Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Has Jan Wong ever been to Montreal?


If you want to read the kind of garbage that the Globe & Mail seems more and more inclined to print these days, then I send you to the entire column by Jan Wong on the Dawson shootings.

However, if you would like to avoid speculative, prurient, sensationalist journalism that should be left to the tabloids (and is done much, much better by them anyways), I will just pull out the most ignorant of her quotes so we can all tear them apart here. Previously, I never had a strong opinion of Jan Wong. Her backstory is quite interesting and she has done some intrepid journalism. I don't know what arrogance or editorial pressures drove her to try to come to some kind of conclusion about the social reasons for Kimveer's attack on students at Dawson. It is clear, in any case, that she doesn't have the faintest clue about Montreal or life in this city. Why is she allowed to have the front page?

Erroneous statement #1:
What many outsiders don't realize is how alienating the decades-long linguistic struggle has been in the once-cosmopolitan city. It hasn't just taken a toll on long-time anglophones, it's affected immigrants, too. To be sure, the shootings in all three cases were carried out by mentally disturbed individuals. But what is also true is that in all three cases, the perpetrator was not pure laine, the argot for a "pure" francophone. Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec.


Okay, what? She is trying to blame the attack on Bill 101? This is just pure insanity and total ignorance. How does this kind of uninformed bullshit even make it TO the editor's desk, let alone past it. I love how she writes as if she's an insider. There is certainly a strain of cultural ignorance in Quebec that slips into racism from time to time, but overall it is no worse here than any other province and the immigration and assimilation policies here are far superior than the rest of the country. I did a 10-month french program where the student body was entirely immigrants from all over the world, learning french, learning Quebec culture and finding their place in the society and economy here. I also love how she is so proud that she knows what pure laine means. Excellent on the ground reporting, Jan!

And the nasty little "once-cosmopolitan". Ouch. Though I'll take that over Toronto's "never-cosmopolitan". (Okay, I'll be fair and give Toronto "once-a-year-cosmopolitan" when they have their film festival, if you consider a bunch of short guys in pressed jeans and blazers flying in from LA and acting self-important on their cell phones cosmpolitan.)

Mr. Gill's rampage has resonated through the anglophone community. Although Montreal is a big city, English-speaking Montreal is not. It is more like a small town, where everyone knows everyone else.


Uh, what? Is this really what people from Toronto think of Montreal? This just floors me, the complete lack of knowledge. To even call the anglophone society a minority here is a mistake. There is such a gradient now from old school hardcore west islanders to their bilingual children to the many newcomers like me living and working in french and a jazillion little subsets (italian bilinguals; portugues bilinguels; asian bilinguels, anglophones of french descent).

You almost get the feeling that Jan Wong wants there to be a deep schism between the french and the english, that she has some kind of hidden resentment towards the french (though where that comes from, I have no idea). I am outraged by the dis to Montreal and the unfounded and erroneous social analysis. But what really, really kills me as a Canadian when I read garbage like this is that it is on the front page of our national newspaper! When I was younger, I always considered the Globe and Mail to be a bit dry, but full of integrity and character. Now it is hard to tell if it is any worse than the Post. I have long since stopped reading Christie "Cornelius" Blatchford and her self-aggrandizing and warmongering "corrrespondence". And their terrible habit of starting a story with some sensationalist hook that they then contradict when you go to the continuation is absolutely inexcusable. Now I guess I'll add Jan Wong to her list. Maybe I'll run into her on the main so I can dump a plate of hot poutine on her ignorant head.

38 comments:

Olivier said...

Howdy Olman...

Michel C. Auger (who's running an absolutely essatial blog btw) adressed that pretty cleanly:

http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20060918/CPBLOGUES07/60918072&blogdate=20060918&cacheid=20060918

The whole Auger Blog is, I insist, an absolutely essential part of the daily routine of anyone who's interested in Québec politics. I mean, it is a real blog, by a real pro.

Olman Feelyus said...

