By Jonathon Van Maren
This is a column I really didn’t want to write for one simple reason: Nobody likes to draw attention to the fact that someone they liked has taken a sharp turn for the worse. In this case, the person I’m referring to is a cheery shock-jock commentator who managed to turn up in nearly every corner of Canadian conservatism for years. She went from a Marxist to a conservative during her university years, wrote for the National Post, ended up as commentator on the now-defunct Sun News Network, and was enticed over to Ezra Levant’s YouTube outfit The Rebel shortly thereafter. Now, she is running for mayor of Toronto. I’m writing, of course, of Faith Goldy.
I met Faith back in 2012, when we both ended up speaking at the same pro-life rally at Queen’s Park. Most people in Canadian conservative circles knew her, or had at least run into her now and again. She was a pro-life Ukrainian Catholic, and got occasional gigs at pro-life events. At Sun News Network, she gained fans by relentlessly chasing down Justin Trudeau, demanding he explain himself on any number of issues. At The Rebel, where she had her own show On the Hunt with Faith Goldy, she interviewed many conservative politicians, including Jason Kenney and Andrew Scheer. She talked to pro-lifers, too—many of my friends went on her show, and she interviewed me on my 2016 book, The Culture War. Keep in mind that this was before her actions triggered The Rebel’s 2017 meltdown—at that point, Ezra Levant was still a fairly mainstream conservative figure.
But throughout 2017, several of the Rebel hosts began to dabble in various alt-right ideas. Gavin McInnes hosted Richard Spencer on his show, and famously got drunk and ranted about the Holocaust during his Rebel-funded trip to Israel. Goldy began to do commentary on the concept of “white genocide,” which implies by its very name that there is some non-white plot to wipe out white people (the term, after all, literally translates to “race murder.”) I met up with Faith in Toronto to talk about why I strongly disagreed with these ideas, noting that European demographics were cratering due to Europeans freely deciding not to have more children (which is suicide, not genocide.) I even explained why the social conservative worldview is actually supported primarily by new Canadians and immigrant communities, as her own reporting on the sex-education controversy in Ontario had also noted. She was her bubbly self, and appeared to agree with me.
And then, in August of 2017, Charlottesville happened. Goldy livestreamed the Unite the Right Rally while delivering a running commentary highly sympathetic to the white nationalist marchers, who had spent one dark night marching with flickering torches while chanting slogans such as “the Jews will not replace us!” and waving swastika flags. Her camera was actually one of the few that caught the deadly vehicle attack that saw a car driven by one of the alt-righters straight into a crowd of counter-protestors, leaving one woman dead. Despite this, Goldy made the rounds on a wide range of podcasts and YouTube shows, at one point casually referring to the “JQ” (“Jewish Question”) and referring to those ideas as “well thought out,” ending up on the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer’s podcast, where she made a joke about her long-suffering boss Ezra not turning down free bacon (because he’s a Jew, get it?)
The result of this was almost immediate. The Rebel suffered a massive meltdown in just a few days, with co-founder Brian Lilley and a series of other hosts and contributors announcing their departures. Goldy got fired after her appearance on the Daily Stormer podcast surfaced. Delighted progressives and long-time foes of Levant moved in for the kill, and politicians were called upon to disavow any and all connections with The Rebel. Ezra Levant, a free speech warrior and conservative insider for decades, had his business venture definitively shoved to the fringe because he had allowed his staff just enough rope to hang him with. Levant, like many others, initially thought that the alt-right was just a group of Internet trolls tossing hand grenades into pastures filled with sacred cows. By the time he realized that this was not the case, it was too late. Politicians and many others now shun his show like the plague. Ironically, one of Goldy’s final statements to the folks over at the Daily Stormer was to compliment Levant for the amount of editorial freedom he permitted her.
It was a genuinely sad thing to watch, and I noted at the time that it was very clearly a cautionary tale for conservatives: the alt-right is dangerous, and consorting with anti-Semites should always be considered absolutely unacceptable. I hoped at the time that Goldy and others who had dabbled with the alt-right would realize their mistake, pull back, and have the self-awareness to understand that this stuff is poison. After all, the Unite the Right Rally had just given us a pretty unambiguous look at what the alt-right movement was all about, what their plans were, and what their vision of Western Civilization actually looks like. There was no dog-whistling at Charlottesville and afterwards: It was a raw and primal scream of rage, directed at the Jews and other “non-whites.” Their display was a chance for anyone tempted by any of their ideas to see what they were buying into, and walk away.
Instead, after an initial statement that was a combination of an explanation and a non-apology, Faith Goldy doubled down. I have been following the alt-right for several years now, especially after I noticed that some conservatives and libertarians of a certain disposition find some of these ideologies to be alluring. Despite her recent denials of being alt-right to the Post Millenial as well as her reposting of her post-Charlottesville non-apology, Goldy has become a frequent guest on white nationalist and alt-right YouTube shows and podcasts throughout the past year, and has carefully cultivated her image as one of them—even inventing a weird version of Canadian history, which apparently has Canada containing large indigenous populations of European people, whom she insists are “settlers” not “immigrants” (the settlers apparently did not immigrate to Canada first before settling. The obvious holes in this historical theory are not addressed.)
For example, one YouTube show she appears on is American Pride, an outfit that also frequently features David Duke (one of his recent appearances focuses on the insidious influence of the Jews), prominent neo-Nazi and editor of AltRight.com Richard Spencer, and Jared Taylor of American Renaissance. A brief review of their videos illustrates just how steeped in racism and anti-Semitism they are, and anyone choosing to become a frequent guest on this channel cannot claim ignorance of the worldview they seek to promote. In fact, in one exchange with YouTuber Lauren Rose and Jean Francois Gariepy, Goldy was asked to defend her whiteness:
Gariepy: Now, Faith, it is time for the final purity test. My audience keeps asking me about you. They call you Faith Goldbergstein—are you a servant of the Israeli state?
