and has probably coloured a lot of people’s prejudices and attitudes, and as a nation we have a lot to work through… rather than the usual ‘Het we’re not America everyone is nice here!’ would be great.

      Reply
  12. Linda Slater

    I’m the member of a choir that is mostly made up of people over 50. We are going to Banff this weekend via bus. A couple of us were joking that if our bus ended up in a crash with many of us dying or being injured (knock on wood it doesn’t happen), we couldn’t imagine that leading opera singers would preface their performance with a tribute to our dead and injured, nor would flags be lowered or the Prime Minister show up at our memorial. Maybe I’m wrong, but if I’m right, that’s the point that Loretto was trying to make.

    Reply
  13. dilbert

    No matter what point she was trying to make, she failed massively.

    What she did, effectively, was try to turn something into a “greater consern” thing. But in doing so, she make it sound racist, sexist, and even age-ist (is there such a word?). All of those things are terrible, and by trying to make her bigger point by using those areas as the basis of her opinion, she failed.

    Tragedy can lead to soul searching and deliberation over the long term. The bodies aren’t buried yet and she appears to be turning it into something racist and sexist. More importantly, she appears to be selfishly making it about her and her pet views, rather than showing consideration for those who died tragically following what is for many youngsters the Canadian dream.

    Sexism, racism, and a selfish approach gets her a whole pile of bad things. I am very much against much of what was directed at her, but her massage is so extreme and so upsetting, I am sure it made plenty of people see red.

    Disrespectful is disrespectful, no matter how you slice it. She certainly more than crossed that line.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      The bodies aren’t buried yet and she appears to be turning it into something racist and sexist.

      This is a common argument by people against gun control, that we need to wait after a horrific incident before discussing politics. But if we wait and discuss it later, won’t the argument be that we’re needlessly dredging up painful memories for the families and we should just let it go?

      More importantly, she appears to be selfishly making it about her and her pet views

      It’s a tweet on her Twitter account. How is expressing a viewpoint selfishly making it about your views?

      Disrespectful is disrespectful, no matter how you slice it.

      Disrespectful is a subjective assessment.

      Reply
      1. dilbert

        False equivalency here. If she was making a point about, I dunno, truck safety, it might be relevant. Instead, she was tangentially trying to push a mixed bag of “isms” that have nothing to do with the tragedy, and in doing so, she tries to make her cause somehow more significant than the tragedy itself.

        It’s opportunistic bullshit, not only hard to support but equally hard to tolerate.

        Would you be more or less comfortable if her massage was one that abortions would have kept there from being a bus to start with?

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Instead, she was tangentially trying to push a mixed bag of “isms” that have nothing to do with the tragedy

          To be clear, she wasn’t commenting on the bus crash but rather the response to it. You might not believe that racial bias had anything to do with that, but others clearly do. Even many of her critics here and elsewhere say that hockey culture had a lot to do with the support. Is it that much of a leap to go from culture to race when the vast majority of people in said culture belong to one race? Maybe, maybe not, but does someone deserve thousands of hate messages for taking that leap?

          Would you be more or less comfortable if her massage was one that abortions would have kept there from being a bus to start with?

          I would question the veracity of such a statement, since it would seem to be based on the assumption that the children were unwanted by their parents. But even if I found it distasteful, I wouldn’t be in favour of unrelenting harassment and death threats.

          Reply
          1. dilbert

            “To be clear, she wasn’t commenting on the bus crash but rather the response to it. You might not believe that racial bias had anything to do with that, but others clearly do.”

            The response has nothing to do with race, creed, color, or sex. It’s all about something that was inherently “Canadian”, and touched so many Canadians directly. The hockey dream and the pursuit of it by young people is something that is deeply ingrained into Canadian life. Any of our children might have been there.

            Trying to find some hidden racism or sexism or whatever in the tragedy or the response to it is insulting, crude, and nearly morbid. Let everyone mourn in their own ways without question their actions. I didn’t see anything in the resulting response that was particularly over the top.

