May 24, 2008

Reasonably Accomodating Racists

I have written many times why I feel the need to say that I am a Quebecker, and a Canadian. I do not wish to choose between the two, nor do I favor one or the other. The Quebec identity I adhere to was forged in the streets of Montreal, with Italians, Greeks, Latin Americans, Africans, adding their taste to the French Canadian culture that already exists. It is such a great vision of Quebec society.

Over the past few months, many Quebeckers have been outraged at each other. Some were outraged at the customs of immigrants, who dared do things differently. Others, like me, thought maybe some Quebeckers also needed integrating, into the 21st century.

For those of us in Montreal who have absorbed all the wonderful cultures of the world that this city offers us, the hearings out in the regions stunned us. Quebec has a reputation for tolerance. The real problem behind that statement is that by telling everyone Quebec is tolerant, we forgot to go out and make sure that statement was true.

I am of the firm belief that we only arrived at this contentious debate as we strayed away from the traditional debate in Quebec, recognition and federal-provincial squabbles. They have governed this province for 40 years. After 1982, the PQ enraged Quebec with the “night of the long knives” story of Ottawa and English Canada betraying Quebec. With the recognition of Quebec as a nation and the resolving of the fiscal imbalance between Ottawa and the provinces, Quebecers were left with a void, and the Parti Quebecois, and even the Liberals in Quebec, who have built a symbiotic relationship with the PQ, were completely destabilized by a new force, the ADQ, talking about underlying racial tension in the regions outside Montreal and all over Quebec.

As Mario Dumont found out recently, Montrealers don’t buy his racially divisive garbage, and hopefully Jean Charest and I hope Pauline Marois, will work diligently to help the Quebeckers who feel threatened about their way of life, come to accept what we in Montreal get to experience every day. This means the PQ needs to stop being paranoid about the French langauge. It is not going anywhere. Learning English does not destroy French.

Multiculturalism and immigration do not destroy ways of life, but enhance them. Hopefully, within a few years, Quebec can finally deserve the reputation it has had as a tolerant society.

The one question now is: Where do we go from here?

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2 Commentaires:

Blogger Mark a dit...

Why would you have to choose between the two. Being a Quebecer is being a Canadian.

5/28/2008 11:11 PM  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

identity is what we choose it to be.

I dont think it is the same, but I am very proud to be both

not to mention my woptastic pride, the whole gay thing, and every other minority i should be proud of...

5/29/2008 11:48 AM  

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