Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fanning the flames of division

The Quebecois elite in the shape of L'actualite and J.F. Lisee did a leading poll demonizing Anglophone Quebeckers. Don Macpherson has a good column on this. As I have said before, it is just ethnic cleansing by ethnic and not territorial nationalists. “Well, the English-speaking community needs – ” “Non! C’est le français qui est menacé!” And we don’t expect to be thanked for investing more personal effort in strengthening the French language in Quebec than most Québécois have. All we hope for now is to be left in peace. Instead – and this is what has made us angry – we find ourselves once again under sustained public attack, as we had not been since the controversy over the language of commercial signs in the late 1980s. We find ourselves to be such pariahs that not a single politician, not even among those we elect, has protested against L’actualité’s smearing us, as they all did against Maclean’s magazine’s cover story on corruption in Quebec two years ago. And we find ourselves playing a game I call “angloball.” It’s like football, but with only one team, formed by us anglos, and with a movable goal line. As we near the goal line by learning French, the line is moved farther away, so that the new goal is for every last one of us to speak French. Then we’re told by L’actualité that we must also support Bill 101, and, in the privacy of our homes, read books in French. We realize it’s a game we can’t win without abandoning our own language, culture and identity. And we’re tired of playing it for the amusement of those for whom we will always be not an asset but a problem for Quebec, not exemplary allies for French but the enemy. We are the enemy – historic, political and, above all, cultural.

2 comments:

Sean M said...

For tribalism and racism to flourish it needs an enemy or they don't exist. Quebec, and to a large degree Canadian politics have been mired in the quagmire of racism and tribalism for at least 3 or 4 decades. Tribalism and racist politics in Quebec is about power, if the bigotted french talkers want to maintain power of the tribe, and keep them isolated they have to have an enemy and who better then the English speakers who built that Province. Quebec is a Province that denies it's English history and culture, so it's absolutely no surprise that french talkers continue their false narrative while continuing to demonize the historic language of that former British Crown Colony. Tribalism and racism need an enemy in order to maintain power... "lobsters in the trap".

Dollops said...

If only government would stay out of culture. Ideally all constitutions and criminal law would be written in Vulcan (Spock's, not ABs) and the citizens of all nations would be free to interact in any language or by any custom that might suit their needs or desires. Absent government support many minority languages and cultures would fade away as others did before this era of subsidised atavism.

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