Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

59 per cent of Quebecers say they’re racist: poll

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59 per cent of Quebecers say they’re racist: poll

There’s a lot of to and fro in the articles about how the survey questions are asked. But isn’t Quebec, as a national identity, based on the idea of there being a distinct society or a separate nation – or “les Quebecois pur laine” and is that not inherently based on chauvinism? Yes, I concede that for a long time the french minority in Canada were treated badly – and the correction of those wrongs was overdue. And I think people should be aware of – and proud of – their culture. But not to the exclusion of others and not to declare (implicitly or explicitly) that one nation or one race (whatever that means) is better than another. Nor that by knowing something of a person’s origins you therefore know something about their character. Stereotyping is a problem for all of us. The record of Quebec in recent years – the language police and all that, as well as the treatment of “allophones” – to say nothing of french speaking people who do not happen to have a personal history descent from of early Quebec settlers – is nothing to be proud of. Frankly, the confusion of religion (Jews and Muslims) with “race” shows how muddy these waters are. 9/11 does not explain – nor excuse anything. It has simply reinforced existing xenophobia.

When I am asked my race I reply “human” and refuse to be more specific. I have dual nationality – English and Canadian and from my understanding both are “mongrel breed” to those who care about such things. The English are celtic, nordic, germanic, french and sorts of others as well. Prior to the Normans there were waves of invaders who liked the land, and settled there and inter-married. That was a tradition that continued even though there were no more “invasions” but plenty of people who came to Britain and stayed. Personally I think a bit of hybrid vigour is a Good Thing. My children are even more mixed than I am – having a mother with both Irish and Bohemian ancestry.

We share 98% of our DNA with chimps – so the differences that racists are concerned with are so small to be literally insignificant.

UPDATE

 

Philip Authier, CanWest News Service

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2007

MONTREAL – A new analysis of Statistics Canada data shows Quebec in 2006 likely incurred its worst single-year net-population loss since 2000 due to interprovincial migration.

The reasons for the losses varied — from students attending out-of-province universities, to economic opportunities to the perception of political instability.

Different age groups leave for different reasons but previous studies suggest historically anglophones are more likely to leave than francophones.

Maybe they leave because they feel unwelcome

Written by Stephen Rees

January 15, 2007 at 4:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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