Olivier, merci pour la référence. Je l'ai ajoutée à ma liste de liens.

Al B Here said...

Nice to see you were as outraged by Ms. WRONG's column as I was. I've been seething for the better part of 2 hours since reading it but haven't been able to properly comment on it. Actually, that's not entirely true. I've been denouncing it on whatever blog I've come across, regardless of what stance the blogger took.

There is a time and place for language and culture debates. This isn't one of them. The guy was deranged (and yes, I still refuse to actively name the murderer). Period.

Getting back to our braindead journalist, according to the Wikipedia entry on her (insert question of accuracy of information here), she was born in Montreal and even attended McGill University!

Lantzvillager said...

The national and regional papers are so bad here in Canada that I have not read them in 8 months.

I seem to remember that Blatchford woman dined out on the Bernardo case for ages.

Buzby said...

"Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec."

She is doing more than criticizing Montreal's faded past, she is comparing it to Nazi Germany or contemporary Darfur.

That's not just overboard, it is irrisponsible.

P. Lee said...

"Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec."

Jan Wong is bang on with this statement. The term Quebec nationalist is accepted in Quebec. In the rest of the country, that version would be called White supremist.

Al B Here said...

That's a gross generalization, based on absolutely no FACTS. Jan Wong was out of line to use a horrible incident as an excuse to get on her own personal soapbox regarding Quebecois culture. That was very clearly irresponsible.

P. Lee said...

You want facts?

Here are a few quotes to either educate you or refresh your memory:

"Do you think it makes any sense that we have so few children in Quebec? We're one of the white races that has the fewest children. It doesn't make sense!"
Lucien Bouchard during the 1995 referendum campaign.

"It is because of people like you that we lost our referendum!"
Bernard Landry to a hotel clerk of Mexican origin on referendum night.

"It's true, it's true that we have been defeated, but basically by what? By money and some ethnic votes, essentially. So all it means is that, in the next round, instead of being 60 or 61 per cent to vote YES, we will be 63 or 64 per cent and it will suffice. That's all. But now my friends, in the months that will come, we are going to... Listen: Some people got so afraid that the temptation to take revenge is going to be something! And never again will it be more important to have a Parti Québécois government to protect us until the next time!"
Jacques Parizeau on referendum night.

Bouchard and Landry got away with their comments without any repercussions.

Parizeau did resign but if you ever watch the speech again, his comment was greeted with much applause. And, he's still a popular speaker in the province.

When people march and shout "Le Quebec au Quebecois!", do you think they include people who's last name are Rodriguez, Chin and Cohen?

I don't think so.

Jan Wong had every right to her analysis of the shooting. Her article was not pure reportage. Her picture accompanied the article which implies opinion and analysis.

Olman Feelyus said...

Hey man, the 60s are over!

Al B Here said...

Okay, use your HEAD. She was suggesting a cause and effect relationship between the shootings and alienation and racism in Quebec. That's absolutely ridiculous.

There is no more racism in Quebec than there is anywhere else. Racism is NOT restricted to one ethnic group. Were the comments of past PQ leaders politically correct? No, they weren't. But that has nothing to do with Jan Wong's article.

The point remains that she spouted off about generalities. Each of the incidents was a specific case and she had NO evidence to support any of her claims. THAT is irresponsible. Period.

p. lee said...

Let's go back to my first post:

"Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec."

I've isolated this quote for a reason. Is this statement accurate or not?

If you honestly think "there is no more racism in Quebec than there is anywhere else", you are either ignorant or f**kin' dreaming.

People like Gilles Proulx, Pierre Falardeau and Rejean Tremblay spout off bullsh*t on a regular basis and are part of the so-called elite chattering classes.

In the rest of the country, anyone who talks of white English power or calls Natives a bunch of savages, as Proulx did during the Oka crisis, would be fired.

Period.

On another note, Jan Wong has been to Montreal. She was born and raised there and educated at Loyola College and McGill University. She has probably spent more time there than anywhere else.

Al B Here said...

