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Monday, June 11, 2007 

Regina Police Raid Home Of Ex Prof For Hate Crimes

Regina City Police raided the home of a former university professor accused of spreading hate online and seized computer equipment.

Terry Tremaine, 58, who was let go from his job as a University of Saskatchewan mathematics professor in 2005, is the subject of a criminal complaint by Ottawa-based human rights lawyer Richard Warman and the Canadian Jewish Congress.

They accuse him of willful promotion of hatred in online postings that target Jewish, black and First Nations people in Saskatchewan.

Tremaine calls himself the leader of the National Socialist Party of Canada and a member of "white nationalists."

CBC Saskatchewan

I heard about this on CBC, and was absolutely astounded. How does someone with those views end up as a university professor? How does a university professor, presumably someone who is quite enlightened, end up with views like that.

I agree totally. In my book, it is ignorance that breeds this type of poisoned world view. As a university prof, I assume the guy has some brains. But I suppose as a math prof, he didn't really care that much about the social sciences.

I am sure glad that he was terminated from the U of S when this was first discovered.

Well guys, to be fair, he was a math professor - you can be brilliant at math and still be a bigoted fool. These things are not mutually exclusive.

I mean, Bobby Fisher is a brilliant chess player and mathematecal mind and probably the most slack-jawed antisemite around.

I'm not excusing this guy's behaviour, I just don't think you should be shocked, or dismiss this kind of belief as merely ignorant. It is wrong, but that doesn't mean the people who hold them are, or should be ignorant. They are just wrong.

And to stir the pot a bit more, I would say to counter his idiocy requires more speech, more exposure and more ridicule, not trying to arrest him or throw him into jail for his beliefs. As John Milton stated in Areopagetica, to do this gives unneeded attention and credence to his beliefs, because it looks like the authorities are afraid of them. It also makes us act like him.

Getting him fired, protesting him into oblivion is far better than giving him at legal soap-box in a Court from which to preach his screed.


I had intended to add a lengthy comment suggesting that we need to actively debate Tremaine's ideas, not try to silence the man or dismiss him as a fool. Mike has already argued that much more convincingly than I would have.

Getting him fired, protesting him into oblivion is far better than giving him at legal soap-box in a Court from which to preach his screed.

I disagree, Mike. The courtroom imposes certain rules of discourse that make these people sound even more ridiculous than they normally do.

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