Over and over again Anglophones, Ethnics and immigrants are lectured over the unyielding principle that we somehow owe the Francophone majority 'respect' by virtue of their majority status.
First let us understand the difference between 'respect' and 'obedience' (or 'subservience') because in French, the word 'respect' has a broader interpretation.
In French we 'respect' the law, while in English we 'obey' the law. The terms are most definitely not interchangeable.
There are many laws, rules and regulations, for which I have zero respect, yet obey their precepts because I must.
So what do militants really mean when they use the term 'respect' when used to describe what we, 'les autres,' owe the majority population.
Nope, I don't think that's the interpretation that is used by militants to describe 'respect.'
I daresay that when we are told we owe respect to the francophone majority, the real meaning is 'subservience' and 'obedience. '
I guess the kind of respect they are talking about is the same kind as when a father whips out his belt and tells his recalcitrant son that he's going to 'teach him some respect.'
Now I've never understood why one person owes another person respect based on some larger numbers while the latter, again based on some larger numbers, owes none.
French language militants drone on forever about the majority, their language and their culture deserving respect when the word is actually code for domination.
I've always been amazed at the ability of these people to argue one way or completely the other way depending on context.
According to them, in Quebec, Francophones, their language and their culture merit respect because they are the majority.
And likewise in Canada, Francophones, their language and their culture merit respect because they are the minority.
When I was a kid we called this rationale, 'sucking and blowing at the same time.'
And so logic that the majority rules, holds in Quebec, but not in Canada and the idea that on an Air Canada flight between Calgary and Alberta, the lone francophone aboard must be served in French, while on a Montreal bus driving in the West Island, where 80% of the riders are English, it makes perfect sense that they may be served in French only.
While Quebec Anglophones are reminded that they are a feeble minority when it serves language militants purposes, at other time we are referred to as a great and overpowering majority.
Of course, in the face of this apparent hypocrisy, the very able debaters on the French side will trot out the shopworn idea that they are 'special' and deserve extra consideration because their language and culture are in dire threat of extinction.
And that readers, is another foundation lie that is used to defend coercive and asymmetric rights.
Not one supporting statistic has ever really been offered to support the argument that the French language and culture is in decline in Quebec.
Of course the debaters will tell us that French is in decline because the number of mother-tongue speakers has dropped to 79.5 from 82% in just ten years, but conveniently forget to mention that the absolute number of French speaking Quebecers goes up every single year. And let's not forget to mention the mother-tongue criterion where those immigrants who speak French in their everyday life, yet whose first language is not French, are considered to be on the other side of the language divide.
If that isn't the very definition of racism, I don't know what is.
In February next year Brent Tyler will finally test the issue of the fragility of the French language in court.
He is opposing the terms of Bill 101 in regards to signage because it is based on a false premise, that is the notion that French is in mortal danger, and readers, I believe he has the experts to refute that claim.
The sovereignty movement is based on many such myths, oft repeated and drummed into the collective psyche of Francophone Quebecers...
At any rate, this short post is a reminder to readers of just one small point.
Any time you hear a French language zealot use the word 'respect' to describe what we owe to the French majority, stop listening, because everything that flows thereafter is based on lies.
We owe nobody respect who doesn't earn it and we ourselves deserve none in kind if we don't earn it as well. That includes individuals as well as the entire francophone, anglophone or ethnic collectivity.
Francophone militants would surely scoff at the idea that those to the manor born would somehow be entitled to special respect because of an accident of birth, yet demand the very same for themselves, for the exact same reason, respect because they were born in the majority.
One could imagine the howls of outrage in the French media, if a national Canadian leader asserted that francophone Quebecers owe the majority English in Canada respect, while meriting none in return.
Deux poids, deux mesures?
Sucking and blowing...yup, that sums it up neatly!