I'm neither ignorant, nor dreaming. The reality is that racism exists EVERYWHERE and isn't restricted to the province of Quebec or the Quebecois. If you believe otherwise, then YOU'RE the one who's dreaming.

It would be more accurate to say that Quebec is less politically correct than the rest of Canada. That much I will absolutely agree to. Are the Quebecois biased towards other Quebecois? Sure. But the same can be said of any number of ethnic groups. You're confusing the issue entirely.

Jan Wong had no business presenting her opinion as cold, hard fact, which if you read the article, she clearly does.

p. lee said...

Nice attempt at wiggling yourself out of a tight spot.

You went from:

"That's a gross generalization, based on absolutely no FACTS."

and

"There is no more racism in Quebec than there is anywhere else."

to

"It would be more accurate to say that Quebec is less politically correct than the rest of Canada. That much I will absolutely agree to. Are the Quebecois biased towards other Quebecois? Sure."

Have you changed your opinion?

I also noticed you tried to go on the offensive: "The reality is that racism exists EVERYWHERE and isn't restricted to the province of Quebec or the Quebecois. If you believe otherwise, then YOU'RE the one who's dreaming."

Have I ever said that Quebec was the only place that had racism? Of course not.

But let's call a spade a spade shall we?

You said "It would be more accurate to say that Quebec is less politically correct than the rest of Canada."

Come on, why are you trying to make excuses or use vague language?

Let's go back to Wong's quote:

"Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec."

Sounds pretty clear and concise to me.

Al B Here said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Al B Here said...

I'm not wiggling out of anything. I've been saying, from the beginning, that Wong's use of the Dawson incident as an excuse to attack quebecois culture was irresponsible and that her analysis was baseless. That's still my point of view. There is absolutely no proof that any of the shootings were connected to incidents of racism or alienation from Quebecois culture.

I stand by my belief that there is not a disproportionate amount of racism in Quebec as compared to the rest of the country. It's irresponsible and unfair to try and paint an entire province with a racist brush because it implies that other groups are free of guilt of similar offenses. I acknowledge that racism exists in Quebec. I also acknowledge that it exists in Ontario, BC, Newfoundland et al.

p. lee said...

It looks like you’ve changed your mind again.

You’ve gone from

"That's a gross generalization, based on absolutely no FACTS."

and

"There is no more racism in Quebec than there is anywhere else."

to

"It would be more accurate to say that Quebec is less politically correct than the rest of Canada. That much I will absolutely agree to. Are the Quebecois biased towards other Quebecois? Sure."

And now you’re back to

“I stand by my belief that there is not a disproportionate amount of racism in Quebec as compared to the rest of the country.”

Despite all evidence, you are still in denial over whether Quebec is more racist than any other Canadian province.

Can you name one politician outside Quebec who has uttered similar racist comments as Parizeau, Bouchard and Landry have done?

Is there another province that has sign laws forcing businesses to post signs in a particular language? By the way, did you know Chinese signs are illegal in Montreal’s Chinatown?

Is there another province that forces immigrant children to attend schools in a language not of their choice?

Is there another province that has a language police?

Yes, there is racism everywhere but to really think that Quebec is no more racist than any other province implies that you have either never lived there or, if you have, are totally ignorant of it’s history.

Al B Here said...

As a matter of fact, I currently live in Montreal. I've been to Chinatown and, whether the Chinese language signs are illegal or not, they're everywhere in that part of town.

As for other provinces forcing immigrants to learn a language not of their choosing, does Manitoba ring a bell? Up until relatively recently, French schools were illegal in Manitoba. Gabrielle Roy has recounted stories of students and teachers swapping textbooks when their own version of language police made spot checks at schools.

As for politically incorrect comments made by politicians elsewhere in Canada, there are plenty if one chooses to seek them out. Let's be clear on something here: the comments made by Bouchard aren't racist, they're politically incorrect. Stats show pretty clearly that the demographic he was addressing has less children than other ethnic groups.

