AngryFrenchGuy

How Do You Call a Quebecois Who is Not a Minority?

with 131 comments

quebecois-pur-laine

How do you call a regular generic Canadian?  You know, a white guy called Rob or Bill with a last name that starts with W and ends with ON?

Or what about an American (see description above)?

You just call him a Canadian or an American, right?  If need be you could call him an Anglo or a white guy or a WASP, but unless race or ethnicity is an issue, you just use the standard issue label, right?

That’s the way it was supposed to work in Québec too.  In French the label Québécois was taken up PRECISELY to shed the baggage of the old French-Canadian label that implied that you were White, Catholic and had way to many siblings.  A Québécois would be someone who lives in Québec.  Period.

Sadly, it seems that even Them, the Franco-French-North Americans of French Expression, have picked up the very sad and even dangerous English-language concept of using the word Québécois to define not anyone who lives in Québec, but specifically one group of people, the white French-speaking men an women who have at least one uncle in either Gaspésie or Saguenay.

I have friends, born here, French-speaking, not especially fervent Canadian patriots, who will say things like: « Mon boss est Québécois », as if, because of their Viet Namese or African Roots, they weren’t Québécois themselves.

People, for a variety of reason, need a word to identify THEM.  Whether it is to express solidarity, denounce exclusion or spew out racist prejudice for profit in Canada’s daily newspapers, people need a word that points to THEM.  Since we need to protect the use of Québécois as a generic label that includes all the members of our civil society, even those we don’t like, it is time we pick an official label for THEM.

Many are already in use.  Pick one, people:

Pur (Pure) Laine: The most commonly used word in the English language to designate the Them.  The notion of purity is part of the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars inspired vision of Canadian multiculturalism that celebrates a motley crew of men and women in easily identifiable folkloric costumes who fight evil separatists before returning to ethnically segregated ghettos.  This is what John Porter called the Vertical Mosaic in 1965.  Jews get +3 business ability points and Them get +5 in goaltending.  Just as in the Lord of the Ring, English-speaking white males with no special skills have all the command jobs.

De Souche: Literally « of the stump », as in a tree stump.  This is the more common word used in French to designate Them.  The tree is indeed a nice image to describe a people, any people.  Out of innumerable and invisible roots a common trunk emerges before, once again dividing up into hundreds of branches that reach to the sky (take that poet-laureate!)  Sadly the Québec version of the image carries the weight of it’s terminal loser syndrome, the stump symbolising where the tree was cut down to make way for a Tim Horton’s parking lot.

French-Canadians: French-Canadian has a quaint old fashioned feel that evokes horse-drawn sleds and midnight mass.  Although still commonly used by Them when travelling abroad to avoid the whole « What’s a kweebeekwa? » conversation, most don’t use it at home.  Federalists feel they are full patch Canadians and indépendantistes don’t feel they are Canadian at all.

Paleo-Québécois: As opposed to Néo-Québécois.  A commenter on this forum came up with that one.  It is the AngryFrenchFavorite.

Written by angryfrenchguy

May 3, 2009 at 3:22 pm

131 Responses

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  1. Fon,

    On a different note… I met a Caucasian with what I thought was a European accent. While discussing, I found out he is of Lebanese origin. Surprised, I say: “Oh!… you’re Lebanese?!” He replies: “Well… I’m Québécois.” And I’m thinking: “Oups!”

    We continued chatting and all was fine. But I’m afraid this is exactly the kind of situation in which so many minorities feel excluded from the majority. Although the words I used were “you’re Lebanese”, my thoughts were simply “I didn’t think you were of Lebanese origin”.

    This particular situation betrayed my homogeneous Sherbrookois background, not my line of thinking.

    Pure Laine

    May 5, 2009 at 5:13 am

  2. ^ And, of course, by ‘Caucasian’ you meant the antiquated misnomer sometimes used to mean ‘european-decent’ – not an actual Caucasian.

    Just trying to muddy the waters a little further! As part of a minority, I feel it’s my obligation to do this.

    * no deli *

    May 5, 2009 at 5:37 am

  3. Not saying this in Vinster’s case, but there is usually an element of colonization in people who don’t like stuff because it *is Québécois*, and who automatically like everything Anglo-American just *because* it’s Anglo-American.

    We all know lots of people like this, who think American Idol, Deal or No Deal or The Biggest Loser are the greatest thing since sliced bread (probably just because of the so-called “superior” culture they emanated from), and who look down their noses at Tout le monde en parle, Un gars une fille or even Le Banquier or Star Académie.

