Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ethnocentrism Alive and Well in Quebec

Just as we said good riddance good-bye to Pierre Falardeau, a nasty and cruel racist, a new breed of immigrant and anglo bashers is rising to take up the mantle of ethnocentrism.

A good example of these type 'intellectual' haters is blogger Louis Prefontaine, who's pseudo intellectual bashing of all things not francophone is gathering quite an audience.

His latest rant concerns the bone fides of Anglophones and ethnics and their right to be considered "Quebecois" Les anglophones sont-ils Québécois?

According to Mr. Prefontaine, Anglos can never be considered part of the Quebec 'tribe' because their first language is English and that they share a point of view that is different from the francophone majority.

It is this type of ethnocentrism that has been a hallmark of the ultra-nationalist Quebec movement, from Lionel Groulx, to Pierre Faladeau to the latest crop of French, white Catholics, who demand that Anglos and ethnics mimic their views and behaviour.

As a statuesque Black African immigrant woman told the Bouchard-Taylor Inquiry (in perfect French;)
"I guess I have to eat poutine!" I guess I have to eat maple syrup!"

That's what being a Quebecker is to these racists. Everyone can be a Quebecker, as long as they act like a francophone, speak like a francophone, think like a francophone and vote like a Francophone.

This recurring theme is so racist that it demands denunciation.

The discussion of who is a Quebecker is uncomfortably reminiscent of the Nazis discussion of who is a Jew and begs the question -to what end?

What exactly is Mr. Prefontaine's point.

If Anglos and immigrants are not Quebeckers, what is the inference. Should they be denied civil rights? Should they wear a scarlet letter? Should they be asked to leave or be shown the door? Should their votes be counted or discounted? WHAT EXACTLY IS THE POINT?

Every day ethnocentrics rain down scorn and invective on Anglos and ethnics. They use the word 'meprise' (contempt) to describe our behaviour, all the while using the foulest of references and terms to describe Anglophones, Ethnics and our language.

They tell us that our existence threatens their Quebec culture, French language and Christian heritage. The hate is real.

One of the more twisted aspect to this ethnocentrism is the idea that Anglos and Ethnics owe Francophones 'respect'.

It is a recurring theme. RESPECT RESPECT RESPECT.

If you are born to an English or Ethnic family in Quebec, you are automatically assumed to "owe respect" to Francophones by virtue of their majority status, while Francophones, of course, owe no such respect to minorities.
According to these militants, everyone is born as an equal, but some more equal than others, the concept of 'Original Sin' perversely re-defined.

The idea is as ludicrous as right-handers demanding that minority left-handers give them 'respect', yet the concept is a hallmark of the collective mindset of nationalists and goes largely unchallenged.

Here's a typical comment that I pulled from an article denouncing the perfectly legal English only election signs erected by an Aylmer candidate. It is sadly typical.
"Every time that they can 'legally' post a sign in total disrespect for the French language, they will."
("Chaque fois qu'ils peuvent « légalement » s'afficher en total manque de respect pour la langue de la majorité, il vont le faire.")

And so it seems that availing oneself of legal rights
is contemptible, if you are English, that is.

When René Levesque first imposed Bill 101 on Quebeckers, he did so with a profound sense of sadness, understanding full well that while he believed the law to be necessary, it represented a setback in terms of personal freedom.

Bill 101 was the thin edge of the wedge that led us to the present situation where militants view the limitation of rights not only as no big deal, but righteous.

It reminds of a policy enacted by the town where I live in and the consequences of giving people power over others.

The city was disturbed by the large houses that were being erected in place of small homes that were being razed. Because some citizens felt that their smaller homes were being overshadowed, a consultation process was initiated to allow neighbours to have input on proposed projects.
It wasn't long before neighbours were no longer commenting on the outside dimensions of the planned homes.
At one meeting a woman demanded to know what colour carpeting was being contemplated. Aargh!!


  1. I don't think every Quebecker thinks like that nowadays. It has been discussed on Ici Et Là ( http://video.canoe.tv 2nd page of the show [you should think to move to Wordpress or something, we can't copy paste anything in the comment box] )

    I think it is us French Quebecker who are blinded by our own culture. We are not able to list 3 English singers from the Québec (except for the major ones).

    And I'm pretty sure some will try to say Pascale Picard...

  2. Pierre-Luc, I'm a french-canadian and I'm certainly not blinded by my culture...

    No, I think there is a small but very vocal group of french-canadian extremists who are shaming all of us and giving us a bad rep in the rest of Canada. :(

    No Dogs, what city is this? This looks like hell to me, people telling me what carpet to use, ugh!

  3. Minority groups are generally oppressed when they are seen as a threat. Strict Swiss-style language zones would go a long way to reducing this.