As for the comments made by both Landry and Parizeau, I would categorize those as being heat of the moment responses after witnessing the cause that they'd fought 30 years for go down to defeat- again.

Take a closer look at the definition of the word 'racism', shall we?

Main Entry: rac·ism
Pronunciation: 'rA-"si-z&m also -"shi-
Function: noun
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination
- rac·ist /-sist also -shist/ noun or adjective

At no time do the comments attributed to the politicians fall under definition number 1 because there's no implied superiority. If one really wants to stretch definition number 2, then Landry's comments could qualify because he seems to have treated the hotel clerk differently than he would have a clerk of another origin.

Here's where we get back to the gross generalization concept. Holding an entire province responsible for the words of 3 individuals is utterly asinine. So no, I'm not willing to tar and feather an entire group.

p. lee said...

We are talking about more than three people here. Don't forget I've also mentioned Gilles Proulx and Pierre Falaradeau.

Thousands of people marching in the streets shouting “Le Quebec au Quebecois!” demanding the province should only belong to a people of a specific ethnicity is a call for discriminatory behaviour, i.e. racist behaviour.

Also, it is in the heat of the moment that we reveal our true selves.

The statements of Parizeau, Bouchard and Landry fall under definition number 2.

You defend them as “politically incorrect” and in the “heat of the moment.”

Let’s go back to Jan Wong’s quote: "Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec."

Parizeau's, Landry's and Bouchard's comments were obviously not offensive to you and many in Quebec. But elsewhere, they are repugnant.

Thank you for proving my point.

Al B Here said...

You've proved absolutely nothing. The Parti Quebecois runs minority candidates in each of the elections, including one in the riding I used to live in. The first minority MPP was of Haitian origin and ran under the PQ banner. Are you going to write these candidates off as token members?

I'll give you a comparable example. Several years ago, the mayor of London, Ontario made a series of anti-gay comments while refusing to proclaim a gay pride day in London. She was elected for another term in the next election. Does that make the people of London a bunch of homophobes and gaybashers? No, it doesn't.

And for the record, though I live in Montreal right now, I was born and raised in Ontario.

Anonymous said...

You’re right. I didn’t prove anything.

You and the people who tolerate racist comments and make excuses for the people who make them are the ones who prove Jan Wong's point.

Let’s go back to her quote: "Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec."

She says comments of a racist nature are regarded as offensive in the rest of Canada. In Quebec, they are acceptable and tolerated.

I’ve given you plenty of proof she is correct. Even your own tolerance of racist comments and excuse making of those racists proves she’s correct.

As for the PQ running ethnic minority candidates, they are just sacrificial lambs who have no chance of winning. Do you think they’d run a visible minority in a PQ stronghold? Don’t be naïve.

As for the mayor of London, I hate to splash water in your face about this but gays and lesbians are not a race.

p. lee said...

You’re right. I didn’t prove anything.

You and the people who tolerate racist comments and make excuses for the people who make them are the ones who prove Jan Wong's point.

Let’s go back to her quote: "Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec."

She says comments of a racist nature are regarded as offensive in the rest of Canada. In Quebec, they are acceptable and tolerated.

I’ve given you plenty of proof she is correct. Even your own tolerance of racist comments and excuse making of those racists proves she’s correct.

As for the PQ running ethnic minority candidates, they are just sacrificial lambs who have no chance of winning. Do you think they’d run a visible minority in a PQ stronghold? Don’t be naïve.

As for the mayor of London, I hate to splash water in your face about this but gays and lesbians are not a race.

Al B Here said...

Gays and lesbians may not constitute a race, but they suffer from discrimination and hate crimes on the basis of who they are, thus the comparison is a very valid one. It's just a slightly different flavour of the same argument.

Let's go back and review the quote, one again since you seem to love to do that so much.

"Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec."

Parizeau was forced to resign his position after making the comments and Landry was stripped of his portfolio shortly after the comments attributed to him were reported. Doesn't sound too tolerant to me.

