"Warmington is using this thinly veiled racist language to demean a group of people based on the entirely unverified claim that someone threatened police. We do not know the context. It should be further investigated."
December 18, 2023
Joe Warmington, Columnist, Toronto Sun
Adrienne Batra, Editor, Toronto Sun
Dear Joe Warmington and Adrienne Batra,
I’m writing to point out a contradiction in a news article and an opinion article both published by the Toronto Sun. Both are focused on a pro-Palestine protest that took place in the Eaton Centre in Toronto, specifically keying in on an individual who made threatening remarks.
The news article states “The chaotic scene makes it difficult to determine who the man is yelling at as several police officers seemingly keep protesters away from other people at the mall.” Indeed, if you watch the attached clip, it appears the man is actually yelling at someone being protected by police, as you see a clearer altercation unfold near the end between a pro-Israel demonstrator and a pro-Palestine supporter.
Despite the video and the news article stating that it is not certain who the man was threatening, an opinion article written by Joe Warmington states as a fact that protesters were threating to kill the police: “they are threatening to kill our police.”
First, there is a contradiction here between the opinion and news article. Opinions must be based in reality. It seems Warmington is inventing a narrative that fits his argument. This is a violation even of the loose journalistic principles of opinion articles.
Please correct Warmington’s article to make clear there is no clear evidence that protesters were threatening the police.
Second, Warmington’s use of “they” is plainly racist. “They” is referring to the Arab men in the clip. Everyone in the vicinity becomes associated with the remarks of one person by nature of their ethnicity. Warmington is using this thinly veiled racist language to demean a group of people based on the entirely unverified claim that someone threatened police. We do not know the context. It should be further investigated.
Given the rising tide of Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism, such unfounded racism is dangerous.
Director of Media Advocacy, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East