    There is a fine line between personal preferences and a colonized mentality.

    Acajack

    May 5, 2009 at 8:13 am

  4. “On a different note… I met a Caucasian with what I thought was a European accent. While discussing, I found out he is of Lebanese origin. Surprised, I say: “Oh!… you’re Lebanese?!” He replies: “Well… I’m Québécois.” And I’m thinking: “Oups!”
    We continued chatting and all was fine. But I’m afraid this is exactly the kind of situation in which so many minorities feel excluded from the majority. Although the words I used were “you’re Lebanese”, my thoughts were simply “I didn’t think you were of Lebanese origin”.”

    And this is why people of diverse origins who have come to live among us are the real instigators of change. They are the ones who diversify the definition of what it means to be Québécois by defining the Québécois identity as their own. In a sense, they *force* the majority into it.

    Faced with so many people with various degrees of melatonin (thanks Fon, I love that formulation) who claim to be Québécois (or whatever… Canadian, American, etc.), the majority is coerced, often subtly and unknowingly, into altering its definition of the “national” identity.

    Acajack

    May 5, 2009 at 8:17 am

  5. It went from Canayen/Canadien to Canadien-Français to Québécois to Québécois-Francophone to Québécois francophone de vieille souche. When will the group stop self-segregating itself?

    I’d ask the question: Is there a need to talk particularly about those québécois and constantly differentiate them from the rest ?

    My origins are of the purest-lainenest (94.231% French, 2.376% native, 1.045% Irish, 2,348% Other) that you can find and hell if you speak about a Quebecois I’ll feel fine with it and the fact it also includes every single person living in Quebec.

    ps. I was being sarcastic with the %

    tremblay

    May 5, 2009 at 8:20 am

  6. You make very good points. I think people tend to mistake “origins/roots” with “cultural background/citizenship”, which sometimes lead them to think that they are more worthy of words like “Québécois” (or any other nationality, for instance) than those that belong to “minorities”… even if their families has been around for hundreds of years.

    Vinster171

    May 5, 2009 at 8:28 am

  7. I guess it’s all a matter of taste, but I am anglo and I prefer Les Cowboys Fringants to Bryan Adams by a longshot.

    littlerob

    May 5, 2009 at 8:28 am

  8. “AFG : you tend to think that every choice is political. I didn’t choose to like BA, OLP or ToaD. I just happened to hear their songs and like them”

    That’s your rationalizatio after the fact. Your original comment clearly indicated you found French music hard to “cope” with.

    “b) I prefer listening to Bryan Adams, Our Lady Peace, Theory of a Deadman rather than having to cope with the likes of Éric Lapointe or Daniel Bouchard or Les Cowboys Fringants”

    It’s OK to like the Canadian rock scene. (Good old “White Canadian Rock” as the anglo patrons used to call it when I DJed at Peel Pub, back in the day.) For some reason my musical taste is partial to French music while my reading preferences always pull towards English language materials. TV is 50/50. It’s the cool thing about speaking different languages. But you have to keep an open mind.

    angryfrenchguy

    May 5, 2009 at 10:04 am

  9. AFG : “That’s your rationalizatio after the fact. Your original comment CLEARLY indicated you found French music hard to “cope” with.”

    Nope, it didn’t. It said what it said, which is that I don’t like Eric Lapointe, Daniel Boucher or Les Cowboys Fringants. Not the same thing as “hating French music in general”. And the reason why I picked these three is mostly because they might be considered as “the cream of the crop” of Quebec music by some, and I used that in order to throw a bit of sarcasm at Tancrède. Nothing more to it, so the way you interpreted it is a bit off context…

    I can recognize, however, that based on our numerous differences of opinions, it was probably normal for you to assume that I didn’t like French music as a whole. My musical taste is partial to English, mostly because there are very few worthy rock alternative bands in Québec (or maybe I’m just too lazy to look for them…), while I read in both French and English.

    Vinster171

    May 5, 2009 at 10:32 am

  10. “My musical taste is partial to English, mostly because there are very few worthy rock alternative bands in Québec”

    Yeah, well if your definition of alternative music scene includes Bryan Adams, I can see why you don’t like what’s being recorded in Québec…

    angryfrenchguy

    May 5, 2009 at 10:50 am

  11. “…mostly because there are very few worthy rock alternative bands in Québec (or maybe I’m just too lazy to look for them…)”

    Malajube, Karkwa, Band de Garage, Bonjour Brumaire, Navet Confit, Jean Leloup, Dumas, Avec Pas d’Casque, la Patère Rose, Jacquemort, Vulgaires Machins… And I could go on and on.

