Thompson mayoral candidate Ryan Brady says that racist comments he wrote in a white supremacist website forum in 2009, screenshots of which were posted and then deleted on Thompson Talk over the weekend, were “disgusting” and “wrong” and don’t reflect the person he actually is.
“It was very wrong of me to do that especially since I have friends that are Indigenous and different races,” he said Sept. 23. “People feel betrayed by it. I have friends messaging me that I saw this post about you and I know what you said was wrong or disgusting or whatever but that’s not who you are.”
The posts were deleted by Thompson Talk administrator and founder Jeff Mcinnes for ethical and safety reasons.
An article posted on http://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.com in 2009 about a group called Winnipeg White Pride Warriors shows screenshots of comments Brady wrote on the white supremacist website Stormfront under the name “honoryourlife.” That user was identified as a “Friends of Stormfront” sustaining member – someone who supported the website financially.
“We all wear the same ‘natural’ uniform/armor, and that is our WHITE skin!” said one of the posts. Other posts, which included the quote “One blood demands one reich” attributed to Adolf Hitler among other quotes in the user signature, said that Canada was “infested with vermin,” that Asians were “sly and cunning creatures,” and that Indigenous people should “stick to their reserves and stay there. Much like wild game reserves. They should just stay there and not bother us.” He also wrote that preserving the white race and culture was a priority for him, and that “ovens will be running over with all these race-traitors and jewish pawns.”
Brady said that he was “trolling” when he made those posts.
“I like posting things that are kind of controversial and get people talking,” he said. “It’s 10 years ago, mind you, but even then I’d just post things to get people riled up.”
Asked if he believed what he wrote then or believes it now, Brady said, “No. Otherwise I wouldn’t have the friends that I do or listen to the music that I do. If people actually knew anything about white nationalists, about most of them, they tend not to have friends that are of different races. They won’t even go to doctors that are a different race.”
Brady said he forgot about the posts until they were put up on Thompson Talk and that he hasn’t posted any such comments since 2010.
“If you go back from then to now you won’t see any of that anywhere online,” Brady said. “I’m all over the internet on tons of different forums, all over Facebook. You won’t see any of that. You can ask my friends, you can ask anyone.”
He also said that he didn’t know much about the internet in 2009 “besides how to piss people off.”
“It definitely stays forever,” he said. “It doesn’t go away. I didn’t think about that when I was 18. I was 18, 19 when I posted that stuff. I’m 29 now. I got kids, a wife, I got a house, I work a full-time job. I’m running for mayor. I just think people should take a look at the evidence that is there and base it on that or come and talk to me.”
Brady said his past actions are affecting him now, as he has been dealing with the aftermath of these revelations since they were brought to light.
“I think I’m dealing with everything decently, trying to,” he said, though he would have liked to have been able to address them further within the group where they were posted but was removed from the group by the administrators. “I would have liked an open discussion about it so I can tell people my side of it.”
Mcinnes said that Brady was given a chance to respond before being kicked out, in which the mayoral candidate said that people could believe what they wanted, that he wouldn’t try to change their minds and that he would still be running for mayor.
“There’s a whole wide internet out there for him to plead his case,” said Mcinnes. “Thompson Talk is one tiny slice of that internet that has been and always will be an oasis for people who don’t want to have racism in any form defended. No one is entitled to be a member of Thompson Talk, it is a mild privilege. If you’re going to disparage entire races of people, trolling or not, you have nothing to add to the group anyway besides blatant ignorance and stupidity.”
“It wasn’t right of me at all,” said Brady about his racist posts. “I’ll readily admit that. I don’t agree with any of that but that’s what it looks like. If people actually got to know me they’d say, ‘Well, what you posted there, yeah, it’s disgusting, it’s wrong but that’s not who you are.’”