Dear Anastasia,

You fell into her trap. Faith Goldy, a University of Toronto alum and famous white nationalist convinced you through her polite manner of conversation that she should have a place at the debate stage. Faith Goldy is a fringe candidate, the highest degree of extremist, and she is following the trends of other prominent white nationalists in their quests to moderate their image in order to spread their hateful messages.

You had said that because Goldy has been left in the dark that she is getting more attention, and this may be true, but you came to the wrong conclusion. Goldy is getting more attention because she has turned this election into her own personal circus — and the media ate it up. She protested at every debate, using the values that we hold dear against us to make us feel as though she deserved a place on stage. She wants us to feel like she belongs, she desperately craves it, and so she loudly protested against “bias.”

What about other fringe candidates who ran for mayor — one of whom, Kevin Clarke, was kicked out of the Mayoral Forum on Affordable Housing held at OISE — which was also protested by Goldy – despite being a strong advocate for the homeless and poverty in this city. In your argument, why should only the loudest and craziest be allowed in debates, and not all candidates?

Your argument assumes that Goldy would attend a debate in good faith (forgive the lack of a better word). It is a noted white nationalist and alt-right tactic to derail a debate by throwing falsehoods on the debate stage, leaving the serious candidates to clean it up — often forgoing their own time on stage to defend against these lies. The tactic is often called a “Gish Gallop,” the tactic which forces the opponent to defend against a wall of arguments, despite their lack of merit or validity.

Giving her a platform to spew her hatred in order to debate her and try to take her down civilly is a false dream and can only win her more support. There is no “gotcha” moment, she openly admits to her horrid beliefs, it is impossible to “catch” her. All debating her does is give her a message with a wider audience – that is why she wants to debate so bad, she wants to use her dog whistles in front of an audience of millions. She would not debate the issues at hand, instead she would continuously spread false information about the city, or other candidates — one example can be noted from her protestors and their continuous use of the word “communist” to describe John Tory, something I think anyone sane can agree is absolutely not true.

The real reason why Goldy has gained support is because the media thrives on controversy, and they have endlessly covered this campaign and all of its intricacies without thinking of the consequences. The fact that we in the normal sphere of politics think that we need to debate these bigots shows that we truly believe in democratic principles and norms. The fact that she is even being asked about in official polls is a farce –— why should she have any more right to that representation than any of the other candidates who are running for mayor? Her constant coverage because of her fringe views is a tool for revenue and clicks on a website — we are doing this openly, and without regret (until after the fact). These people are not assembling underground, they are assembling at our doorstep with the intention to trick their way into our minds by using the values we hold dear, while in the same breath promising to destroy these very values.

P.S. — speaking of articles you could have written about University of Toronto Alumni and their political careers, Mayor John Tory attended Trinity College, graduating in 1975.

Lucas Granger

UTSU Innis College Director

Editor’s Note (October 23): To clarify, whilst Lucas Granger is on the Board of Directors of the University of Toronto Students’ Union, this letter represents his personal opinion on this matter and not the union’s.