|The future? OQLF enforcement officer pepper spraying protesters protecting an English sign.**|
The embattled and bewildered Liberal government of Jean Charest, looking for any glimmer of approval, caved into this extremist pressure by announcing a crackdown, with the hiring of a bunch of new employees over at the Office québécois de la langue française.
Adding 26 more employees will send a frightening number of inspectors out into the street, ready, willing and able to confront recalcitrant anglo and ethnic businesses who have the audacity to post hand-written unilingual signs like "Dishwasher Wanted"
For French language militants, the decision by the government to gird up for battle is music to the ears of those who have for years dreamt of a Crusaders-like engagement against the heathens who dare to make a life for their non-francophone families within the realm of the hallowed French soil of Quebec, without due respect or obsequeence.
For them, if all goes as planned, the news media will be filled with linguistic war stories with the resulting tension, hopefully a kick start to the moribund independence movement.
In making its decision to acquiesce to the militants demands, the government has opened a Pandora's box of linguistic strife, in a vain and futile gambit to somehow breathe life into a government destined for the scrap heap.
The government's announcement of an increase in manpower at the OQLF is a not-so-subtle, de facto, message that the rising attacks against English signage, English clerks, English bosses, English schools and English store names, is now to be fully sanctioned by a government, desperately trying to be seen battling English dragons that don't exist.
Readers, I'm not willing to call separatists Nazis, because Nazis they are not. Far from it.
That being said, it does seem that language militants/separatists are taking a page out of Herr Hitlers playbook in creating a scapegoated minority as a misdirection device, meant to enrage the masses and turn the anger into popular support for a separatist agenda, otherwise unsellable.
The targeting of the Jews and communists in pre-war Germany was nothing but a ploy to divide Germans into an 'Us versus Them' dynamic, with the Jews and communists portrayed as the oppressors of the natural ruling people of Germany.
Once this conflict was established and the German people convinced that they were under attack by impure elements, Hitler was able to lead the Germans into a war of adventure that ultimately led to the demise of the Third Reich.
Is it too extreme to say that we are headed down the same road?
Already French language militants are calling for boycotts of English business that don't conform to their demands. Link
We've already seen a march down St. Catherine Street in Montreal with militants demanding that stores 'Frenchify' their names, even those already in compliance with the law. The mob invaded at least one store to verbally abuse minimum-wage clerks, as if they were somehow responsible for perceived language slights.
Is this a watershed? A turning point that represents a dangerous 'virage' not dissimilar to 'Kristallnacht' back in 1939 when Germans attacked Jewish stores violently, calling for boycotts and closures of business run by a minority that had lived peacefully among the Germans for centuries.
The new rise of extremism that we are in store for, will be a direct result of a government unwilling or unable to confront or ignore a radical minority that is overly exposed in the media.
That the government has given in to the campaign of misinformation, demagoguery and manipulation by a small cadre of dedicated anglophobes, represents a new page in Quebec history.
And so, we may very well be in store for state sanctioned oppression of Quebec's English and minorities.
How this plays out remains to be seen, but the Charest government has clearly been played and perhaps for the very first time, the separatists have out-manoeuvred the government.
Be afraid, be very afraid.. .
Wednesday's Post: Why the language campaign is based on a lie.
** By the way, the illustration at the top of the page is a parody. If you don't 'get it,' go here. Link Link