Not only was this widespread, but when one considers the misuse of electronic media for the purpose of bullying it shouldn't be much of a leap to understand how such media can be abused in the propagation of blind hatred.
So, some bunch of teenagers decided that it would be fun to kick the crap out of their red-headed classmates.
On one hand, we might look upon this as "just a bunch of kids funnin'", but I think it warrants a much more sober examination in the context of other aspects of the Canadian political discourse.
It wasn't so long ago that it was common "sport" for a group of young thugs to get together and go 'roll a queer'. Usually such events took place after a few too many drinks, and the collective intelligence of the group fell. The 'kick a ginger' thing is in the same category - it relies heavily on identifying someone by a distinguishing characteristic, and then attacking them. The difference here, is that instead of things being organized over a few beer in a bar, the "event" was plotted and planned using Facebook.
Meanwhile, we have a group of people in Canada - headed by the oh-so-enlightened Ezra Levant, Kathy Shaidle and Mark Steyn who are busy trying to remove Section 13 from the Canadian Human Rights code (or, in the case of the oh-so-rational Ezra, dismantling the entire mechanism because it offends his sensibilities).
Collectively, their thesis is that "words can't hurt":
And yeah, I guess if you're a wimp, words can hurt. So man up. But we all know that "manning up" isn't an option in our metrosexual p.c. society...
Right. Let's consider this for a moment or two - a group of people were just posting words on Facebook. Those words enabled some people to give themselves permission to kick the tar out of someone for what they looked like. Now, I recognize that the three individuals I just mentioned don't understand the concept of civility to begin with - they collectively specialize in making their point by being as noxious as possible.
I wonder if Ezra has clued in that people who would do him a lot more harm simply for his ancestry are fairly salivating over the prospect of S. 13 going away (look for a post entitled "Folks on Stormfront Giddy With Excitement; Conservative Party Might Want to Take Notice of Who Their Supporters Are" - Nov 17/08).
I have always argued that the problem with Boissoin's hate filled letter of 2002 was that in essence it could give some people the license to go beat the crap out of GLBT people.
But, here we have a more direct example where electronic means were used to organize attacks on a group of individuals for no better reason than their hair colour. Now, tell me again how "words can't hurt"? I'd argue that there's a bunch of red-headed teens around right now that stand as proof to the contrary.
Our country's lawmakers had better think long and hard before they try to enact the CPoC policy to repeal S.13 of our human rights law.