AngryFrenchGuy

The FLQ Manifesto, Whiggers and English Canada’s Jungle Fever

with 192 comments

22n.riot1

On the 29th of January 1969, 10 months 22 months before the kidnapping of James Cross and Pierre Laporte by the Front de Libération du Québec and the beginning of the October crisis, about 200 black and white students of Sir George William university—now Concordia University—occupied the computer room to protest racism and discrimination. Things got ugly, fire broke out and the university called in the riot squad to arrest the students while a crowd of white students stood by, chanting « Burn, Nigger, Burn ».

Canada briefly became the symbol of racism and imperialism across the black world, writes Sean William Mills of Queen’s University in The Empire Within, as « protests against symbols of Canadian power erupted throughout the Caribbean. In the aftermath of the event, students at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados mounted a “symbolic burial of (…) the racist institution of Sir George Williams University,” and the visit of Canadian Governor General Daniel Roland Michener to the West Indies on a ‘good-will’ tour set off a series of mass protests, contributing to a revolutionary moment that nearly toppled the government of Trinidad. »

That was Montreal in it’s “glory days”, you know, before the separatists showed up…

Earlier this week newspapers across Canada offered unsolicited advice of the controversy surrounding the proposed reading of the Front de Libération du Québec’s manifesto on the Plains of Abraham as part of a commemoration of the 1759 battle that, according to a Globe and Mail writer “marks the birth of the great Canadian spirit of cultural accommodation.”

Some, like the Calgary Herald, argued against “celebrating and glorifying the racist text.”  Most, however, thought the manifesto should be read in the name of memory and History.  It is a reminder of the dark side of Québec nationalism, editorialized the Edmonton Journal: « The document is as ancient, paranoid and creepy as a lunatic pamphlet promoting sterilization or racial cleansing ».   The National Post also agreed the Manifesto should be read, as long as it was « delivered with all the savage, sneering, race-supremacist spirit in which it was written. »

The National Post editorial board saw a black québécois, Luck Mervil, who announced he was going to read the manifesto of a 1970’s radical gang that trained in Jordan with the PLO, idealized Algerian revolutionaries, worshiped the Black Panthers, kidnapped a couple of white guys–a Brit and a French-Canadian–before fleeing to exile in Cuba, and with their deep and subtle understanding of History discerned a “race-supremacist spirit »?!?

People sometime do that. When they don’t like an event or memory in their personal past they ctrl-x it out and ctrl-v another story in its place.

The way in which English-Canada has been mapping the events of the Civil Rights movement and the violence that shook the deep american south onto the October Crisis is transparent. English Canadians are cast as the good guys, progressive and modern JFK-type northerners. French Canadians play the role of the fundamentally good yet slightly retarded southern whites in need of stern moral guidance.  English Montrealers become the powerless black folk and the FLQ is completely reinvented as a hate-filled rear-guard militia of inbred bigots known in other parts as the KKK. In that story the Canadian army was sent into the streets of Montreal to prevent a race war and restore harmonious multicultural peace.

Hey, Canadians aren’t the only ones who are trying to live out someone else’s history. The white private school guerrilleros of the FLQ had deeply immersed themselves in the writings of Malcom X, Aimé Césaire and Black Liberation. They had come to see and describe themselves as the « Blacks of Canada » and the « White Niggers of America ». Whiggers with dynamite.

Québec and Black Nationalists actually did bang together on some occasions, like that time in 1962, reported in Time magazine, when a “frowsy, 6-ft. blonde named Michelle Duclos, 26, (…) a frequent visitor to New York for dates with African representatives to the U.N.” was arrested for transporting dynamite over the border for “the Black Liberation Front, a hot-eyed batch of pro-Castro New York Negroes.”  Randy negros and promiscuous French girls:  Protestant America’s nightmare.

But at the end of the day the fact is there were black people in Montreal in 1970 and they weren’t down with the FLQ any more than they were the FLQ’s target. They had their own struggle.

Remembering History is great. Remembering what really happened is even better.

And what actually happened is that when the anti-racism Sir George William University demonstrators were tried for civil disobedience and destroying 2 million dollars worth of computers, their attorney was Robert Lemieux

…the FLQ’s lawyer.

Written by angryfrenchguy

September 13, 2009 at 1:36 pm

192 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. But this is something you presume Professor Gordon. You parade the same insinuation (with variations according to context and post) about how the francophones don’t consider anglophones as Québécois whereas the anglophones do consider themselves Québécois, and I’m merely wondering if you have any data to support this insinuation since to date I haven’t seen any. Do most anglo Quebeckers identify themselves as Québécois?
    Yes____
    No_____
    Don’t know _____
    Don’t know but will go on insinuating I do ____

    James

    September 13, 2009 at 7:53 pm

  2. How about a clear answer to the question below?

    If I were named to an important public position, would your reaction be “But he’s not a real québécois”?