    Unless you,ve got the one and absolute taste senser out there I think all these bands are to different degrees “worthy rock alternative bands in Québec”.

    +1 pour attitude de colonisé.

    tremblay

    May 5, 2009 at 10:56 am

  12. While I do agree that, because of the sheer volume of stuff it produces, there is in absolute numbers more really good Anglo-American stuff out there than good stuff from any other culture. But I would also like to submit that it is nonetheless vastly overrated, to the point where most people who partake in it (be they native anglophones or not) are usually completely unininterested in anything of any other origin, so convinced are they of the superiority of the Anglo-American model.

    I base the above on the first 20 years of my life, during which I partook in and consumed Anglo-American culture to the exclusion of virtually anything else.

    Acajack

    May 5, 2009 at 12:39 pm

  13. I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m starting to believe that when anglophones say francophone Quebecers are ethnocentric, and when francophone Quebecers say anglophones want to assimilate them, they’re describing attitudes in the other population which might be seen as ethnocentrism / support for assimilation if they were the ones expressing them, and which might even touch a nerve for them, but which aren’t actually ethnocentrism or support for assimilation.

    Let me explain. I’ll start with this debate we’ve been having here for some time, including this thread with its discussion of “colonisés”: who is the “nous” in Quebec. I’ll call it the Collective. I don’t think the Collective includes everyone in Quebec and those who say it does are deluding themselves. But who does it include? It’s obviously easier for someone with French Canadian ancestry to be part of the Collective: as pointed out, people with mainly French Canadian ancestry are often described as “Québécois” while others are described based on their ancestry (Lebanese, etc.) That’s why many anglophones think membership in the Collective is ethnically based. But it’s definitely not impossible for a non-French Canadian to be part of the Collective. Even people whose main language at home isn’t French have been part of the Collective (but of course they do need to understand and speak the language).

    But what exactly, if not ethnicity, makes one part of the Collective? Honestly I’m not sure I can describe it. I know it when I see it, but the definition is kind of fuzzy. I believe it has to do with recognizing and accepting the existence of this French-speaking society, its distinctiveness from the rest of Canada and North America, accepting its values and recognizing its successes. Unlike what Tancrède said (I assume that’s not what he wanted to say), it’s not linked to politics. But despite this support for Quebec independence almost automatically makes one part of the Collective. That’s because (unless one is like ABP) supporting Quebec independence means you think this society is distinctive and you believe it’s good enough that it can basically go at it alone. I’ve seen sovereigntists here make the distinction between (normal) federalists who are part of the Collective, and “extreme federalists” who aren’t. But what is this distinction? Why are Vinster, Acajack, Jean Charest and Denis Coderre part of “nous” while Michael Sabia, Paul Desmarais and the Trudeaus find it much harder? The only answer I have is that you know the first group is committed to Quebec, while in the case of the second one, you either think their loyalty lies somewhere else and they’d sell Quebec’s interests if it helped the group they’re really loyal towards (Sabia) or you think they don’t really like Quebec and would like to see it assimilate somewhat so it becomes more “Canadian” and good (Trudeau). Pierre Trudeau was famously part of a conservative Catholic nationalist French Canadian group as a young man, and what he heard there coloured his perception of francophone Quebec for his whole life. I don’t think he ever considered francophone Quebecers as really the equals of anglophone Canadians.

    So anglophones, when they see this discussion of the Collective, notice that it’s easier for French Canadians to be part of it (ethnocentrism!) and that it’s easier for separasites to be part of it (dogma!). Especially since Canadians take pride in being a society where everyone belongs (whether that’s true or not is a debate question). But in reality the Collective is not based on ethnicity or on support for political dogmas.

    Now let us go to assimilation. Many francophone Quebecers think anglophones would really like to see them assimilate so the language question is put behind us. That’s not accurate. But what do anglophones really want? It’s not obvious, and I’m not sure they really know themselves. But it is known that Canada takes great pride in its “cultural mosaic” nature, where people of all ethnic groups interact with each other and together build a common culture. And in most provinces, francophones in fact seem to be part of this mosaic. They may speak French at home, even send their children to French schools, but in all regards they’re “Canadian” and their culture is Canadian. I remember Acajack saying that Le Droit, while founded as a Franco-Ontarian newspaper, is now a mostly Outaouais newspaper while most francophone Ottawans who read newspapers read the Ottawa Citizen or the Ottawa Sun or one of Canada’s national (English-language) newspapers. So French Canadians in ther other provinces are true French Canadians.