            “I wouldn’t be in favour of unrelenting harassment and death threats.”

            Twitter and other modern tools (such as this blog) support open discussions between people with different views. I don’t support death threats or harassment, but at the same time, I don’t think anyone is wrong for calling her out and telling her she’s being very insensitive in pushing her pet issues through this process. She’s being pretty insensitive and rather more than a little tone deaf. If she said that in a room of people, most of the people in the room would have told her to “F-off”. Her remarks were just not needed at that point.

            People were still mentally filing past the caskets at that point. It’s was the wrong question at the wrong time, by someone who saw a chance to push an agenda rather than respect the dead.

            In that sense, the non-death threat comments are valid and reasonable in my mind.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              The hockey dream and the pursuit of it by young people is something that is deeply ingrained into Canadian life.

              This mentality is based on tradition, which goes back to a time when Canada and hockey was even more white than it is now. If this was a bus of lacrosse players, it wouldn’t be so “deeply ingrained into Canadian life”, even though lacrosse is our first national sport.

              Reply
  14. Marc

    It basically shows how Twitter is ruining everything. Jonathan Kay had an excellent piece last year in The Walrus about that. Facebook is one cough away from being regulated as a public utility and Twitter ain’t far behind. Too many brains have been turned into scrambled eggs.

    Reply
  15. Greg

    I’m just curious but do you think that maybe we can wait until the bodies are buried before all the social warriors can inject as much race, age and gender issues into it until they’re blue in the face.

    I’m quite sure that when the news came out no one said to themselves “Omg, I hope it’s not a bunch of white male kids because that would be really really bad”. “Also I wonder how much money we can raise?”

    If someone really needs to tell you why this was so wrong (her comments) on so many levels at this time then good luck getting through that life thing. You may want to expose yourself to different viewpoints and try to put yourself in other people’s shoes. It may help your judgement.

    The last thing anyone wants would be anything threatening either physical or verbal to anyone but I don’t think she realized what she has done. This is probably going to stay with her for the rest of her life in some way, shape or form. For her sake I hope it stays civil but it probably won’t.

    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I’m just curious but do you think that maybe we can wait until the bodies are buried before all the social warriors can inject as much race, age and gender issues into it until they’re blue in the face.

      Anything is possible, but why? What does burying the bodies change?

      I’m quite sure that when the news came out no one said to themselves “Omg, I hope it’s not a bunch of white male kids because that would be really really bad”.

      You’re almost certainly right since we knew right from the start that this was a Saskatchewan junior men’s hockey team. Of course, racial bias isn’t quite so overt and conscious.

      If someone really needs to tell you why this was so wrong (her comments) on so many levels at this time then good luck getting through that life thing.

      I need someone to tell me why it’s less wrong to repeatedly threaten her with rape and death for making an incorrect assumption about racial and sexual bias. I need someone to tell me why so many arguments say a variation on “I don’t condone rape threats but she had it coming”

      Reply
      1. Beverley Ratch

        How do you know that 1 or more of those boys don’t have aboriginal blood lines in their ancesstry???? I worked with a girl who had peaches and cream complexion and light brown hair. No one could tell just by looking at her or listening to her that she had a treaty card. Don’t judge on appearances only. There are aboriginals playing hockey on teamss in the SJHL and WHL.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          How do you know that 1 or more of those boys don’t have aboriginal blood lines in their ancesstry?

          I don’t. And neither do the people donating to the GoFundMe page. So it’s irrelevant to the discussion. And I don’t think one or more players having had an Indigenous ancestor somehow makes death threats okay.

          Reply
          1. Naomi (@sunnydaleyt)

            It doesn’t make death threats okay but Nora seems to want to bring race into it and she probably also does not really know anything about the ancestry of the victims so why did she comment on it?

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              It doesn’t make death threats okay but Nora seems to want to bring race into it

              Nora Loreto isn’t responsible for how white hockey is. And what exactly is the “it” that she brought race into? We’re talking about an observation made in a tweet.