    Be honest.

    Stephen Gordon

    September 13, 2009 at 7:56 pm

  3. I think I’m a Québécois, and I think you’re a Québécois if you think you are and want to be. And that was Parizeau’s whole point Prof. Gordon.

    James

    September 13, 2009 at 7:58 pm

  4. “I’m merely wondering if you have any data to support this insinuation since to date I haven’t seen any. Do most anglo Quebeckers identify themselves as Québécois?”

    Poser la question, c’est y répondre

    Stephen Gordon

    September 13, 2009 at 7:59 pm

  5. That was great until the “if” part.

    Stephen Gordon

    September 13, 2009 at 8:00 pm

  6. If I were named to an important public position, would your reaction be “But he’s not a real québécois”?

    Do you have any idea how many Québec anglophones have been appointed to important public positions without their « Québécité » ever having been brought into question for one second? Ever consulted a list of Québec cabinet ministers or Hydro Board members over the last 50 years or so?

    No, of course you haven’t. Otherwise you wouldn’t have asked such a question.

    Right?

    James

    September 13, 2009 at 8:16 pm

  7. Gordon: «Be honest.»

    Why would he be, when you obviously can’t.

    Nothing anybody says or does will ever change your prejudiced opinions. Be honest.

    Raman

    September 13, 2009 at 8:18 pm

  8. But if you don’t consider yourself a Québécois (btw, do you?) but consider yourself a Canadian only, and I’d said I consider you a Québécois, then I would have been a Brownshirt PQ Baddie trying to force a national identity on you against your will and put an armband on you. So I couldn’t have won either way.

    Hopefully your exams are graded more fairly and honestly.

    James

    September 13, 2009 at 8:21 pm

  9. You could have said “Yes.”

    The fact that you couldn’t is the problem.

    Stephen Gordon

    September 13, 2009 at 8:24 pm

  10. “How about: all of us. We all choose to live here.”

    So, Stephen Gordon, you consider yourself as a Quebecer. I have a question for you.

    If, in a future referendum, the majority of Quebecers vote OUI for independence, would you (whether you are a federalist or independantiste)

    1)accept the democractic results of the majority and be loyal to Quebec and participate in Quebec society?

    2)Or would you leave Quebec in a hissy fit or try to threaten partition of your territory from Quebec.

    If it is the later, then you are not a Quebecer in my book.

    Antonio

    September 13, 2009 at 8:25 pm

  11. Do you think you’re a Québécois?

    James

    September 13, 2009 at 8:33 pm

  12. Oh goody. A purity test.

    I have no intention of leaving my home in Quebec City, regardless of the outcome of an eventual referendum.

    Do I pass?

    Stephen Gordon

    September 13, 2009 at 8:36 pm

  13. Yes. Duh.

    I’ve been here 17 years and don’t plan to leave. I work in French.

    Good enough for you?

    Or do you have some hoops you want me to jump through? Bottles to balance on my nose?

    Stephen Gordon

    September 13, 2009 at 8:39 pm

  14. Of course, the fact that I had to actually say something like that is repugnant.

    Stephen Gordon

    September 13, 2009 at 8:41 pm

  15. “Oh goody. A purity test.

    I have no intention of leaving my home in Quebec City, regardless of the outcome of an eventual referendum.

    Do I pass?”

    It depends. Would you be loyal to Quebec and participate in Quebec society or would you try to partition your home in Quebec City from Quebec and reattach it to Canada?

    Antonio

    September 13, 2009 at 8:55 pm

  16. but of course you didn’t have to say any of it, you just had to answer. I answered your question, invoking none of the criteria you evoke in your stupid hyperbole. Your search for straw dogs and collecting of fake injustices is relentless, and you’ve got a chip on your shoulder the size of Denis Coderre’s ass.

    You accost people out of nowhere and ask if they think you’re a Québécois, and then affect indignation when they answer you sincerely and then put the question back to you. Why don’t you get another hobby?

    In your 17 years here have you ever shown anyone that anglos consider themselves Québécois and francos don’t think they are? You haven’t shown it here yet. Or is it just something you like spraying around on the ‘net like a tom that hasn’t been fixed?

    James

    September 13, 2009 at 8:55 pm

  17. Your answer was conditional; everything after that big “if” is an insult.

    My answer had no conditions.