    But what about francophone Quebecers? They live in a society that’s part of yet separate from Canadian society. I think anglophones (those who still care about Quebec’s place in the country, that is) would like Quebec to be more “Canadian”. This is seen as assimilationist by members of the Collective, but it’s not intended as such by anglophones. Of course, what they don’t notice is that their definition of “Canadianness” is solely their own and does not include much of what the Collective thinks defines itself. What they should see is that I (a member of the Collective) am one hundred percent Canadian, even though my definition of Canadianness may not match theirs.

    I’m interested in what you think.

    Marc

    May 5, 2009 at 12:54 pm

  14. @ AFG : “Yeah, well if your definition of alternative music scene includes Bryan Adams I can see why you don’t like what’s being recorded in Québec…”

    Tastes evolve with time. Plus, you are really pushing nitpicking to a whole new level. Reread my first post : it stated that I’d pick BA over some other bands, that’s all. The fact that I then mention that I prefer rock alternative music does not imply that I consider BA rock alternative. You know, generally speaking, people do not limit themselves to only one type of music. Anyways, why are we still even discussing this? You sound like a child who desperatly needs to get the last word. Here, go on, indulge yourself, I won’t answer back…

    @ Tremblay :

    Out of all the bands you’ve named, I see two that are actually quite good : Karkwa and Vulgaires Machins, and you could probably have added “Les Dales Hawerchuk”. I don’t particularly like Malajube, while Dumas and Jean Leloup aren’t really “rock alternative”… and I have absolutely no idea who the other bands you’ve named are.

    But then again, how relevant is it? Are we going to discuss my musical preferences eternally? If, for you, the fact that I don’t listen to or appreciate rock alternative bands from Quebec means that I have “une attitude de colonisé”, then it only proves the point I’ve been making for months in these pages: lots of separatists are deeply intolerant, and most of them don’t even realize it. Here, take your “Navet Confit” album and try to convince yourself that it is as good as the latest Muse album, or the latest Rise Against. I’ll grant you that I haven’t listened to Navet Confit, but, somehow, I doubt it’ll stand the comparison.

    +2 for you for being a jacka$$

    Vinster171

    May 5, 2009 at 1:26 pm

  15. I actually don’t believe the “worship” or preference for Anglo-american culture is as widespread worldwide as is generally assumed. We have to rememeber a handful of Anglo countries are the biggest producer AND CONSUMMERS of cultural products. This has been very lucrative and has allowed them to do some dumping around the world, but as youth and disposable income moves East and South, I don’t know how long that will last.

    In the last decade, American-English lost much of the symbolic association it had with political and economic freedom that once seduced much of the world’s kids. Today Bollywood makes less money than Hollywood, but it sells way more tickets.

    A new game is on.

    angryfrenchguy

    May 5, 2009 at 1:31 pm

  16. I completely agree with you, and I’ll even submit my own example, since AFG and others have started dissing my musical knowledge. But I’ll submit to you that it is probably not only a lack of interest, but also a certain lazyness combined with a lack of good alternatives.

    Let’s say that I want to listen to a radio station that I know will play music that I like. I can either select Buzz 99.9, an american radio station dedicated to rock alternative music, or try to find a french homolog… that virtually doesn’t exist. Hum…

    It’s not so much a question of the “superiority of the anglo-american model”. I don’t bother myself with political theories when a song catches my interest. I pick up the name of the band, and sometimes I discover that it is canadian/english/australian afterwards. Since there is a limited public for rock alternative music in Quebec, with no known (please, if you know a good one let me know) radio station dedicated to that type of music, I am not exposed to Quebec-based bands that play that style of music.

    I can already anticipate the comebacks, however: as a good Québécois, I should do all I can to encourage people from my yet-to-be country! Well, sorry for being a bad citizen, but I have very few time for that.

    Vinster171

    May 5, 2009 at 1:37 pm

  17. I flattered that you’ve included me in the “nous”. I guess not everyone here would have done so. My opinion will sound simplistic, probably, but I don’t think it is that complicated. We just make it so very often. I think we’re all part of the Collective, but that there are some people that would like to impose on us their definition of how the Collective should be.

    I think there is a perception problem: hardcore sovereignist like to think that they can decide who’s a part of the Collectivity, and will often let you know this by telling you that you are a “colonisé” if you do not think properly, and that you do not belong if they suspect that your loyalty lies elsewhere. One should not mistake “volume of speach” with “opinion of the Collectivity”, and this is also true for those hardcore federalist out there. Unfortunately, “volume of speach” is often a very good way to make it to the front pages of newspapers, and this is what fuels the incomprehension in this country.