Were all Germans anti-semitic genocide supporters? No, they weren't. And it would be unfair to the German people to label them all as such. Just like Quebecois aren't all a bunch of white supremacist racists.

Jan Wong has a right to her opinion. As do you. You're both entitled to be equally wrong about the people of Quebec.

:-P. Master said...

It's a brave person that is willing to have their wagon pulled by an annoying little troll like Jan Wong.

p.lee said...

Nice attempt at diversion there.

What are you going to bring up next, discrimination against short people? Let’s stick to discrimination based on race shall we?

Can you name one major Canadian politician outside Quebec who has uttered similar racist comments in recent years as Parizeau, Landry and Bouchard have done?

Can you name one major Canadian politician outside Quebec who promotes a white supremacist viewpoint as Parizeau, Landry and Bouchard have done?

You write them off as “politically incorrect” and “heat of the moment” comments by a few individuals. I must remind you that all three men were supposed to govern for the good of all Quebecers, not just white people of French Quebec descent.

You say “Parizeau was forced to resign his position after making the comments.” That’s debatable. Parizeau has said many times he had no intention of staying on as premier if he lost the referendum.

You claim “Landry was stripped of his portfolio shortly after the comments attributed to him were reported.” Sounds like you’re still in denial over whether he said them in the first place.

In fact, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia: “Landry remained deputy premier and was also appointed minister of industry, trade, science and technology; minister of state for the economy and finance; minister of finance and minister of revenue; chairman of the Comité ministériel de l'emploi et du développement économique; and minister responsible for the Estrie region.”

He eventually became premier in 2001 when Bouchard resigned.

Wow, that’s some punishment.

You ask if all Germans were “anti-semitic genocide supporters?” No, but there were enough of them to support and call for laws that stripped Jews of their German citizenship, banned them from owning any businesses and eventually the deportation to concentration camps.

Am I saying all Quebecers are racist? I am not. Never have. I am saying there are enough Quebecers who support a white supremacist concept of a Quebec that is run by pur laine Quebecers for pur laine Quebecers.

Jan Wong’s comment was controversial because it hit a nerve. And that nerve was the truth.


***********************************

By the way, the commercial signs in Chinatown remain illegal but tolerated for a reason.
If the law is changed, the white supremacists in the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and Le Devoir yell bloody murder. If the law is enforced, the province faces international embarrassment and ridicule.


***********************************

Hey :-P. Master,

Calling Jan Wong a troll is nothing compared to what she’s been called before. Remember, she’s a visible minority from Quebec. - a member of les autres as the pur laines call it.

Al B Here said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Al B Here said...

In fact, I am in doubt as to whether the quote attributed to Landry was ever, in fact, made by him. I've looked around for primary sources to reflect the quote, but have yet to find any firsthand references. Please provide a primary source for the quote attributed to Monsieur Landry. Until you can do so, we'll have to attach the word alleged to any mention of it.

Al B Here said...

As for other Canadian politicians who've made racist or otherwise politically incorrect comments, you may want to do some research into the old Reform party. I'm sure you'll find a virtual treasure trove of material to digest.

:-P. Master said...

"Jan Wong’s comment was controversial because it hit a nerve."

P. Lee might want to check a thesaurus. "Controversial" does not mean patently stupid and poorly timed. Were all the editors at The Globe and Mail drunk that day?

By the way, I didn't call Jan Wong an annoying little troll for any other reason than she's an annoying little troll.

p. lee said...

You can find proof on the front page of the November 2, 1995 edition of the Montreal Gazette.

The headline says “Hotel workers claim Landry ranted about immigrants”

The story was written by Rod Macdonell and William Marsden, two award winning and highly respected journalists.

Here is some of the text:

Two employers at Montreal’s Inter-Continental Hotel say that Bernard Landry, the deputy premier of Quebec arrived at the hotel early Tuesday, a few hours after the referendum loss, ranting about “immigrants” who had deprived the Yes forces of a victory.