    Stephen Gordon

    September 13, 2009 at 9:00 pm

  18. Ghislain Picard once said: “I am neither a Québécois nor a Canadian. I’m an Innu.”

    If I was unaware of that statement and he asked me “Do you think I’m a Québécois?”, I’d have given him the same answer I gave you. The “condition” simply being that of respecting that it’s the identity he confers on himself which takes priority over any I’d assign him. IOW, est Québécois qui veut l’être.

    Your search for fake injustices – and fake nazis and fake race purists and fake persecution – has all the subtlety of a ball peen hammer, and becomes tiresome very quickly.

    James

    September 13, 2009 at 9:14 pm

  19. Though I despise all forms of political violence, it is a bit rich to condemn the FLQ for an “anti-anglo” bent when the very thing they were fighting was very obvious discrimination against people precisely because they were *francophone*. If you are going to discriminate against people according to a given identifier, you shouldn’t be surprised that people try and turn the tables on you using the same type of identifier.

    Unless people think that there wasn’t any discrimination against francophones at that time? Come to think of it, there must be more than a few people out there who would think that way.

    Acajack

    September 13, 2009 at 9:31 pm

  20. You might want to coordinate your talking points with Antonio upthread. His exam appears to be considerably more arduous.

    Stephen Gordon

    September 13, 2009 at 9:31 pm

  21. I see no reason why. We’re not joined at the hip.

    You asked me if I thought you were a Québécois. Did I respond by asking you how long you’ve lived here or what language you worked in or who you voted for or if you like Félix LeClerc? Or did I respond according to a simple principle, the same I’d use with anyone else?

    Oh, and btw, at the time this FLQ manifeste was produced, do you think most anglophones in Québec would have identified themselves as Québécois?

    Oh, and I almost forgot the most important part:

    Be honest.

    James

    September 13, 2009 at 9:37 pm

  22. Every reference to anglophones is perjorative.

    Oh?
    And why would you think it is so? What could the english have done to warrant such scorn?
    Are you up to the task to figure the answer to the above questions?

    Јеаn Nаimаrd

    September 13, 2009 at 11:15 pm

  23. The Globe and Mail editorial you linked to is hilarious. It states that Wolfe’s “kindness” towards “Quebec’s unique cultural character and population” was extended to the Royal Proclamation of 1763. However, I mentioned in the comments section of that article that the Royal Proclamation of 1763 explicitly called for the assimilation of the New France colonists.

    Ah, yes, the proverbial big-commercial-media oddball logic where a soldier, who died in a battle, can “extend kindness” in a royal proclamation issued 4 years later…
    Or maybe the king is a good medium?

    Јеаn Nаimаrd

    September 13, 2009 at 11:18 pm

  24. oh now i get it! it wasn’t a french/english thing – it was a dialectic/manifesto thing.

    it was only the proletariat throwing off the chains of oppression and well, murder is ok because this is special and everything will be much better when dynamite is used.

    if i recall correctly – cuba welcomed the … uh, freedom fighters.

    what a coincidence – communism starts with the letter “c” also. and by golly, so does the word capitalist. what are the chances?

    johnnyonline

    September 13, 2009 at 11:21 pm

  25. If I were named to an important public position, would your reaction be “But he’s not a real québécois”?

    It depends.
    If it were under a liberal government, you would obviously be “un maudit anglais”, but if it were under a Parti-Québécois government, you would be the illustration of the PQ’s reliance on competence rather than superficial political parameters (got to pay back those election dollars, you know)…

    Јеаn Nаimаrd

    September 13, 2009 at 11:23 pm

  26. Ghislain Picard once said: “I am neither a Québécois nor a Canadian. I’m an Innu.”

    Meh. “Innu” means “human” — so we’re all innus.
    Heck, Nelson Mandela, Terry Bradford, Wei Jen Huang, Marcellin Bétournay and Alastair Gillespie are all innus.

    Јеаn Nаimаrd

    September 13, 2009 at 11:27 pm

  27. Antonio: “It depends. Would you be loyal to Quebec and participate in Quebec society or would you try to partition your home in Quebec City from Quebec and reattach it to Canada?”

    I select option 2, with Montreal for Quebec City. Do you have a problem with that?

    Antonio: “If, in a future referendum, the majority of Quebecers vote OUI for independence, would you (whether you are a federalist or independantiste) 1)accept the democractic results of the majority and be loyal to Quebec and participate in Quebec society? 2)Or would you leave Quebec in a hissy fit or try to threaten partition of your territory from Quebec. “

    Again, option 2. Do you have a problem with that?

    Antonio: “If it is the later, then you are not a Quebecer in my book.”