    I think that Quebec’s Collective is a rather quiet bunch. It watches, it analyses, but doesn’t speak that much. They speak by putting an X in a circle. They don’t want to leave this country (at least that is what the latest polls indicate), but yet they do not want their leaders to lick the boots of our federal leaders. By doing so, they are driving hardcores nuts, hence the reactions seen by some Conservatives and PQ supporters after the last federal and provincial elections. For those Conservatives supporters, we were a people of “BS qui se laissent engraisser par l’argent des fiers travailleurs”, while the PQ supporters cried out loud that we were a bunch of “colonisés, moutons suiveux qui se laissent manger la laine sur le dos”.

    I don’t think anybody will be able to come up with a good definition of what makes you part of the Collective. Anyways, I don’t ask myself that many questions. I live in Canada, so therefore am Canadian. I live in Québec, so therefore am also Québécois. My first language is French, so we could therefore add that I’m a French-Canadian living in Québec. You could give me membership cards in many other groups if you want (French-Québécois of French decent, Québécois-Canadien Francophone, Canadien d’expression française…), what does it change, really?

    Vinster171

    May 5, 2009 at 2:02 pm

  18. I hear this attitude over and over again in Quebec towards Quebec music, Quebec cinema or anything associated with Quebec. I get pissed. I get equally pissed by Canadians (rest of) not giving a chance to Canadian cinema and having an “attitude de colonisé” by consuming 95+% of american cinema instead of homegrown stuff. No, Canadian cinema does not have 10% of the diversity of American cinema but if Canadians changed their mentalities , odds are it could get better. You see where I’m going?

    It’s the de facto negative association of alternative music in Quebec being “not worthy”. Dissing an entire part of the music scene, instead of looking up on bande a part and trying bands that might fit to you hears. Giving it a chance.

    +3 for me being a jacka$$

    sans rancune ;)

    tremblay

    May 5, 2009 at 2:07 pm

  19. Just to make it clear: if I could find a Québec band that I like, I’d most certainly listen to it. But on the other hand, I’d not make it a favorite simply because it’s from Québec.

    By the way, Acajack… how would you call somebody that likes stuff just because it’s from Québec, and disses the rest? To me, this is also a form of colonized mentality. When it comes to art (music, movies, even TV), I think that if your first argument for liking something is “it was made here!”, you’re missing on something. (Not saying it is related to you, honestly. I’m really asking my question out of curiosity.)

    Vinster171

    May 5, 2009 at 2:08 pm

  20. Canadian Bacon is one of my favorite movies. Don’t assume that because someone does not listen to Quebec music and watch movies from here on a frequent basis, that this means that these persons don’t like anything that is made here. Some people are way too susceptible on these issues. Give me a good French rock-alternative radio station, and I’ll make sure to listen to it on a frequent basis. I haven’t found a French version of the Buzz 99.9.

    Vinster171

    May 5, 2009 at 2:16 pm

  21. I would say that in the western world at least, Anglo-American culture tends to be ubiquitous and is even close to hegemonic in many places. It varies from place to place (a higher presence in the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Germany, and a lesser though still strong one in places like France and Spain).

    I will agree with you that a new game is indeed on and that there are strong challengers coming to the fore, especially from the East.

    Acajack

    May 5, 2009 at 2:28 pm

  22. “It’s not so much a question of the “superiority of the anglo-american model”.”

    You (actually, all of us) still do get convinced of its superiority subliminally almost through osmosis, conditioning and, as you said, lack of other choices.

    Acajack

    May 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm

  23. Why is there a “francophone” section in every record store? I can understand why this would be the case in Toronto, where music not in English is basically put in the “World Music” heap whatever it actually is, but in Quebec we should be aware that “francophone” isn’t a style of music. It’s pop or rock or alternative (what’s the definition of “alternative” anyway?) or rap or country or metal or whatever. It should be put in the correct section with the English-language equivalents.

    Maybe it’s so people can actively seek out / avoid French-language music (depending on their proclivities).

    Marc

    May 5, 2009 at 2:38 pm

  24. I don’t really think it’s superior, but just more easily accessible. If you were in a wheel chair, would you go to the place where you need to go up 30 stairs before you can get a place and eat, or would you go to the place with the ramp? It’s essentially the same thing with american music/movies.

