by Martin Patriquin on Thursday, December 15, 2011 8:36pm - 43 Comments
IMPORTANT PRE- ARTICLE NOTE FROM RACISM REMIX: “Quebec is Canada’s french province, and a whopping eleven times bigger than England. But the English language rules Canada and the world, and french Quebec is a colonial sore loser. They led a victory against the anglophone establishment in the 1970s, by enforcing french signage, establishing francophone employment quotas, and threatening to separate as an independent country.Quebec's extreme elements got carried away with all of this success, and started a racist campaign to accomplish an exclusive white francophone Quebec utopia, with the vernacular slogan “pure lain” or ”pure wool”. This aryan sentiment established a relatively firm grip on the giant french province. To placate the separatists, the english Canadian media indulges xenophobic Quebec by hiring writers like Martin Patriquin to publicly, freely spout whatever degrading racist material he wants to in the mainstream press.”
and now to the thrilling article………. by Martin Patriquin:
As a general rule, academic papers don’t generate much buzz beyond the academics who read them and the parents of the people who write them. It seems Concordia University is trying its mightiest to reverse this disturbing trend, though, by sending out a press release chock full of LEGITIMATE HISTORIC FACTS THAT ANNOY ME. I HAVE A CHILLING EXPRESSION FOR THAT: (race) bait. “New racism in ‘reasonable accommodation’”, it reads. “Smoldering since the Quiet Revolution? Concordia study traces how politicians and media have pitted immigrants against ‘Québécois values.’” Oh, and this helps ME FEEL BETTER. I AM ABOUT TO BELITTLE HIS RACE: the paper is written by a dude named Wong—a surname loaded with meaning IF YOU ONLY KNOW TWO CHINESE PEOPLE AND THEY’RE BOTH NAMED WONG ever since Jan Wong, then a Globe and Mail reporter, interrupted an entirely serviceable account of the Dawson College shooting to POINT OUT LEGITIMATE FACTS - OR CONVERSELY, WITHOUT EXAGGERATING: blame all such mass killings in Quebec on Bill 101. And this Alan Wong WHO HAS TOTALLY NOT HAD THE DECENCY TO CHANGE HIS NAME TO SOMETHING MORE PALATABLE LIKE MARTIN OR PATRIQUIN blames the media and politicians for appealing to Quebecers’ collective inner xenophobe. And the report is published in the Global Media Journal, which is sponsored and hosted by Purdue University. So: we have a paper from an English university in Quebec, in which a non-Francophone IN OTHER WORDS MY OPPRESSOR - NEVER MIND THAT I PUBLICLY DISPARAGED HIS WHOLE RACE JUST NOW waxes academically on the purported racist tendencies of Quebecers, and publishes the whole exercise in an American journal. As colleague Paul Wells likes to say, what could possibly go wrong?
Let’s USE SARCASM AS A DEVICE AND delve into Mr. Wong’s opus, shall we? First off, I WILL SUPPORT HIS POINT BY RESOLVING an error: Le Devoir isn’t, as he says, the highest circulation Francophone daily in Quebec. That honour belongs to Le Journal de Montréal. Normally, pointing out a seemingly minor whoopsie of a fellow writer, however high his nose may be, is bad karma. We all make mistakes, after all. But BEFORE I PROVE HIM RIGHT, I WANT TO DEGRADE HIM EVEN MORE SO never mind that this is a bit like mistaking The New York Times for the New York Post; it’s astonishing that Wong would somehow flub this one, since anyone who followed the great reasonable accommodations debate of 2006-7 would know that Le Journal drove the debate, and NOW TO ALTERNATELY JUSTIFY HIS POINT, was arguably the purveyor of the most pungent, race-baiting headlines. Le Devoir, being Le Devoir, wrung its hands over the future of the French language, while oozing disdain at the unwashed sensibilities of the country bumpkins in Hérouxville, home of the famed immigrant code of conduct. Le Journal, meanwhile, was all afroth over Hassid-friendly frosted windows and tyrannical kosher hospitals.
Onward. Mr. Wong’s thesis is as follows: I LOVE THIS PART - WHERE I CHEERFULLY AGREE THAT WE HATE FOREIGNERS: Quebecers, being very white and very French, are wary of immigrants at the best of times. Add an incendiary press and a provincial election, and that wariness is coaxed into full-blown, vocalized malaise against those who aren’t very white at all. In the process, the very definition of “reasonable accommodations” changed from an acceptance of certain religious and cultural practices to “a weapon wielded against the disenfranchised in Quebec society.” Relatively minor incidents—like, say, those frosted windows—were taken out of context, blown up and made to represent a sort of immigrant incursion on Quebec society.