              Reply
        2. Michael Black

          I know because I’ve not seen anything about that. Unless all or a large number were native the mainstream press probably wouldn’t mention it. But the “indian press” would reveal such details, it’s very much like a small town press. A few years ago there was a school shooting in the Northwest and the stories didn’t give any identity to the shooter. But, the “indian press” revealed that the shooter and the victims were from one tribe, though I’ve forgotten which tribe. I’ve not seen anything like that about this bus crash.

          I’d point out that reconciliation means paying attention to such things, it’s about change, not saying “sorry” or bringing People up to argue a point.

          Also, what does “aboriginal blood lines in their ancestry” mean? That may not count, and probably wouldn’t be reported. Surely you mean someone who’s actually native or Metis. They all have to have native ancestry, but just because my great, great, great grandmother Sarah was Syilx doesn’t make me native or Metis, though obviously I do have “aboriginal blood lines in their ancestry”. On the other hand, my distant cousins on the Colville Reserve in Washington State have native identity plus ancestry. People are offended by talking of their ancestry when they are “real indians”.

          Michael

          Reply
      2. Lucy Bean

        In the US, the ‘let’s not discuss gun control at this sad time’ trope has been used to try to shut down the gun control debate altogether. And since they are so constantly having mass shootings, there’s never a time to have the debate, it seems.

        We don’t have mass casualty bus and truck collisions every week. Thank God. But we did have this one. And people have been empathetic and generous. And Nora Loreto pissed on their empathy and generosity, while virtue signalling about where she thinks they should be directing their empathy and generosity. And took a cheap shot at all those people while she was going about it. And that’s just a shitty thing to do. Ever. But if you can’t figure out why her pulling her shitty attention-whoring stunt before the funerals makes it all just that much worse, you are as beyond help as is Loreto.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          We don’t have mass casualty bus and truck collisions every week.

          Perhaps not. We certainly don’t have ones that result in national fundraisers, though according to Transport Canada statistics there are about 2,000 fatal traffic collisions generating about 3,000 deaths every year in this country.

          if you can’t figure out why her pulling her shitty attention-whoring stunt

          I’m unconvinced of the premise that this was “attention-whoring”. I don’t see any evidence that she intentionally sought special attention to this tweet.

          Reply
  16. Ron

    You fail to provide any comparable examples to the Humboldt tragedy. 11 migrant workers in Ontario? Were they buried by their parents? No. Were they rooted in the community? NO! They were migrant workers! People didn’t even know who they were! The town of Humboldt had its heart ripped out. Is that what happened when a van of migrant workers crashed but the media ignored it because of a right wing conspiracy to downplay the story?? This blog post is assanine.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      You fail to provide any comparable examples to the Humboldt tragedy. 11 migrant workers in Ontario? Were they buried by their parents? No. Were they rooted in the community? NO!

      People buried by their parents tend to be young. People “rooted in the community” tend to be white. So you’re saying their youthfulness and whiteness played a significant role, which is two thirds of Loreto’s points.

      Is that what happened when a van of migrant workers crashed but the media ignored it because of a right wing conspiracy to downplay the story?

      Systemic discrimination does not require a man behind the curtain controlling it all.

      Reply
      1. Ron

        Ok then genius, I guess being human and bipedal also played a role in this. Seriously.

        She asked a really, really stupid question and is getting trolled for it. Your post has the premise that the question was actually worth asking, albeit in a more sensitive way, but you provide LITERALLY ZERO sound reasoning to back that claim up. Your examples are terrible.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Your post has the premise that the question was actually worth asking, albeit in a more sensitive way, but you provide LITERALLY ZERO sound reasoning to back that claim up.

          She didn’t actually ask a question. And my post has the premise that jumping the gun a bit on an assumption of bias is not worth thousands of death threats and hateful comments over several days.

