MSM stoking language wars and xenophobia

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Unionist
MSM stoking language wars and xenophobia

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autoworker autoworker's picture

Allegedly having a sandwich thrown in one's face, for allegedly speaking English in public, contributes to tension-- not CJAD reporting the alleged incident.

Unionist

autoworker wrote:
Allegedly having a sandwich thrown in one's face, for allegedly speaking English in public, contributes to tension-- not CJAD reporting the alleged incident.

Then of course there's the few like you who eat these stories up, always on the hunt for confirmation that the enemy is as bad as you think.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

In BC we also have many anti-Asian racists. To me the language is a minor part of the video of the two privileged white people berating young men for not assimilating fast enough. The language wars are unique to Quebec but the racism is something all Canadians of good will have to continue to fight whenever it raises its head. 

There is no language issue in BC and most people just don't understand what the fuss is about.  I understand better than most but frankly I see it as an internal Quebec issue and not something us Westerners can fix even if we were arrogant enough to want to. But then that is from a perspective of living where 27% of Lower Mainland people speak Chinese at home and another 9% speak Punjabi.  French is not even among the top ten languages spoken at home in Metro Vancouver. There is no French English language divide in BC because we don't have a significant French population or culture.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Unionist wrote:
autoworker wrote:
Allegedly having a sandwich thrown in one's face, for allegedly speaking English in public, contributes to tension-- not CJAD reporting the alleged incident.

Then of course there's the few like you who eat these stories up, always on the hunt for confirmation that the enemy is as bad as you think.

I wouldn't have known about it if I hadn't read it here.

Unionist

autoworker wrote:
Unionist wrote:
autoworker wrote:
Allegedly having a sandwich thrown in one's face, for allegedly speaking English in public, contributes to tension-- not CJAD reporting the alleged incident.
Then of course there's the few like you who eat these stories up, always on the hunt for confirmation that the enemy is as bad as you think.
I wouldn't have known about it if I hadn't read it here.

Ok cool, but actually I'm talking about the media in Québec, which is why I opened this thread in the Québec forum. Sorry if you misunderstood.

 

Unionist

Recent events led me to think that maybe we should catalogue this phenomenon - specifically, how the mainstream media (and various politicians) publicize, sensationalize, exaggerate, and even invent anecdotal "evidence" of how much people supposedly hate each other.

Some of these examples of xenophobia become iconic. Just google "trampling Quebec flag in Brockville" for an example (1989). You may also recall several examples (real, exaggerated, and concocted) of "reasonable accommodation" gone wild which the media here repeated endlessly in 2007 - serving kosher food at the Jewish General Hospital and at a "sugaring off" party; sending male cops to calls from Hassidic Jews; frosting windows at an Outremont YMCA so that religious Jews wouldn't be distracted by lust-inducing aerobic sights; etc. And the Muslim woman who got thrown out of French language class because of her niqab. All that helped Mario Dumont's ADQ become the official opposition, ever so briefly, and produced the Bouchard-Taylor Commission.

So, in the spirit of documenting this stuff, I'll lead off with a silly example involving tomatoes, allergies, and assault:

[url=http://www.cjad.com/CJADLocalNews/entry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10436569]Language tensions lead to arrest at hospital[/url]

This more ugly story (about an irrelevant incident involving some drunken idiot) was plastered all over the Anglo media here on election day:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/09/04/mtl-language-fig... language face-off media goes viral[/url]

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
Recent events led me to think that maybe we should catalogue this phenomenon - specifically, how the mainstream media (and various politicians) publicize, sensationalize, exaggerate, and even invent anecdotal "evidence" of how much people supposedly hate each other.

Recent events lol!?  People by and large do hate, precisely as a result of everything you describe here.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Recent events led me to think that maybe we should catalogue this phenomenon - specifically, how the mainstream media (and various politicians) publicize, sensationalize, exaggerate, and even invent anecdotal "evidence" of how much people supposedly hate each other.

Recent events lol!?  People by and large do hate, precisely as a result of everything you describe here.

You're right. But I meant, the September 4 shooting and killing. We've been talking in another thread about the "isolated incident" vs. systemic problem hypotheses. It made me think we should look specifically at how the media report on such matters here. I didn't mean to present it as some brilliant discovery.

 

Unionist

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Councillor+accused+feeding+anti+Semi... accused of ‘feeding’ anti-Semitism[/url]

Typical creation of a scandal over a non-issue:

1. Ruling party in Montréal City Council (Mayor Gérald Tremblay's Union Montréal) announces that council meetings will be suspended for Yom Kippur.