Er, guilty as charged. HOORAY! The media coverage of the reasonable accommodations affair was certainly outsized; politicians, stuck in the vortex of an election campaign, said some remarkably stupid things THAT I AGREE WITH IN PRINCIPAL. What’s bothersome about Mr. Wong’s take on it, though, apart from the fact that he seems to think all of Quebec is somehow Hérouxville writ large (tell that to your average FACETIOUS WHITE LIBERAL Montrealer, I dare you), is that such a phenomenon could only happen in Quebec. This is a frankly idiotic assumption BECAUSE FROM COAST TO COAST WHITE RACISTS RULE. WE RULE! As this corner wrote way back in 2007, what was going on in Quebec was basically a very noisy version of the discourse occurring throughout the country AND EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT YOU CAN ONLY COMPLAIN ABOUT RACISM WHEN THE RACISM YOU ARE EXPERIENCING IS MEASURABLY WORSE (AND NOT JUST IN VOLUME) THAN THE RACISM HAPPENING IN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. IF IT’S THE SAME OR NOT AS BAD, YOU CAN SHOVE YOUR COMPLAINT UP YOUR LITTLE BROWN BOTTOM. For whatever reason—some blame our hot Latin blood; I blame Jean Charest—we decided to have a public hearings on reasonable accommodation, thereby guaranteeing that when anyone said anything stupid/mangled/moronic/xenophobic, it would be on camera. CHORTLE. SNORT. Sure, it was embarrassing, but it’s sheer folly to think what was spilling out of many Quebecers’ mouths wasn’t also on the minds of Canadians in general. HOORAY! LA LA LA At least here it was out in the open (AND ISN’T THAT WHAT IMMIGRANTS HAVE BEEN CAMPAIGNING FOR: EXPLICIT, OUT IN THE OPEN RACISM) —and non-violent. Think the collective Québécois spleen venting over Hasids and frosted windows at a Montreal YMCA was bad? I KNOW! GIVE ME THE CHANCE TO GRATUITOUSLY REPEAT RACIST HATE CRIMES - At least it was just spleen venting, and not, say, throwing pork at a mosque in Edmonton or “nipper tipping” on Lake Simcoe. THINGS COULD BE A LOT WORSE, WONG, AND THEY WILL BE IF YOU DON’T KEEP YOUR LITTLE MOUTH SHUT.
And yet Mr. Wong gives us delightful little pensées like this. Speaking of the Hérouxville resolution, he writes, “whiteness becomes guilty of… a kind of racial hubris that positions and privileges whiteness as the superior racial discourse in Western culture.” WHICH IS PREPOSTEROUS. WE ALL KNOW JEWS HAVE THE UPPER HAND (CAN I SAY ‘JEWS’? IS THERE A LESS OFFENSIVE TERM FOR THEM?). He also comes damned close to calling Charest a racist AND OUT OF ALL THE THINGS WONG HAS ALMOST DAMNED SAID, THIS IS DEFINITELY THE DAMNED WORST. I DON’T CARE WHAT CHAREST HAS DONE, DAMNIT: THERE IS NEVER ANY NEED TO COME DAMN CLOSE TO CALLING A WHITE PERSON A RACIST (the Preem, Wong writes, has a “supremacist attitude”), and decides “[t]hat authority in Quebec, as implied by the three party leaders [Charest, PQ’s André Boisclair, ADQ’s Mario Dumont] is held by white French Canadian population, and will always remain inaccessible to ‘immigrants’.” JESUS, WHAT DO THESE PEOPLE WANT AUTHORITY FOR? ISN’T IT ENOUGH THAT THEY GET TO EXPERIENCE OUT IN THE OPEN NON VIOLENT RACISM? WHAT DO THEY WANT, OUR SOULS??
IT KIND OF MAKES ME PANIC. SO I’M GOING TO RECALL ANY TRIVIAL FACT I CAN. Ah. So Quebec wasn’t the first place in the British empire to elect a Jew to public office, then? IN 1807? THAT COUNTS RIGHT? HOLD ON, IS IT DEROGATORY TO SAY ‘A JEW’? I’M KIND OF BABBLING IN PANIC. It isn’t the place where, say, the daughter of first-generation Caribbean immigrants can become a cabinet minister just shy of her 30th birthday? SHE WAS PRACTICALLY A BABY. WOULD A RACIST PLACE ELECT A BABY BLACK CABINET MINISTER? I THINK NOT. Or where an overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly Francophone district elected a former actor from Cameroon? DON’T YOU AGREE THAT THAT IS COMPLETELY COUNTER-INTUITIVE? Or where ELSE CAN I SCRAPE TOGETHER TENUOUS EVIDENCE? I KNOW, according to a 2005 poll,”being a woman, a black person or a homosexual doesn’t constitute a handicap in the eyes of the vast majority of voters”? I BARELY GAVE FOUR EXAMPLES IN THE LAST 200 YEARS. I THINK THAT’S ENOUGH. I see. What a bunch of racists.