Tag Archives: xenophobia

More xenophobia at the Bouchard-Taylor commission

The expressions of blatant xenophobia at the Bouchard-Taylor commission on reasonable accomodation is continuing with no end in sight:

  • The Quebec council on the status of women seeks to impose a dress code on all public employees, preventing them from wearing “visible religious symbols” like a scarf over their head or a little hat. Of course, it goes without saying that Catholics wearing crosses around their necks are specifically exempt. They get special treatment because they believe in the correct God.
  • The group also wants the Quebec charter amended to make sure that gender equality usurps religious freedom. This makes sense, but does that mean that women could sue for the right to become priests? If they’re for gender equality in all religions, then they must be in favour of that as well.
  • Pauline Marois is opining that the solution to reasonable accommodation is … wait for it … Quebec independence. In a statement that sounds almost Third Reich-ish, she suggests that independence would remove “ambiguity” concerning what Quebec is. Instead, immigrants would see it as the racist, intolerant, French-only haven of backwards ideas we all know and love. And if these ethnics want to join us, all they have to do is rid themselves of their religion, their culture, their language and anything else that makes them different.

Bouchard-Taylor Commission legitimizes xenophobia

The news stories coming out of the Commission on Reasonable Accomodation (or whatever it’s official name is) have really been eye-opening. It’s no secret that we have paranoid xenophobes here. But this commission, going around the province (starting with small rural towns and ending in Montreal) seems to be legitimizing it.

Suddenly, it’s no longer taboo to express an irrational, paranoid fear of immigrants flooding in to take over your country. To suggest that a few dozen quiet immigrants with cloth over their faces settling in a town hundreds of kilometres away is going to somehow radically alter the way of life in a place that is 96% Catholic might have once been considered ignorant racism. But now that the commission is coming along, it’s giving these lunatics a forum in which to express their paranoia.

Tonight in a park, as I watched a free movie screening, one of the spectators shouted at the end, complaining that the film was not in French and that Quebec is a French-only province. The man was clearly off his rocker, and the crowd stayed silent in response. The young moderator of the evening, in an attempt at diplomacy, repeated an invitation to a post-screening party in the province’s official language, but the man was still yelling as she spoke in his tongue. He wasn’t interested in accomodation, he just wanted to yell.

Now if that same man were to walk into a commission hearing room and give those opinions into a microphone, suddenly it would become news. It would get into the newspapers, and would require acknowledgment and analysis.

I realize I’m generalizing here, but normal people have better things to do with their lives than attend these hearings. It’s the unemployed crazies who want someone to blame for their crappy lives that come to these town halls and blame immigrants they’ve never seen or met.

Perhaps there’s no alternative to this. We’re dealing with questions of morality, and that requires public consultation. But it still irks me that we’re giving an open mic to racist, xenophobic extremists and pretending like their opinions are justified.