    Vinster171

    May 5, 2009 at 2:38 pm

  25. @ Marc :

    I’m pretty sure that this section is there so that people can find their favorite French artists more easily in a sea of English records. That being said, this section should probably be subdivided in order to include music styles. But then again, I don’t know many people that would actually go to the record store and pick a CD in the appropriate “french rock alternative” section if they haven’t actually heard some songs from this CD beforehand.

    Vinster171

    May 5, 2009 at 2:42 pm

  26. Who the hell buys CDs and listens to the radio? Don’t you people have the internet?

    angryfrenchguy

    May 5, 2009 at 2:48 pm

  27. “I can either select Buzz 99.9, an american radio station dedicated to rock alternative music, or try to find a french homolog… that virtually doesn’t exist. Hum…”

    The Buzz targets the Montreal media market but because it broadcasts from the USA they are not bound by CRTC content rules. That means they do not have to play Nickelback 3 songs out of 5 to meet their quota, hence a more interesting playlist.

    If the people who ran the Buzz had half a brain they would keep their current playlist and hire French-speaking MCs and speak directly to their audience.

    One of my plans when I win the lotery is to buy my own Amercican radio station to broadcast into Montreal so I could get around the rules and get some French (as in from France) Hip Hop and rock on the air.

    angryfrenchguy

    May 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

  28. I will agree with you Marc that by and large English-speaking Canadians have moved beyond the assimilationist thinking that used to be their main attitude towards their country’s francophone population. Today, they mostly have a “sink or swim” attitude, which is reflected in comments like “you shouldn’t need laws to protect your language and culture if your language and culture deserve to survive”, and other comments that label Bill 101 et al as some type of unnatural social engineering. So they’re OK with us surviving as a people, but only if it doesn’t inconvenience non-francophones (sometimes this even includes the non-francophones living in Quebec).

    Acajack

    May 5, 2009 at 3:15 pm

  29. This isn’t being colonized, it’s more like cultural insularity. There are quite a few people in Quebec who are like this – people who only like Quebec-made cultural products or perhaps only like cultural products that are originally in French.

    Though you should also not forget that on the North American continent, the cultural insularity of francophones in Quebec pales in comparison to the insularity that is prevalent on the rest of the landmass, which is almost unequalled on a global scale. So I fail to see why the finger should particularly be pointed at Quebec in this regard.

    Acajack

    May 5, 2009 at 3:20 pm

  30. > I flattered that you’ve included me in the “nous”. I guess not everyone
    > here would have done so.

    I knew you’d say that. I think it depends on how you frame the debate. When I first started debating with you here, I noticed that you were constantly pointing out the faults in Quebec’s public discourse (especially from the separatist side) while ignoring the faults in Canada’s English-language public discourse. From this I (incorrectly) inferred that you didn’t really see much positive in Quebec’s view of the world and thought anglo Canada’s was much better, a shining example for Quebec to adopt! Refusing to recognize Quebec’s strong points and supporting assimilation (assimilation is a cultural phenomenon, not only linguistic): that’s going to get you out of the Collective before your head hits the ground!

    Then I kept on debating with you and I figured out that you were doing this because you like messing with separatists, and because you feel Quebec’s faults need to be commented on more than Quebec’s strong points. That’s fair. But you should remember that the Collective is very insecure: if you criticize it without giving it a certain amount of praise, it’ll think you see only negative and no positive. I find that Fon can say whatever he wants about ethnic minorities having trouble feeling part of the Collective and I’ll listen to him and consider his points, if he precedes it by saying that Quebec is a progressive society and not especially racist. That means he wants us to improve in our way, not just to destroy us or assimilate us.

    Really, I wonder where some anglophones got the idea that French Canadians are a proud people, in fact too proud and in need of being taken down a notch because their amount of ethnic pride is un-Canadian. I personally find that anglophone Canadians are really proud of being Canadian, while francophone Quebecers, while being very conscious of their difference and proud of it, are also insecure in their existence.

    So of course I consider you part of “nous”. So is Fon.

    > They don’t want to leave this country (at least that is what the latest polls
    > indicate), but yet they do not want their leaders to lick the boots of our
    > federal leaders.

    Ah yes. As Yvon Deschamps would say, “le Québécois moyen veut un Québec indépendant dans un Canada fort”. That’s certainly what I want. I guess it’s a bit contradictory though. I suppose we need to make concessions if we want to be part of this country which we built. I’d very much like to be told what these concessions are, though, so we can make an enlightened choice.

    Marc

    May 5, 2009 at 3:28 pm


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