"NO DOG AND NO JEWS'
Let me assure readers that the origin of the name of this blog has got nothing to do with those antisemitic signs. At the time I started up this blog, I was unaware that these type of signs even existed.
Many readers wrote to me to tell me about those "No Dogs" signs, making the same connection as the aforementioned reader with most referring to signs in the Toronto area.
After a bit of research, I did find mention of these signs with the strongest source being a reference from a history of Toronto's first synagogues. "One resort posted a sign reading “No Jews and No Dogs.” Link
Here's a second reference;
“In the 30’s Toronto was still very much a British colonial city. English Anglo-Saxon Protestants held power in the city and made 80% (‘31) of Toronto’s population. Many non-British immigrants had been brought to Canada from all over Europe as cheap labourers, and made up a large part of Toronto’s working class. These immigrants were second class citizens and were not granted the same rights as the ‘British’ citizens. The Jewish community was the next largest ethnic group after the British immigrants, making up only 7.2% of the population. Many establishments banned Jews from entering with signs reading “Gentiles Only” or “No Dogs, No Jews”.
As for these signs appearing in Quebec, I found but one reference actually making mention of it;
"In addition, some buildings were subject to restrictive covenants that prevented their sale to Jews. Many clubs, beaches and resorts were closed to Jews. There were signs posted that said;
“Interdit aux juifs ou aux chiens,” or “Chrétiens seulement!”.
These signs were posted on the golf courses in Halifax at the door of the hotel in the Laurentians, in rural Ontario in the lake region of Manitoba and the resorts of British Columbia ." LinkI can't say that the evidence is overwhelming that the " No Dogs" signs ever existed in Quebec.
At any rate, this sorry saga of antisemitism has nothing to do with the name of this blog, but rather, the name honours a scene in my favourite BRUCE LEE Kung Fu movie, 'Fist of Fury,' where Lee's character, suffers from discrimination when as a Chinese, he is refused entrance to a park reserved for native Japanese.
Watch the clip and you will probably understand my motivation;
The scene is very inspiring (at least for me) especially when Bruce Lee decides to fight back and destroys the very sign which describes the outrageous discrimination.
And so "NO DOGS AND ANGLOPHONES" was born, a play on the sign in the picture at the top of this piece.
Now that the same reader who complained about the blog title thought that this 'type' of blog is counter productive and may actually increase sentiment for sovereignty. As such, he offers, that I'd be better, helping our community by not publishing these 'inflammatory' ideas.
I'm sorry but I can't agree less.
Writing about the unpopular truths is never something that will be roundly accepted.
This premise of not 'rocking the boat' is what leads, in the most extreme case, to dangerous totalitarian regimes, the likes this world has seen too often.
I'm not suggesting that Quebec is on it's way to such a destination, not at all. But dissenting voices is what keeps governments on its toes and luckily there are plenty of dissenting voices in Quebec, both English and French.
Even a tiny blog like ours contributes to democratic dissent.
Perhaps the greatest lesson of the power of the printed word to bring down the corrupt and evil excesses of government can be taken from the famous open letter. "J'Accuse," written by Émile Zola in 1898 indicting the French government's false conviction of French army officer Alfred Dreyfus. Read about the famous Dreyfus affair
In the end, the government fell, but not before Zola was forced to flee to England because of the pressure put upon him.
Should he have given up and not rocked the boat?
I don't equate myself to Emile Zola, but his heroic and lonely battle that he waged at great personal expense, in a successful effort to the propagate the truth in the face of so much hatred and scorn, inspires me, as it should you.
Zola teaches us that the few may be right and the many may be wrong. He teaches about perseverance and faith. He teaches us that we must not give up our principles and never stop fighting for what we believe in.
Most importantly, Zola teaches us that the few can prevail.
And so we should not be afraid to offer dissent, especially considering that in doing so, here in Quebec and Canada, we do not place ourselves in any great danger as those who fought for their rights in the past.
Those who refuse to offer dissent out of fear, forfeit their right to complain.
And so my choice of the name of this blog was not based on the humiliating antisemitic signs of the past.
It is inspired by a movie, where the hero decides to fight back against unjust discrimination, his determination and prowess inspiring and uplifting.