Lesson #24 : Travelling to NYC

Due to my traveling to New York City, I have been quite busy. Therefore tomorrow’s JuicyLesson will continue the discussion which I began last Thursday, (#22) on the American political system and the shutdown of the U.S. government. Today, before heading off to see the winless New York football Giants play the Philadelphia at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, I thought I would post the JuicyLesson which follows.

Andrew Coyne, a Gazette columnist, wrote a fairly good article in Saturday’s paper entitled “PQ’s reality of separation and image of inclusion”. This article is located in the Gazette’s Extra section of yesterday’s paper.

I wrote the following response to Mr. Coyne’s article and emailed it to Coyne who emailed me back that he doesn’t open attachments from strangers.

Sarurday, October 5, 2013

Dear Mr. Coyne,

I am writing in response to your article “PQ’s reality of separation and image of inclusion” which appeared in today’s Gazette.

First I must say that I found your article to be very good; it contained some excellent points, not the least of which were the specific ones first about Marois “… putting aside of self delusion” and the second, the one related to the mask having slipped which both lead to your inevitable conclusions (a) that “Pequistes, then can be divided into two groups. Those who have persuaded themselves that there is no contradiction, that they can be both inclusive and exclusive at the same time. And those who have shed the illusion”; and (b) “If after all, it were really about an inclusive nationalism, with equality for all, if that were the society you were trying to create, what need would there be to separate?” A very good question, but, quite honestly, the logic which must underlie it escapes me.

I must admit that I was starting to feel a bit fuzzy about M. Levesque but after reading your words, that feeling has dissipated. I remember when he venomously spat out the words “If there were colours (here), you would feel it” in reference to the ‘Westmount Rhodesians’, Zimbabweans today.

I do take issue with the description of “self-pitying Jews” in your article, however. Other adjectives you used to describe different ethnic groups were not value leaden in the same way. For instance you speak of the “French-speaking overwhelmingly white majority” and “Quebecois de souche”. Your description of Jews does not fit in with the others, thus subtly pointing out that we are somehow different from other groups, thereby feeding into existing prejudice and fostering more.

Which brings me to my final point regarding M. Parizeau. Yesterday (Friday, Oct. 4) the Gazette editorial commented positively on Parizeau’s contribution to the charter debate; what the editorialist did not acknowledge was the part of Parizeau’s Journal de Montreal article which proclaimed that it was no secret that the Jewish, Italian and Greek communities voted overwhelmingly “Non” in 1995, and that his “money and ethnic vote” remark was a logical statement in that context. Two things: all communities have a right to vote as they see fit, and Parizeau’s remarks certainly do nothing to bridge the ethnic divide which exists in Quebec and elsewhere. The fact that he could make a remark like that just displays Parizeau’s racist attitude and the ignorance in which it is based.

Jerry Cohen


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