If you are a non-Canadian, or a Canadian who doesn’t know, Canada’s province of Quebec has language (cultural) laws, which makes the unrestricted use of the English language illegal.
I spent a considerable part of my time and money between 1995 and 2000, doing battle in the province of Quebec, against all government policies and laws that rendered English speakers second-class and invisible.
I was so aggressive at what I did and said (always within the law), that my wife and I were forced to live with armed bodyguards 24/7.
But after a few years of this, I walked away from the battles and moved out of Quebec. To most people, my decision to leave was predicated in their minds upon their belief that I just gave-up.
I would never give up on my right to be equal. But I did give up on a compliant and appeasing English-speaking community, where far too many of the people didn’t have the courage or mindset to fight for their rights.
Worse: Most were too stupid and brainwashed to support anyone (including me) who stood-up for everyone’s right to be equal.
They actually called people like me extremists. They worried that I would rock the boat.
If Martin Luther King had people like this by his side, there would have never been a US Civil Rights Movement.
Instead of Quebec’s English language media standing absolutely for the rights of all people to be equal, they instead chose to make excuses for inexcusable language laws that beat up on their readers, listeners and viewers.
The very worst of these media cowards who can at best be described as Quislings, were the management of the Montreal Gazette Newspaper, who couldn’t bend over low enough to kiss the asses of ethnocentric Quebec racists.
During my 2-year career as a relatively prominent Montreal radio talk-show host, and 5 years of leading the attack against Quebec’s discrimination against literally all things English, I never missed an opportunity to screw over the Montreal Gazette for their cowardly policy of appeasement.
In Montreal, which has always been a city where more than half the population was not part of the French community, the English media abandoned its clientele in more ways than one can imagine.
In the French media, if you are not part of the French community, forget about getting any kind of French language media job. In essence: Anglos need not apply. Even fully bilingual Anglos.
In the English media however, French speaking on-air personalities on radio and television are heard and seen everywhere, even if they have very pronounced French accents.
And in the Montreal Gazette, many of their journalists and opinion writers are not just from the French speaking community, but are very much French Quebec nationalists.
At one time in the mid 1990’s, the English language Montreal Gazette decided to publish opinions in the French language, hoping to gain French readers to replace the English readers who had moved out of Quebec because of racist language (cultural) laws.
Not only did this policy go nowhere. It actually caused the Montreal Gazette to lose even more English speaking readers who were outraged to open “their” newspaper to see French articles, many of which supported Quebec’s ethnocentric nationalism.
When I was on-air in Montreal, I remember reading a Gazette classified ad looking for carriers. One of the job requirements was that the successful candidate(s) speak French.
Now how stupid was that?
Here was an English language newspaper, looking for carriers to deliver their newspaper before 6:00 o’clock in the morning, to English speaking households, who could only get this job if they spoke French.
After seeing this ad, I never had to wonder again at how low a major English language media would go to appease a sick racist language policy. Obviously, the gutter was the limit.
I am writing this today, because in Canada’s National Post newspaper (Saturday April 7, 2007), there was an editorial written by the Montreal Gazette, which “SUGGESTED” that the federal Liberal Party try to find a candidate to replace the retiring French speaking Westmount incumbent, with a member from the English speaking community.
In Montreal, there are substantial pockets of English language speakers, where they are very much in the clear majority. These communities are considered to be ultra safe ridings for any Party that bears the Liberal label.
And because they are so safe, that even a monkey wearing a Liberal logo would get elected, the Parties far too often run French candidates whose victories they want to be all but guaranteed.
So, not only are Quebec English speakers screwed in terms of equality and visibility, they’re also screwed in terms of Party and government representation.
What got me so pissed-off at this editorial, was the Montreal Gazette’s “SUGGESTION” that the federal Liberals choose a candidate from the English speaking community to represent the English speaking riding of Westmount.
(More than 2/3rds of Westmount residents and voters are English speakers).
Why didn’t the gutless-wonders at the Montreal Gazette show even a modicum of good taste to DEMAND, opposed to just “SUGGEST”, that an English speaking riding be represented by a member of the English speaking community?
I did not leave Quebec because of Quebec’s French speakers. Nor did I leave Quebec because I felt that I couldn’t win against Quebec’s racist language (cultural) policies.
I left Quebec because the English media were racist Quebec’s most effective apologists and cheerleaders.
I could fight ethnocentric Quebecois nationalism. But I couldn’t fight the English media. The most vicious enemy is the enemy from within.
The English language Montreal media are indeed the enemy from within.
And when the last Anglo turns out the light, the darkness will be caused by those within the English media who lacked the courage of conviction to stand tall against racism, targeted specifically at themselves.
It is just so sad that our governments, which are supposed to serve and protect its citizenry, rather serve and protect self promotion and interests. The sick part is they use our money (taxes) to do it.
It is sad you were forced to make the decision you did, but self-preservation made it for you. God bless you and Anne; and God help us all.
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