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JuicyLesson #124: Racism and the Quebec charter of values

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Are you at all a racist? Not me. For 100% sure.

More on the ugliness released by the charter.

The fastest and easiest way to begin this JL, is to excerpt a chunk of JuicyLesson #11 on the values charter, which was published on 20th Sept. 2013:

“Just reading how anti-Moslem actions in Quebec have apparently increased following the release of the PQ’s so-called charter of Quebec values. A man upbraids a burka-clad woman on Montreal bus, yelling at her to remove her ‘hat’ and that government will soon force her to do so; a Turkish bathhouse in Lasalle is vandalised with the words “Go B to your country ” and “PQ” spray painted on its facade as well as the so-called “pig’s blood” incident which saw a Quebec mosque in the Saguenay region vandalised with a red liquid of some kind, possibly pig’s blood …

“To show that ignorant bigots are equal opportunity idiots, vandals attacked the St. Lawrence Anglican Church last week, and spray painted the words “GO HOME GREEK PQ”on its doors even though there are only a couple of Greek members of that particular congregation.”

It appears that there was quite a bit of latent racism and racist attitudes buried fairly deeply in the social fabric here in Quebec which the charter has brought to the fore. At the risk of offending people, it is my opinion that that may not be such a bad thing. If racist leanings, racist tendencies as it were, are in fact not extant here, isn’t it better that they become manifest so as to be seen and discussed, written about and otherwise recorded rather than remaining hidden, camouflaged if you will, not dealt with legally and/or therapeutically, until there is some kind of unexpected reaction against something or other from what is hopefully a relatively small segment of the population? Better the devil you know? Does that last question make any sense? Wow. Three questions in a row? Four? Five? Brain disintegration? Period. Can’t get off on that tangent. I find that my posts get too long sometimes. A thousand words should be the outer limit of each JuicyLesson.

The fact that incidents of overt discrimination against visible minorities here has increased as a result of some people, mostly Francophones who support the PQ government and whose actions have precipitated these racist incidents. A Moslem child was even spat on at the Fairview Centre in Montreal because either she – if the kid in this case was in fact female – or her mother refused to remove her hijab. Spat at! For fuck sake. A little kid.

Face it, regardless of what we tell ourselves, we live in a racist society here in Quebec, and the same is true in the rest of the world, regardless of what citizens in other countries tell themselves. The difference is that we have a better idea of who we are as a people than they do. The British historian E.H. Carr stated in one of his writings that the first step to solving any problem is to recognize that it exists … or something to that effect.

And from JL #12 the next day’s on the same divisive and provocative subject:

“In its August 27th edition, the Montreal Gazette, that fucking rag, reported that Premier Marois stated that the PQ’s proposed charter of values would serve to unite Quebec, presumably Québécois of all stripes, as Bill 101 did in 1977, a year after Rene Levesque and the Parti Quebecois came to power for the first time in Quebec history.

“Initially, upon reading this bullshit, I asked myself the following question: on what planet is Pauline Marois living? At first glance her contention that her party’s proposed charter of Quebec values would be a force for unity just as Bill 101 was would be laughable if it wasn’t either so serious a misperception of reality or a revision of history. In fact, Bill 101 divided Quebec and still does. Granted, over time, divisions over this act which made French Quebec’s official language have become less pronounced but to say that it was/is a unifying force at first glance reveals a warped view of what is and was really happening in our province. Two terms: pastagate and plastic spoons.

“Marois’ statement that the so-called values charter will unite Quebecois may in fact be truer than it appears at first glance, but not in the way anticipated by our loveable Premier. Whereas at first 65% of Québécois polled supported the charter, with time that number has fallen sharply to around a even split amongst all Québécois – anglophones, francophones, allophones and autochtones – 49% for 49% against. If this trend continues, the charter will unite Québécois all right, against this potentially very divisive and dangerous document.”
–looks like I was wrong here — J.C.

“And Marois says that the charter will unite Québécois! So far that has proved to be very wrong unless, as I said, Quebecers of all stripes end up in a union against that document and all or most of what it implies.
— still wrong — J.C.

Remember that the PQ’s party platform is built around the idea of Quebec sovereignty, its independence from the rest of Canada, and how best to go about obtaining it through the creation of so-called “winning conditions”, a term coined by Lucien Bouchard. The party and our beloved Premier do not care if their policies like the introduction of their charter cause an exodus of potential No voters from this province whether these people be allophone first and second generation immigrants to Canada (and Quebec), or anglophones, many of whom – around 160,000 mother tongue English people – have already emigrated since 1976.”

I cited the above excerpt from JL #12 because the ideas it presents are very important. It is always, always necessary to keep the goal of the PQ – separatism – in mind when it takes any action and also the lengths to which this government, our fucking government – is prepared to go to achieve its objective. The Parti Québécois is dedicated lock, stock and barrel to achieving the sovereignty of Quebec in relation to the rest of Canada (ROC). That’s it. That’s all.

By driving NO voters away from our province and by provoking conflict with the federal government are two ways the PQ believes that it can create the winning conditions it needs for a successful referendum in favour of separation. These guys must believe in the dialectic as the prime mover of history because they appear to be willing to go the distance even if they have to rip the province apart before putting it back together on their terms. Gimme a fucking break. Really.

Peace out. Fucking far out. Man.

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