          Reply
  17. Ron

    Also I’m sure the tragedy in India was more and by the people who live IN INDIA! Why would Canada lower their flags for it? Is India raising $9M for Humboldt??

    As Saskatchewan is mostly white, the only apt comparison you could make that would match up to what actually happened would be a bus full of young women hockey players crashing, and if you or Nora honestly question whether or not Canadians would care as much about a town burying a bunch of their own daughters, then you shouldn’t be embarrassing yourself with blog posts like this one.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      if you or Nora honestly question whether or not Canadians would care as much about a town burying a bunch of their own daughters

      As I explicitly state in the post, I believe the outpouring would have been quite similar for young women. Though there aren’t nearly as many women as men playing junior hockey in Saskatchewan.

      Reply
  18. Sam

    “If you agree with Loreto that other victims should get an equal amount of support, I invite you to do the same. And if you don’t, I invite you to donate to the Humboldt campaign.” I agreed with most of what you were saying up until this point. CondmninCo people for donations makes one sound quite elitest.

    I’d also like to add that targeted harassment of anyone sharing their views is idiotic and counterproductive.

    What you seem to be missing in the piece is the closeness of the hockey community in Canada. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who was on that bus, and the relatability of rhe incident to many who have played hockey and been on these buses hit close to home.

    I also think it comes off as preachy of you to tell others what they should do with their own money. Every single dollar is going to go to the vicims families, whereas the money for other charities often go towards the spokespersons pocket. Why do you get the be the figure of moral superiority?

    I understand your point that others suffer as well, but please refrain from chastizing others for supporting a cause that deeply effects them.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      What you seem to be missing in the piece is the closeness of the hockey community in Canada. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who was on that bus, and the relatability of rhe incident to many who have played hockey and been on these buses hit close to home.

      You can understand how “relatability” leads to bias, though, right? Hockey is a sport played primarily by young white men, and people tend to relate to those that are like them. When we say “someone who knows someone” they’re more likely to be (but are not exclusively) of the same race, culture and social class. Even though there is no intention of racial bias, the result is that an incident more traditionally tied to the dominant white population ends up fundraising more.

      Every single dollar is going to go to the vicims families, whereas the money for other charities often go towards the spokespersons pocket.

      According to the Canadian Red Cross’s latest audited financial statements, the organization spent more than 90% of its budget on core activities. Governance and management represented about a quarter of the remaining 10%. And the Red Cross lets you target donations for specific purposes if you like. But feel free to donate to some other cause or charity. Or don’t donate anything. No one is putting a gun to your head.

      Reply
  19. Bryce Fleming.

    While I agree with you that the death threats thrown at Ms. Loreto were out of line, I suggest both you and her are shading the argument to feed her self-annointed victimhood. Several thoughts on this subject, not necessarily in order of importance:

    1. I assume, since Ms. Loreto calls herself a journalist, that would suggest she has some capability at the strategic use of words and phrases. There are a hundred ways of making her point, but she chose to suggest the the outpouring of grief was the result of a racist and sexist society. As you so capable pointed out, a person is unlikely to garner followers if you insult rather than persuade. She intentionally insulted.

    2. She intentionally ignored the fact that the dead included older men, a woman, and at least one person of First Nations decent. It did not feed her political thrust, so those facts were buried. Furthermore, we have no idea if some of those lily-white boys were actually Metis…that is extremely common out in the Prairies.

    3. While indeed some of the replies to Ms. Loreto were vile, most of them were reasoned, intelligent replies. Furthermore, when Ms. Loreto highlighted a select few comments days later, she zeroed in on comments from writers that were most likely white males in a blatent effort to make her detractors all from “that horrible class”. I read many of the original replies: on a quick read through, a majority were from women, some were from self-described visible minorities and the vast majority of the replies were firmly negative but not vile.

