We’re still reeling from the terrorist attacks in Edmonton – not to even mention Las Vegas – and we’ve been glued to our news feeds trying to figure out what exactly happened and why, and perhaps more importantly how to prevent these kinds of attacks from happening again. But it goes without saying that bigots and assholes are always lurking in the wings, waiting to make things worse.
Enter Karen Draper, candidate for public school board trustee of Wards 12 & 14 in Calgary. And what was Ms. Draper’s thoughtful and informative perspective on what happened in Edmonton?
Yup. That’s from a candidate for school board trustee.
Draper’s comments made national headlines, and triggered a huge public response. As of this writing, her original post has 953 shares, 876 comments, 353 “Angry” reactions, and 39 “Haha” reactions. Alarmingly, it also has 65 “Like”s, and there are several supportive comments. You’d think that all this would make her reconsider her carelessly shared thoughts, and it did.
Unfortunately, it didn’t help. What came next out of the bowels of her mind was even worse.
In her first follow-up post, she explained that she had a
validated [sic; and remember, this woman wants to be a school board trustee] reason for blaming LGBTQ people for the Edmonton terror attack.
Oh, I know you’re dying to hear it. Well, here it is:
I actually had a validated reason for writing what I did because almost every lgbt member I’ve met has been counter protesting our events against m103, the open borders, and against Islamic terrorism. Calling me a rascist. They have been violent here in Calgary. They have even physically attacked my friends, a church where they assaulted and maced people. Including children. 3 were arrested and charged that day. The lgbt in the area are also members of antifa the masked domestic terrorist group so Maybe some of you should think about how you represent your group. Also I will add that most our local antifa and lgbt youth attending these violent protests come from the mount royal university.
If you can’t work your way through that rambling nonsense, Ms. Draper basically said that the Edmonton attack is LGBTQ people’s fault because they were mean to her at the racist and anti-Muslim protests she took part in.
Oh, but in the very next sentence, she shows a glimmer of proto-simian intelligence and insight when she says:
GENERALIZING THE WHOLE LGTB COMMUNITY…..maybe not a super idea
Yeah, maybe not.
But then she dives right back into it, gloating about how the persecution she’s received for her comments prove she’s right about how evil LGBTQ people are. Pretty textbook conspiracy theory stuff. Then it’s on to a rant against gay-straight alliances and SOGI 1 2 3 (a program aimed at giving educators better skills and tools for dealing with LGBTQ issues in schools). She wraps up by clarifying that she
spelt dum like that on purpose… which totally assuages all of my concerns about her competency as an education trustee [/sarcasm]. Finally she assures:
I don’t do crack or meth and even though I dressed up as a bag of weed 10 years ago. A drug test would prove I am not high. I’d take her up on that.
Oh, but you think it ends there?
Nope. she put up a glorious “I’m sorry you’re upset” not-pology rant explaining that the reason she hates LGBTQ is not because she’s homophobic – oh, dear me, no! – it’s because
your group [LGBTQ people] supports bringing in thousands of more refugees. She hates the NDP, M-103, and now CTV (because she feels they didn’t air all of her views in their piece about her… which was probably a wise decision by CTV). She fears
decreasing morals, and feels oppressed by a carbon tax and
political correctness (of course). In fact, she insists she’s the best person for the job of school board trustee because she doesn’t bow to “political correctness”… I feel someone should probably inform her that that’s not actually a qualification for that particular job.
And the loopiest part of it all has to be when she says that she’s really blaming LGBTQ people for terrorism and all the other evils of the world because she cares about them:
My fight is not with the LGBT. I get mad at them because they just don’t seem to get that I fight FOR them. We are not on the right road.
I will continue my campaign please wake up! I thank God the whole city gets to see me right now.
Gee, “the LGBT” must really be stupid to not see how hard this woman is fighting for them.
Okay, we’ve had our fun. Now comes the part where you ask if it isn’t just a little bit unfair to pick on this woman. She’s clearly a few beers short of a two-four. And when someone is putting David Icke links on their campaign page, they’re probably not among the serious contenders in the race. (And indeed, there are eight other candidates for the position she’s running for.)
The thing is, people like Draper actually do have a shot at getting into positions of power. There may be nine candidates in Draper’s area, but there are multiple areas with only two candidates – all it would take is for the “sane” candidate to be hit by a bus, and a kook could have the job. And in the Catholic board, several trustees were straight-up acclaimed into their positions.
Yes, it’s definitely important to keep a close eye on the big political races, like for federal or provincial parliament, or the mayors or councillors of large cities. But it’s also vitally important that we keep a sharp eye on the “little” races… like for Calgary public school board trustees. It’s in these “little” races that the really dangerous candidates can slip in under the radar. And not just lunatics like Draper; candidates who are dangerous not because they are unhinged, but because they intend to push dangerous, regressive policies. It won’t take many of them getting into power to actually make those policies possible… or at the very least, to block progressive policies.
And make no mistake, whether we are paying attention to those “little” races or not… they are. For example, you may have noticed Draper ranting about “SOGI 1 2 3”… well, that’s not just coming out of her warped little “brain”. She’s picking up those talking points from organized groups like this one or this one.
So by all means, laugh or roll your eyes at Draper… but also let her serve as a warning. The “little” elections in your community are as important as the big ones. Get involved, find out about the candidates, and vote. Don’t let disinterest and apathy in “small-time” politics create a safe space for wingnuttery to slip into power… no matter how minor that power may be. There may be similar kooks lurking in the fringes of every “little” election in your own town. And they may be just a little bit smarter than Draper, and know to keep their insanity and their offensive, regressive ideas quiet… until it’s too late to stop them.