    Well, I’m so friggin’ sad. You just put me into a clinical depression. We are not Quebeckers in *your* book. I’m gonna cry.

    Antonio: “1)accept the democractic results of the majority and be loyal to Quebec and participate in Quebec society?”

    Will you accept the democratic results of two referendums and finally can it, or are you going to try over and over again? You’re so democracy-oriented, aren’t you? Just can’t accept that all Allophones, all Anglophones, and over a third of Francophones don’t want to have anything to do with your crazy ideas. And expressed this twice already.

    And if by a long shot Quebec managed to separate one day, are you going to give federalists a chance to hold successive referendums to rejoin Canada? No, heh? I didn’t think so. Your zeal for democracy has its limits, doesn’t it?

    allophone

    September 14, 2009 at 8:55 am

  28. “Will you accept the democratic results of two referendums and finally can it, or are you going to try over and over again?”

    Yes I have and many other independantistes have. After all, we still remain in Canada. There was no violence after the lost referenudums, no hiisy fit about leaving or about partitioning the parts that voted YES from Canada.

    People have the right to change their minds. The 1995 geeneration is different from that of 1980, today’s generation is different from that of 1995 and 1980. Furthermore, many people who voted NO in the two referendums did for different reasons. For example, in each of the two referendums, the federalists promised to reform Confederation if they voted NO. Promises not kept. In fact, Trudeau, after the first referendum, went exactly the opposite way to what Quebecers wanted. In his consitution Act, he centralized more power into the federal government.

    “And if by a long shot Quebec managed to separate one day, are you going to give federalists a chance to hold successive referendums to rejoin Canada?”

    Yes. After all, it is democracy. Something you don’t really practice.

    “No, heh? I didn’t think so. Your zeal for democracy has its limits, doesn’t it?”

    Your zeal for democracy has its limits. After all, you were willing to threaten partition. That is not someone that is respecting the demcoractic will of the majority. You are a hypocrite.

    Antonio

    September 14, 2009 at 9:16 am

  29. Partition – at least in the case of west end Montreal (though aboriginal areas in northern Quebec may be a different story) – is a dead end street.

    It would be best for you to try and work towards a situation where francophone residents of Quebec (who, remember?, make up the crushing demographic majority of the geopolitical entity in which you live) feel secure and respected in their language, culture and identity.

    Judging from many of your comments (French is useless, French is unjustly imposed on us, I don’t want to speak French in Montreal, etc.), this may take some adaptation on your part.

    But trust me, it is a much better option than the cockamamie wet dream of an Anglo-Quebec enclave on the West Island that has no political or judicial chance of seeing the light of day.

    Acajack

    September 14, 2009 at 9:31 am

  30. “feel secure and respected in their language, culture and identity.”

    Feel secure? I’m supposed to tiptoe around people who want to break up my country. And for what reasons? Not because they’re part of a country that’s setting them back economically (to the contrary). Not because they’re part of a country that oppresses and exploits them, and treats them like slaves (not even close). But because they’re self-esteem is so fragile that they can’t be just another minority within a larger country. They need to be “les maitres”.

    Let me talk about respect for a second. Things like respect are usually earned. I respect my thesis supervisor because of his contributions in cancer research. I don’t accord respect based on what linguistic group you’re from. Francophones as a linguistic group get the same thing from me as *any other* linguistic group – indifference.

    And what about the Francophones? Well, there are a lot of them who don’t want to have any to do with this separatist nonsense. The ones that are secure enough (thanks to their careers, character, achievements) that they don’t need to boost up their self esteem politically. Almost 40% of them said Non in the last referendum, something noteworthy but ignored – it’s easier to point the finger at the ethnic vote than to acknowledge that you can’t even convince your own people. Unfortunately, this group is either too spineless and wimpy, or apathetic enough to ever voice their opinions. If those opinions are ever expressed, they are muffled by an almost instant avalanche of barking from the other, *much* more vocal, side. So whenever a guy like Pratte or Rozon *timidly* say something that many people may agree with, guys like Falardeu, Lisee, Josée Legault, or on a smaller scale – AFG, step in. They might not have anything smart to say, but they sure are LOUD.

    “who, remember?, make up the crushing demographic majority of the geopolitical entity in which you live)”

    Dude, please. Stop this condescending educational talk. I live in Montreal, not Sept-Îles. And yes, I *live* here, so I know. You don’t have to tell me what situation I am in.

    Are you a preschool teacher by profession? You seem to have these tendencies of talking to people like they’re 5 year olds.

    allophone

    September 14, 2009 at 10:14 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: