Christiane Martel wrote me concerning one of my Editorials that criticized Jim Duff of the Montreal Suburban Newspaper for not allowing me to publish a letter in the Weekly Newspaper he edits.
Please see ARCHIVES – March 1, 2005.
My letter dealt with the cost of appeasement.
In this case, it had to do with the federally funded English Rights Advocacy Group; Alliance Quebec’s decision to further aid the disappearance of the English language, and English speaking community within Quebec, rather than fight for the RIGHTS of the English speaking minority to be EQUAL.
THIS IS WHAT CHRISTIANE MARTEL WROTE:
I have just finished reading the letter you submitted to Jim Duff for publication, and while I may often disagree with him, this is not one of those times.
As soon as you started your Nazi Germany history lesson, my eyes just glazed over. The analogies you offer up are offensive. They are offensive to me, not as a French Canadian, but as a human being. Every effort that you make trying to prove a point is simply wasted because your implications are just so distasteful and misplaced.
You asked me to be the judge and I have obliged. You lose.
HERE’S A SLIGHTLY EDITED VERSION OF WHAT I WROTE BACK TO CHRISTIANE:
Christiane: I don’t lose. You read the article which “offended” you. That’s a good thing. I certainly don’t lose when I am able to make someone think.
Ethnocentric nationalism is a disease that has killed more people than all the plagues known to mankind. It has also been the greatest source of human suffering in history.
The world lives with ethnocentric nationalism every day. We see it in the Middle East and Asia amongst the Moslems. We see it in Africa. We also see it in how horribly women are treated in many civilizations.
And we have even seen it really close to home as recently as the 1950’s until the final fall of the Jim Crow Laws in the USA.
“Canada The Good” had laws that were very discriminatory against Jews right up to the 1960’s, much of it in Quebec, but not all of it at the hands of French Quebecers, but all of which that were ethnocentric.
Unfortunately though, French Quebec seems to have traded in one form of ethnocentric nationalism for another. And that offends me.
It should be very clear to you that my article SPECIFICALLY said that Quebec is NOT Nazi Germany, and Quebecers are NOT the Gestapo.
But; the same thing could have been said about Germany before 1936 and the ethnocentric Nuremberg Laws.
Funny thing about ethnocentric nationalism, is that it always starts off benignly until it manifests itself into the ugly beast that it is.
The same was true with the Inquisitions, Pogroms and finally the Holocaust.
I am not suggesting that I fear a Holocaust in Quebec, but a curious thing happened to me during a French language television debate on TQS a few years ago, when a member of the audience in a Q&A session told me not to worry.
He said: “After separation Mr Galganov, don’t worry, we will not make a Concentration Camp for you in Drummondville”. Quite a mindset don’t you think?
My niece and sister have just arrived in Prague on vacation, and one of their first stops will be to visit a Nazi Concentration Camp that was located in Czechoslovakia.
Czechoslovakia was one of Europe’s most liberal and enlightened countries at the turn of the 20th century, yet, even in Czechoslovakia where Jews thrived, there was a Concentration Camp.
Did you know that the very first Nazi Death Camp was in France? How could that possibly be? Wasn’t France the champion of Equality, Fraternity, and Liberty?
Why do you believe that ethnocentric nationalism is something we shouldn’t fear? What makes you think that the loss of just one right to be equal, will not lead to a second loss, than a third, and on and on? Then what?
That your eyes glazed over when I wrote about the progression of ethnocentric nationalism to its worse conclusion says an awful lot more about you, than it says about me.
Thank you for your letter.