Don Henderson doesn't like being called "Nazi scum." He particularly doesn't like it when such words are yelled at his mother.
But that's exactly what happened Sunday outside Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, when masked protesters identified as Antifa blocked the path of Henderson and his mother, who was using a walker to make her way into a conservative event.
Here's the clip. (Content warning: Language):
Antifa protesters scream at & block elderly couple outside an event featuring conservative politician… https://t.co/5qguAvvQfd— Andy Ngo (@Andy Ngo) 1569810994.0
Henderson managed to keep his cool amid the accusatory screaming and finger-pointing. But when the dust settled, he fought back with a wisdom-filled op-ed in the Hamilton News.
"Apparently in the view of some I'm 'Nazi Scum.' I just didn't realize it," he began.
Image source: YouTube screenshot
Noting how the "black-masked and rage-filled youth decided to scream as loudly as possible in her ear that she was a Nazi," Henderson shared that inside the venue his mother "complained of having trouble hearing in that ear which was particularly cruel since we were attending an event that required us to listen to ideas."
Image source: YouTube screenshot
Then he brought the hammer down, pointing out the irony that the "uneducated" Antifa "bullies" wanted to "school" them both that they were Nazis — when the truth is that Henderson, his mother, and his family are 180 degrees from that.
Class is now in session
He began by sharing that his grandfather — "unlike these misguided youth" — fought in World War II in Europe to "kill" actual Nazis.
More from Henderson's op-ed:
My fondest memories of my childhood were sitting on the carpet next to my grandfather's recliner, wide-eyed as he would tell story after story of World War II. Yet, despite the horrors he endured, each story was laced with a life lesson well beyond the norms for his generation. I remember him explaining why racism doesn't make sense since you can take the heart out of a black man and put it into a white man and it works just fine.
Noting similar service carried out by his two grand-uncles and his grand-aunt, he noted that "every Remembrance Day, I reflect on the blood, pain, and death our family paid to help keep Canada free."
Henderson also said it's "contradictory" that "this masked group that often identifies as Antifa, standing for anti-fascist," which supposedly stands against "Nazis or fascists," behaved the way they did toward him and his mother, blocking their paths and screaming at them.
"The suppression of opposition is a cornerstone of fascism, while it is our freedom to debate ideas that is a cornerstone of democracy," he wrote. "During the event, I didn't hear one idea that remotely resembled the Nazi party. I didn't agree with every policy they put forth, but that's point isn't it? I'm free to disagree."
Henderson added that it "angers me to see such ignorance" exuded by Antifa.
Image source: Twitter
"Labeling someone because you disagree with them won't lead to a better society," he noted. "Especially when you don't really know the person you are labeling. I'm not a Nazi. My family gave everything to stop them, and I would do the same."
And Henderson added a final, pointed question: "If you need to wear a mask when you assault people, who exactly are you?"
Protesters at Maxime Bernier Event at Mohawk Collegeyoutu.be