Goldy, laughing: Aw, man, ultimate subversion, guys—you found me out, fam. No, Ancestry has zero Ashkenazi, sorry to disappoint…I’m fully European. I actually have a lot more Slav DNA than I had expected, because technically—Jeff, don’t judge! Don’t throw me off!—I’ve got three Greek grandparents and one Slav. Yeah, I had more than the 25% Eastern European. And I had 1% Finn as well. I’m very proud of that 1% Finn.
Gariepy: Well, in my video “What is White,” I’ve pointed out that the Slavs and the Greeks, you can include them in the white race if you want. They are genetically slightly different from Europeans, but it depends on how big you want to draw the circle.
Goldy: Absolutely. I’d like to draw the circle big enough to include Ukrainians and Greeks.
Another show that Goldy has regularly appeared on since her firing from The Rebel is Red Ice TV, usually with host Lana Lokteff. Lokteff is a prominent figure on the alt-right—she’s appeared on panels with Richard Spencer, and is married to Henrik Palmgren, who is reportedly working on the creation of a media outfit with Spencer. Again, Red Ice TV specializes in anti-Semitism, has dabbled in Holocaust denial, and has regularly featured David Duke as an honored guest. It was in a conversation with Lokteff that Goldy explicitly rejected “civic nationalism” in favor of ethno-nationalism (white nationalism), stating that civic nationalism has led to the “balkanization” of our society, as evidenced by phenomena such as Chinatown. Because of this, Goldy told Lokteff, civic nationalism must be rejected in favor of ethno-nationalism, which she unironically describes as one of the prime drivers of 20th century history. “The question is,” she stated, “are we going to work against nature, and try to rise above it, even though we’re forty, fifty, sixty years into this experiment and those partitions are only becoming more distinguished? Or are we going to say, maybe it’s time to dis-aggregate?”
Despite all this, Goldy has tried to protest when people point out that she has obviously decided to throw her lot in with the alt-right. When she quoted the so-called “Fourteen Words” on the alt-right Millenial Woes podcast, she protested the backlash by saying that there was nothing wrong with white people wanting to secure a future for their children—which may be literally true, but does not change the fact that she decided to parrot a phrase coined by white supremacist David Lane of terrorist group The Order while in prison for the murder of a Jewish radio host. When you consciously decide to associate yourself with a certain movement and employ their catchphrases, you don’t get to pretend to be stunned and offended when someone points out the association—one that was greeted with delight on the alt-right. She also backed down when she recommended a book that calls for the elimination of the “Jewish menace,” saying she hadn’t read that far yet. Regardless of this, alt-right figures are extremely pleased with Faith Goldy’s decision to run for mayor of Toronto, seeing it as a platform to spread their views–Mark Collett, a YouTuber once featured in the BBC documentary Young, Nazi, and Proud, released a video urging alt-righters to push Goldy’s campaign.
I’ll be honest: I would not have written this article if Faith Goldy had not decided to run for mayor. I had unhappily noted her departure from conservatism and subsequent embrace of (and by) the alt-right, and so for obvious reasons we no longer ran in the same circles. But now she is back, and I’ve noticed that many social conservatives, libertarians, and others seem to be unaware of what she’s been up to since her departure from The Rebel—which is perfectly understandable, since most people don’t keep track of what is going on in the alt-right underworld. As such, Goldy will most likely attempt to garner support from those who were once fans of her Rebel show—people who will then end up being damned by association because of her alt-right record and the folks she’s been fraternizing with over the past year. Social conservatives, libertarians, and conservatives in general—the people who are scorned by the alt-right as “cucks”—need to be aware of Goldy’s trajectory, and need to recognize the consequences of associating with her campaign.
Many have said that people should not be abandoned over a simple mistake, and that Goldy’s appearance on the Daily Stormer podcast post-Charlottesville was simply a single mistake. Unfortunately, that has not turned out to be the case. Since then, as I have pointed out, she has primarily frequented shows and podcasts run by alt-right figures who also host David Duke and other neo-Nazis, has explicitly rejected civic nationalism in favor of ethno-nationalism, has seen fit to protest so-called accusations of Jewishness and assert her whiteness, and chosen to parrot the catch-phrases of self-described white supremacists. While Goldy can play the semantic game and attempt to highlight points of disagreement between her and the alt-right friends she spends hours with on YouTube shows and podcasts for political expediency, as the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. She’s done her best on their shows over the past months to prove she is one of them, even going so far as to describe her ideological evolution, and there is no reason to think that is not the case now just because she finds that inconvenient to a mayoral run. I find all of this to be sad and incredibly disappointing. But these are the facts.
I have one final point to make: If Faith Goldy is not launching this mayoral run to attract attention to her ideas, as many alt-right figures hope, then her decision is simply an exercise in profound selfishness. If Goldy actually cares about conservatism, or the pro-life cause, or libertarianism, or anything else, the biggest favor she could do for those associated with these causes is to stay home. All you have to do is look at what happened to Ezra Levant, once a fairly mainstream figure in Canadian conservatism, to see what happens to people who become associated with those who dabble in alt-right ideologies. Goldy’s actions in Charlottesville were the main factors in the torching of The Rebel’s credibility, and anyone who decides to throw their lot in with Goldy can expect something similar to happen to them. Goldy’s name, after all, is already used as a weapon against any politician who ever appeared with her. The alt-right is poison, and that poison rubs off on anyone who gets close to it. Goldy knows the result that her actions and associations have—she jokes about it all the time. And so by courting conservatives who have everything to lose by associating with her, she is proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that this mayoral run is a vanity exercise that is about her, and nobody else.