    4. In this world, if you meet one asshole first thing in the morning, you have just met one asshole but….if you are meeting assholes all day, you probably should look in the mirror. The VAST majority of replies to Ms. Loreto’s Tweet were extremely negative. That should tell her that her opinion was not just unpopular it was just plain wrong. The concept of right and wrong really is determined in a societal context and, clearly, in this context Ms. Loreto was wrong. Did she step back from her statement and reword it to make it more palatable? No, from her subsequent comments she just doubled down and painted her detractors as nothing more than alt-right racist thugs (and posted a few of the worst replies as typical examples…just to retain the mantlehood of victim).

    Your example of the crash in India was a poor comparison. Perhaps you should research two things to see if it is valid a) Is anyone in India raising money for Humboldt? b) Is there a comparable crowd funding program in India for the victims there? Perhaps here in Canada we take care of our own and expect India to do the same. Furthermore, while we are at it, how is it that both you and Ms. Loreto manage to overlook the very substantial foreign aid that Canada provides every time there is a disaster overseas? When Haiti has it’s devastating earthquake, it seems to me that citizens across the country sent care packages for those victims (and it seems to me that there are many, many examples in like historically).

    I would suggest that Ms. Loreto actually exemplifies what I think of as a white bigot: she looks at the colour of a person’s skin first in every case.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      In this world, if you meet one asshole first thing in the morning, you have just met one asshole but….if you are meeting assholes all day, you probably should look in the mirror.

      I disagree with this take. I don’t believe people are responsible for the behaviours directed at them, any more than a woman is responsible if several men harass her when she’s walking down the street.

      The concept of right and wrong really is determined in a societal context and, clearly, in this context Ms. Loreto was wrong.

      I also disagree with the idea that morality is a matter of popularity. I don’t believe morality should be decided by majority vote. Just because a lot of people agree on something doesn’t make that thing right.

      Perhaps you should research two things to see if it is valid a) Is anyone in India raising money for Humboldt?

      Not to my knowledge. Does this mean people in India are less worthy of compassion?

      b) Is there a comparable crowd funding program in India for the victims there?

      Not to my knowledge. Does this mean people in India are less worthy of compassion?

      Perhaps here in Canada we take care of our own and expect India to do the same.

      Why is that, exactly? Why are Canadian lives more important than Indian ones?

      Furthermore, while we are at it, how is it that both you and Ms. Loreto manage to overlook the very substantial foreign aid that Canada provides every time there is a disaster overseas?

      Because foreign aid comes from governments, not individuals. Loreto was criticizing a crowdfunding campaign.

      When Haiti has it’s devastating earthquake, it seems to me that citizens across the country sent care packages for those victims

      Indeed. Though the devastation in Haiti was several orders of magnitude higher than what happened in Saskatchewan. More than 100,000 people are estimated to have died in Haiti.

      Reply
      1. D

        I absolutely love how you respond to the comments and shut these clowns down. I hope anybody responding to this article with some pseudo Intellectual hate realizes how much the world is watching and nobody else is doing a finer disservice to their own opinions by showing their true colors.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          I absolutely love how you respond to the comments and shut these clowns down.

          My goal is not to shut anyone down. It’s to engage in respectful discussion and maybe help people understand some context and nuance.

          Reply
          1. John C Jepson

            On a totally different subject this original tweet has sparked so much reaction and dozens of comments filling my inbox (I know I can opt out) it makes me wonder why you don’t sell small subtle ads. (Not trying to be a smart ass this service must have costs involved )

            Reply
    2. Naomi (@sunnydaleyt)

      Thank you Bryce I agree 100% with what you wrote. She could have simply posed the question why is This particular event receiving so much support with out implying it was because of race, gender and age. For me before I even knew the particulars of those impacted by the crash I just imagined what those parents and the surviving players were going through. I related to it because I am a parent and my kids also play hockey.

      Reply
  20. Robert

    The Go Fund Me for the victims of the Pulse night club shootings raised 10 million (USD) Was that to much? The male victims were diverse ethnically, ranged in age and most were gay. Using Loreto’s SJW mindset that campaign shouldn’t have amassed the amount it did. Why people feel compelled to donate to a specific cause or a tragedy is a personal choice. For Loreto to even question the reason for the outpouring of support to the Humboldt Broncos shows her ignorance. I’m sure her happy socialist mind can’t fathom that this tragedy hit to the core of Canadian culture. This is Canada where hockey is a religion, many of us have played or children who play. Before television an entire country would gather by the radio to listen to live broadcasts. Hockey Night in Canada is every night in every arena in every town all across this country. That is the principle reason for the large donations. Not the whiteness or maleness, I do agree that the hatred expressed toward Loreto is extreme but she did bring this on herself. Rather than apologizing for making hurtful comments she doubled down and is now crying victim. Very typical behaviour of a happy socialist. Somewhere in that leftist brain of hers she is revelling in this 15 minutes of fame and her true motive worked. We all know who Loreto is now, I hope she enjoys the fame she obviously sought.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      The male victims were diverse ethnically, ranged in age and most were gay.

      Many were latino, and most were gay, though of the 49 people Omar Mateen killed, all but nine were between the ages of 19 and 35 and all but three were 40 or under. I’m not sure how effective a counterexample this was (are 49 mostly gay people equivalent to 16 hockey players and staff?), but we can definitely consider it for comparison.

      For Loreto to even question the reason for the outpouring of support to the Humboldt Broncos shows her ignorance.

      Questioning things is generally a sign of curiosity, a willingness to learn. But Loreto’s tweet was more of an assumption than a question. In any case, she’s not questioning the support itself, merely stating that its amplitude is linked to the characteristics of the victims.

      This is Canada where hockey is a religion, many of us have played or children who play.

      The “us” you refer to here is a group of people that is predominantly white. Yes, there are black people who play hockey, and it’s getting more diverse, but more than 90% of players in the NHL are white. And references to tradition, to the days before television, harken to a time when the country, and the hockey world, was even more white than that. It may be uncomfortable to consider, and it may be unfair, but there is a link between hockey and whiteness, and it’s not a crazy coincidence that the victims in this crash were white.

      Similarly, hockey is predominantly a young man’s sport. According to Hockey Canada statistics, the number of boys vs. girls signed up in organized hockey programs is vastly different — in some provinces it’s 10 to 1, in others it’s 5 to 1.

      As I state above, I don’t think we wouldn’t care if this was a girl’s hockey team, or girls on a field trip who weren’t playing hockey. But it would be false to say that there are no underlying racial, age or sexual biases here.

      I do agree that the hatred expressed toward Loreto is extreme but she did bring this on herself.

      No one deserves death threats for expressing an opinion, no matter how misguided. No one deserves thousands of message of vitriolic hate because of a bad take.

      We all know who Loreto is now, I hope she enjoys the fame she obviously sought.

      I’ve seen no evidence she sought any fame here. She is not accepting interview requests. She is not actively marketing her tweets. She sent a few tweets to her followers and other people decided to make it into a thing. And now she’s showing her followers all the hateful messages she’s received and for that she’s being labelled as “crying victim”.

      Reply
      1. Robert

        Both had similar dollars raised, both had predominantly male victims. By your reasoning was the amplitude of the Pulse donations linked to the characteristics of the victims?
        As to the “us” being predominantly white you would be correct with your statement, but when our population according to the 2016 census is still 78% Caucasian.
        It does stand to reason that these hockey players were white.
        With NBA players being over 80% black would it be uncomfortable and unfair to consider a link between blacks and basketball?
        Hockey is to Canada like football, basketball and baseball are to America. That is the reason the amplitude has been so great. I disagree there is an underlying bias here. Are you saying that if there had been players of another race on this team the support would not be where it is?
        I am in complete agreement that death threats are disgusting and undeserving. Unfortunately in this day and age of the worldwide dark web it is far to easy to hide behind a keyboard. The vast majority of rebuttals to her were not threatening but those that were are the ones that get highlighted by Loreto. Typical of today’s SJW.As I said she knew what wrath would come her way with her insensitive comments. If she didn’t she’s not much of a writer and very naive.
        With regards to Loreto not giving interviews, This has become more than she ever imagined and probably wants to hide until she can find a journalist who’ll feel sympathy for her and portray her as the poor victim she is.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          By your reasoning was the amplitude of the Pulse donations linked to the characteristics of the victims?