According to two female hotel employees, Landry who is also responsible for immigration and cultural communities, spoke abusively about immigrants, yelled at them and created a scene obliging them to call hotel security.

…..

Anita Martinez, a night clerk at the hotel on St. Antoine St. W. and a woman of Mexican origin, said Landry entered the reception area of the hotel and strode up to her at around 3 a.m., took out his glasses, leaned over the counter and stared at her nameplate.

“And he said, ‘Are you happy?’”

She said he then commented, “It was because of you immigrants that the No had won,” and (that) a whole bunch of us had voted No.

“He said, ‘It is your fault that the Oui had lost and the Non had won,’ that you immigrants voted No.’

…..

She said he yelled at her and turned to her co-worker, Chantal Aubry and said “’What about you?’”

Aubry confirmed Martinez’s story to the Gazette later. And Aubry said she told Landry that she had voted No, which seemed to anger Landry.

…..

Martinez quote

“I was shaking and I wanted to cry out in anger.

“I went in the back and (behind the front desk) and cried.”

…..

Security guard Ralph Boulet said Martinez called him at 3:03 a.m., claiming that a “man up here is bothering us because we voted No.”

Boulet said that when we arrived at the reception desk, Landry was “ranting and raving something about the language bit and girls will have to speak proper French.”

…..

In the elevator, a witness who didn’t want his name used said he heard Landry say “maudit ethnics.”

So here’s your proof. You have been defending a white supremacist who tried to bully two female hotel employees. Do you live vicariously through people like Bernard Landry? Are you that inadequate?

As for the Reform party politicians making racist comments, once again you have the ability to prove Jan Wong correct.

Most of the country did find them and their comments repugnant. Proof: Reform politicians were harshly criticized every time they made racist comments, the party never came close to power and the party never won a seat east of Manitoba.

************************

Hey :-P. Master,

Her comment was accurate and that’s why it’s pissing you and your kind off.

If she said something stupid like Quebec is a tropical province, you’d think nothing of it.

Globe management stabbed Jan Wong in the back by not defending her.

She was sent to Montreal for reportage as well as comment and analysis.

You reach a certain level in journalism and you are allowed this privilge. Look at stories by people like Roy MacGregor, Red Fisher and Bob Woodward.

Her editors knew well in advance of deadline what her take was going to be.

If the paper just wanted reportage, they could've used a wire story.

And please indulge me. Why don’t you and your Franco white supremacist friends tell me what you really call Jan Wong and people of non pure laine origin? Surely, it’s more biting and hurtful than troll.

Olman Feelyus said...

p. lee, you need to chill out. You are arguing from an emotional place and it is starting to get out of hand. Nobody arguing against you is a "franco white supremacist" and you calling them that is effectively a personal attack.

The general tone of all this arguing is sounding very much like the kind of reductionist, rhetorical debate that so often brings down discussion on the internet. Both sides have made their points, let us move on.

I hope you have taken the time to read the next blog up where I do present the other side of the argument.

:-P. Master said...

Hey P. Lee,

Pissing me and my kind off? Who said I'm pissed off? Pointng out stupidity is merely a hobby. Further, please don't ever claim to know me. You lack the mental dexterity.

I will admit that you appear quite passionate about your views on racism in Quebec. One might say your views are even to the point of being extreme. Are you planning on acquiring a semi-automatic rifle so that you can inflict the same kind of senseless carnage on the citizens of Montreal?

Al B Here said...

"Reform politicians were harshly criticized every time they made racist comments, the party never came close to power and the party never won a seat east of Manitoba."

Interesting. So Reform won seats West of Manitoba, eh? I guess that the people in the West support that racist rhetoric by virtue of the fact that they elected members of the offending party. If nothing else, you've now proved my point. Thanks for playing. Now as our host has said, let's move on.

p. lee said...

As Olman Feelyus has requested, I will participate in this truce but a few thoughts before we move on.

Olman, in your last post, you wrote about your girlfriend and the racist acts that happened to her. With other anecdotes, you portrayed very accurately the level of racism that still exists in Quebec (which just proves Jan Wong was right all along).

But then, and unfortunately, you soften your stance by saying the province “is a beat behind the rest of Canada in the assimilation of immigrants and other cultures.” A beat?? How about ten feet behind?

Perhaps you were trying to be diplomatic and trying to avoid a backlash from people who know who you are, but when the security guard made that racist comment, you should have reported it to museum management and to the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations.

It’s tolerance of these acts that makes people think there’s nothing wrong with their beliefs.

****************************

:-P. Master,

Your notion of mental dexterity is laughable.

In your world, all levels of racism are the same, like believing that stealing a chocolate bar and stealing a car are the same crime.

And to suggest that I would commit a crime similar to Kimveer Gill’s is reprehensible.

(Olman, you might want to take note this is worse than anything I’ve ever said.)

I’m a big believer in the teachings of Martin Luther King. You may have heard of him. He believed in non-violence and that people should not “be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

If you followed the news last week, there was a dedication ceremony unveiling a new tomb for King and his wife.

But hey, don’t worry if you didn’t hear about it. You were probably too busy celebrating the 30th anniversary of the franco white supremacist provincial election victory in 1976.

****************************

Al B Here,

While I’m loathed to say anything positive about the old Reform Party, their raison d’etre was based on Western alienation, pro-business, small government and populist conservative beliefs.

True, they attracted their share of yahoos but you can argue the party never proposed or endorsed a racist platform.

The closest I can think of is proposing a cap on immigration levels at about 100 000 people a year.

Also, the people who made racist comments were marginalized if not kicked out of the party.

Core members of the party such as Deborah Grey, Preston Manning, Diane Ablonczy, Monte Solberg have never said anything remotely as offensive as Landry, Parizeau and Bouchard have done.

Now, can you name one other province that in last 50 years has elected a party with a blatantly racist platform that preached the domination of one cultural group over another?

Let’s end this with an analysis that best describes Quebec: "Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec."

Sad but true.

Al B Here said...

Comments attributed to Reform party members are far from isolated and they seem to range from all over Canada. Regardless of whether these members won their seats, the fact remains that they represented the party. If you're going to insinuate that the PQ attracts members based on a racist platform, then you'd have to apply the same thing to Reform. Otherwise, it's hypocrisy. Please feel free to follow the link provided here for that treasure trove of rhetoric I referred to in the past.

Another thing to take note of is that, when the Dawson incident took place, the Francophone media didn't play up the shooter's ethnic background whatsoever. Interesting that the mainstream anglophone media out of Toronto made a bigger issue out of his origin, isn't it?

:-P. Master said...

P. Lee,

"And to suggest that I would commit a crime similar to Kimveer Gill’s is reprehensible."

So you are saying that it is ridiculous to imply that there's a causal link between the type of racism you speak about in Quebec and an act of indiscriminate violence like the one perpetrated by Kimveer Gill. Thank you for illustrating my point so beautifully. Would you be kind enough to pass that message on to Jan Wong.

And the next time you feel the urge to weigh in on the subject of racism, take a moment to reflect on the fact that you prejudged me without knowing a single thing about me. I have given no indication of my ethnicity. You have no idea of my background. You can't even tell me the village I live in.

Good luck P. Lee. I can't imagine you have an easy life.
Also, thanks to Olman Feelyus for allowing me more than a little latitude here.

moxi said...

Jan Wong is from Montreal, she grew up here and studied at McGill. Her father was a very successful businessman who opened one of the city's first Chinese restaurants. Reading any one of her books would have told you that.

moxi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Olman Feelyus said...

Thanks, Moxi. I have learned as much since then. I've learned a lot about Montreal since I first posted this, but I still basically stand by my criticisms of Wong's piece and her general attitude towards Francophone Montreal. What I don't understand, still, is the source of her resentment. Does she discuss racism she may have suffered as a child or discrimation her father went through in any of her books?