Far from black and white

Richard Martineau goes on one of his usual rants, this time about what he considers racism.

The first part of his rant is against a lame This Hour Has 22 Minutes sketch that makes fun of Quebecers. Since Martin Patriquin already has a response to that one, I won’t bother here.

The second part attacks my newspaper for the most curious of reasons:

On faisait un appel à tous pour savoir si une famille du West Island pouvait accueillir une petite fille de 13 ans un week-end par mois, histoire de laisser sa mère souffler un peu.

«La jeune fille est très active, elle garde sa chambre propre et respecte les règlements de la maison, pouvait-on lire. Idéalement, la famille d’accueil serait noire…»

Imaginez comment The Gazette réagirait si le Journal se mettait à la recherche d’une famille d’accueil BLANCHE pour une jeune fille. On crierait au racisme !

The Gazette has regular columns in its arts and life section which profile kids looking for foster homes and organizations in need of volunteers. It’s about a step and a half below actually rescuing orphans from a burning building.

But Martineau takes issue with the fact that it’s suggested a black kid would ideally (but necessarily) best be placed with a black family.

To answer his straw-man hypothetical, if the Journal was trying more to place troubled children with foster parents, I would certainly welcome it. And if an ad requested white parents, I’d probably be more confused than offended. Statistically there are always more black kids in these situations and fewer black parents in a position to adopt.

But even if I grant that this is racism at its core, is this really the biggest injustice he could find?

The Gazette can be criticized for a lot of things (ask me, I’ll write you up a list), but in 1,000 years this would not have stricken me as one of them.

6 thoughts on “Far from black and white

  1. Edna

    As a graduate of foster parent school, I gotta tell you it’s not racism in any form. Batshaw tries to place children in homes where they’ll be most comfortable, with people who are like them. They have enough going against them heading into the system. They will try to put white kids in white homes and Jewish kids in Jewish homes and Jamaican kids in Jamaican homes.

    It is not about racism. It is about children.

    Reply
  2. Patrick Lagacé

    Steve,
    I think what Martineau is trying to say is that a lot of stuff is being said, in certain Anglo media, about Quebeckers that would never, ever fly, were it said about other “groups”. I’m pretty sure Rico was not alluding to the find-a-home-for-kids feature in the Gazette, I don’t think Rico reads the Gazette that closely. What he’s saying is, IMHO, replace “French-Qc” by “Blacks” (or any other ethnic/religious group), and some stuff in the English media being said would be deemed offensive and out of bounds.

    Case in point : the Globe and Mail publishing the shitty Jan Wong column about Bill 101 being responsible for ethnic alienation in Quebec, and this ethnic alienation producing mass-murderers like Kimveer Gill, Valery Fabrikant and (son of Algerian father) Marc Lepine.

    Reply
  3. Karine

    About Martineau: Dany Laferrière has once said that he thinks outside of his intellectual capacity. I agreed wholeheartedly and that piece proved it once again…

    Reply
  4. Wale

    I think that his point was that calling for race specific foster parents would not have been tolerated if the “ideal foster parents” for a white child were identified as a white couple. Either way the attack is unwarranted and pretty offensive. Oh well.

    Reply

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