          Probably, yes. It certainly drew more attention in the LGBT community and I imagine there would have been a bias in favour of donations from there. The location also certainly played a role. If the nightclub had been in Portugal, the donations would have come from different sources, I believe.

          With NBA players being over 80% black would it be uncomfortable and unfair to consider a link between blacks and basketball?

          Uncomfortable, probably. But there’s obviously a link there whether we like it or not.

          Are you saying that if there had been players of another race on this team the support would not be where it is?

          Well, that’s what she’s saying. I’m not arguing that she’s right. But the fact that we relate so much to hockey is related to our shared heritage, and much of that shared heritage is very white.

          As I said she knew what wrath would come her way with her insensitive comments.

          What do you base this statement on? How do you know for sure that she was expecting (or even wanted) thousands of hateful messages? I tried searching for how many public tweets called her a “cunt” and it maxed out at 100. Who on earth expects this?

          This has become more than she ever imagined and probably wants to hide

          Wait, if she’s an attention whore and she knew exactly what was coming, why would she want to hide now?

          Reply
          1. dilbert

            She wanted attention, never thought her rude and near hateful comments would explode in her face. Now she’s trying hard to get away from a basic problem: She went from shrill protester to internet “hero” in a short period of time. When she was exposed, she did what most other of her type do – run away.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              When she was exposed, she did what most other of her type do – run away.

              Isn’t she doing the exact opposite of that? She hasn’t deleted her tweets, or shut down her account, or even stopped tweeting. You can’t criticize her for simultaneously running away and confronting the issue head on.

              Reply
              1. dilbert

                She doesn’t regret the tweets (she stands by her silly statements), but rather she is trying to get away from people’s reaction to them. She isn’t confronting the issue of her tweet, but rather is trying to turn it into a question of “why you mad?”, and blaming those who are upset. So she is standing up, but sort of wish people who stop being mad at her for being insensitive, shrill, and self-important.

  21. Louis DelG

    I think the problem here is that you can’t take what she tweets as sincere. If people thought she was actually genuine in her argument they would have let it go. Instead this smacks of identity politics and hating white people and hating men just for the sake of hating them.

    Questioning things is great, if you’re actually interested in an answer. Questioning them to fit your ideology just to make a point makes you a jackass.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I think the problem here is that you can’t take what she tweets as sincere.

      I believe she sincerely believes what she says. And I fail to see how her sincerely believing what she says would have prevented the harassment.

      Reply
  22. Paul

    If I want to give $1 towards crowdfunding, that’s my business. If the next guy wants to give $1 million, that’s his business. The “Why” is none of Loreto’s business. And frankly, what certain people just aren’t getting here is that it’s not so much her asking why, it’s her disgusting timing. They weren’t even in their graves yet…

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      If I want to give $1 towards crowdfunding, that’s my business. If the next guy wants to give $1 million, that’s his business.

      And if she wants to comment on the sociological factors that lead to people giving millions of dollars to a particular charity, that’s her business. And if people want to comment on her comment, that’s their business.

      it’s not so much her asking why, it’s her disgusting timing. They weren’t even in their graves yet…

      What does the timing change, exactly? Will the people who lost loved ones in this crash be less affected by that in six months? Should everyone hold their thoughts about current events until those events are no longer current?

      Reply
  23. Paul

    I’m getting the feeling that you’re essentially suggesting that we should regulate people’s generosity. That’s a level of meddling that would best be put on a shelf somewhere and quickly forgotten.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I’m getting the feeling that you’re essentially suggesting that we should regulate people’s generosity.

      Literally no one is suggesting that.

      Reply
      1. Paul Warburton

        She strayed into the swamp and met some alligators which she already knew would be there. She poked them, they responded, and now she’s mad and labelling every critic an alligator. Put another way, she is highlighting a minority of internet whack-jobs and then using them to apply Godwin’s Law to the majority who are simply and rightfully outraged by her comments and the woefully inappropriate timing of her comments. Those “white” men and boys weren’t even in their graves yet. I feel not one shred of sympathy for her.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          She strayed into the swamp and met some alligators which she already knew would be there.

          But she didn’t. The blowback she’s getting isn’t from her Twitter followers, it’s from people who have been directed to her by other people, including Ontario Proud and Rebel Media.

          She poked them, they responded, and now she’s mad and labelling every critic an alligator.

          Can you provide a quote to back up the claim that she’s “labelling every critic” in the same way?

          Reply
  24. Dwoo

    Responding to all this seems generally exhausting. I hope you find circles to discuss this topic where you aren’t being bombarded by argumentative fallacy or derailment. This is a really important and uncomfortable discussion to be had.

    Reply
  25. ZJ

    I don’t get it. If Nora Loreto and her supporters feel so strongly about other grieving families why don’t they just start their own go fund me page? Or create some kind of on going charitable foundation? Actions or I suppose in this case money is stronger than words. And please don’t lump me in the category of the alternative right horde. I don’t vote conservative, I don’t have any social media accounts where an organized mob could incite me to attack anybody for any reason; I’m of mixed race, female, and I am beyond appalled by the high school mentality mud slinging name calling “lol” ing that twitter seems to generate on all sides
    ( seriously anyone over 19 should refrain from the immature knee jerk reactions of lol, which to me is the text version of the classic pained teenage dramatic eye roll – like “whatever”)
    Whether left, right, centre, we can choose to use our free will to donate our money to what ever csuse we feel is worthy. So can’t everyone stop with the self righteousness already, call a truce, and just start giving. Our fellow humans are in need. Hurt and sorrow know no colours.

    “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive”

    “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves” dalai lama

    Reply
  26. Edwin Ted Knight

    No sympathy for Loreto. She meant to divide. Her words are sexist and racist. She deserves whatever replies she gets.

    That’s how I am always told it works. Free speech has consequences.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      No sympathy for Loreto. She meant to divide. Her words are sexist and racist. She deserves whatever replies she gets.

      What a unifying message.

      Free speech has consequences.

      Surely we can agree that death and rape threats are not appropriate consequences to an opinion, though.

      Reply
      1. dilbert

        Focusing only on the death threats (which are abhorrent) means that you miss the greater point. Free speech means you get free speech back. She’s not liking that people are calling her out. She’s being inappropriate, and free speakers have stepped in and told her so.

        The death threats suck, but some people just take things a little too far. Perhaps she can reflect on that!

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Focusing only on the death threats (which are abhorrent) means that you miss the greater point.

          I’m focusing on the hate in general. Loreto isn’t complaining about people voicing their disagreement.

          Reply
          1. dilbert

            Agreeing or disagreeing with the point is nearly beside the point, when you think about it. Many people are upset not because her point is stupid and selfish (it is though), but rather that she appears to be trying to hijack a tragedy to her own ends.

            Her point is selfish and pretty much borderline nonsense, and that’s fine. We can disagree.

            What she is getting flack for is bad timing and such. She’s a lesser version of the Westboro Baptist Church types protesting a funeral. You may disagree with what the person did or how they died or whatever, but damn, let them rest in piece. Canada as a whole was mourning a tragedy that could have befallen almost any of our families, and this woman is showing up complaining about it all.

            Her comments may have been easier to swallow a couple of month later. She still would have been a git, but she wouldn’t have been doing it in the middle of people mourning and coming together over a real tragedy.

            I can’t wait to hear her complaining that the Toronto victims didn’t have a more standard distribution of men and women, race, and creed… ;)

            Reply

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