18 February 2010

"Insultés et agressés parce qu'ils parlent anglais"


Au Saguenay, des jeunes anglophones installés dans la région ont été la cible d'insultes et d'actes de vandalisme.

Le groupe d'adolescents séjourne dans la région depuis octobre dernier dans le cadre du programme Katimavik.

Des oeufs sont lancés régulièrement contre leur résidence. Un projectile a même fracassé la fenêtre de leur maison d'accueil il y a trois semaines ...

Assaults against federalists, physical and emotional, are common in Quebec; I was subject to one. Federalists believe in the rule of law, and freedom of assembly, so the opposite is seldom the case.

What else is common is police inaction against the perpetrators; I was subject to that as well.

Some "thoughtful" replies:


I don't want anyone to get beat up (duh!) but I do kind of wonder that the "federalists" in question were doing. I've certainly encountered thuggish federalists of the Galganovite variety. Of course they are for the "rule of law" when that means majority-nation domination.

And it is simply not true that assaults on federalists (or anglophones, unless they are also people of colour, gay etc, just like francophone or allophone people of colour or [LGBT] people) are common in Québec. What is common is people like you always referring to Québec as "this province", and not by its name, as if we were dirty or something.

You really shouldn't stereotype the political views of anglophones - many are progressive and, while not necessarily sovereignist, believe in the right to national self-determination. You'd be surprised how many happily work in the labour movement, the women's movement and other progressive social movements here. And wouldn't live anywhere else in North America.
And another:

I notice that "toddschneider" has taken for granted the shock title given by TVA to that piece of news, viz. that these youths were assaulted because they spoke English.
We don't know that, actually. The dynamics of respect or lack thereof between two groups - across political lines in most cases - are complex enough that I seriously doubt the summary explanation offered by this title.

I live in an area of Montreal (Plateau Mont-Royal) where people coming out of bars or restarants late at night can be quite a nuisance. Anglophones are a minority here, but when a group of late night partiers is especially loud and boisterous, it so happens that three times out of four, it is in English that those affluent white boys wake me and the neighbourhood up.

If I were to let loose with a bucket of water, would it be because they speak English? I am sure "toddschneider" would think so.
No, I wouldn't actually. But thanks for asking.

Coincidentally, a francophone resident of the Plateau wrote a dismissive piece recently republished in Maissonneuve magazine, about trendy anglophones from outside Quebec moving in to that painfully hip area, and not learning French for years, if at all. As residents of Canada it's their right, but it's also their loss. Boorishness comes in all languages.

While all incidents can have multiple interpretations, my first reflex is to side with the victims. And of course, I would do the same if the perpetrators were anglophones. Bigotry comes in all cultures.

Putting aside the facile acceptance of a national self-determination argument, at no point did I say that anglo = federalist = regressive, nor would I. Reactionism comes in all tendencies.

But I would argue that groups like the Jeunes Patriotes and their type, are given a very large leash, and few dogcatchers to worry about. They even routinely send out advance notice of their presence, to which the cops routinely yawn. Whereas that hasn't happened on the federalist side, from my intimate knowledge of my province, *since* the so-called angryphone era.

For the record, I am an "angryphobe" (sic) as well. Lose your temper, lose the argument.

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