2. An opposition Vision Montréal councillor (VM is kinda close to the PQ and led by Louise Harel, a former PQ minister of municipal affairs) denounces the move, saying city government should be secular, there are only 3 Jews out of 65 councillors, we can't accommodate one religious group and not all the others, etc.

3. Marvin Rotrand (sort of house leader of the ruling party) condemns the condemnation and asks for a public apology - later says "I've talked to her" and doesn't need an apology any more.

4. Lest the whole nonsense die alone and unmourned, a councillor of Projet Montréal (third party on Council, allegedly hip, green, and progressive) condemns the initial condemnation, saying it feeds anti-Semitism.

5. Harel condemns the latest condemnation for mistaking secularism for anti-Semitism.

6. The Gazette loves it all.

Question: Who is taking the progressive stand in this scandal?

Answer: Wrong!

lagatta

Remember that Anie Samson, the mayor of Villeray-Parc-Ex-St-Michel who denounced the suspension, is also the mayor who first agreed with the bigots who put out a leaflet full of false news about the planned respite centre for Inuit patients in Mtl hospitals, to be opened in the former Chinese Hospital.

Don't know if she is so much bigoted as clueless (very multi-culti arrondissement, by the way).

Need it be said that real-estate speculation was behind the objection to the Inuit centre?

Yes, the Gazette loves this shit.

François Limoges, the Projet-Montréal councillor who spoke out against anti-semitism, is my council member. He is a good guy, but I fear that here he is not very aware of how the Gazoo and some professional-criers-out-about-antisemitism will be jumping on the issue.

(Obviously, anti-semitism still exists, and it is horrible, but I'm referring to right-wing knee-jerk jerks such as B'nai Brith)...

But hey, secular Jews can take the day off, and still go out for dinner.

6079_Smith_W

That is absolutely hilarious. I think the mayor should cave into their secular demands and reschedule a session at 8 am Christmas morning.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I have no problem with changing a meeting date to accommodate people's religious calendars.  We do it all the time in our co-op. But then out here we also let people wear kirpans in any public space including council chambers and legislatures.  So the question is should a society accommodate people's religion or tell people of religion to keep it to themselves and leave the public space free of all religious symbols and practices.

To be consistent politicians, like the Green guy who wants to accommodate people's religion and the UM party that suspended the sittings for Yom kipper, would be putting forward a motion to suspend council business on Thursday evening Oct. 25th and all day Friday October 26th. 

NDPP

The MSM relentlessly continues its campaign of Islamophobia. And it's working in Quebec

Muslims in Canada Facing Extreme Racism (and vid)

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/03/03/291667/muslims-in-canada-facing...

"Quebec is perhaps the most Islamophobic province in Canada. The President of the Muslim Council of Montreal is setting the record straight..."

lagatta

The really weird thing is the article in the Guardian of all places about the (idiotic) Office de la langue française directive about pasta and polpette (Italian-style meatballs; by the way in Italian, polpette can also be fish-based or even vegetarian).

The Office said it was all a mistake and apologised to the restauranteur, by the way. Great publicity for his (glitzy and overpriced) restaurant, by the way.

lagatta

I don't think we are any such thing. What is strong here is a very militant secularism, not in reaction to Islam, but to the hardline, authoritarian CATHOLIC church of yore. And extended to all other religions seen as fundamentalist and patriarchal.

Just wanted to add, of course we have our bigots too, and here they tend to be old-school Catholics such as the mayors of Hérouxville and Saguenay. But no more than anywhere else (farther west they tend to be fundie evangelicals).

Unionist

Yeah, unfortunately that Iranian report was over the top - not the video part, and the interview with the head of the Muslim Council, which was quite balanced I thought and exposed examples of discrimination against Muslims - but rather the screaming headline in particular.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

In BC we still have a lot of anti Asian racism that needs to be confronted. I think that for any nation it is best that the dominate culture not pat itself on  the back too much for its own view of how accepting they are of other cultures.

Unionist

NDPP wrote:

The MSM relentlessly continues its campaign of Islamophobia. And it's working in Quebec

Muslims in Canada Facing Extreme Racism (and vid)

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/03/03/291667/muslims-in-canada-facing...

"Quebec is perhaps [** one of **] the most Islamaphobic province[s] in Canada. The President of the Muslim Council of Montreal is setting the record straight..."

NDPP, just a suggestion. If you use copy and paste instead of retyping quotes yourself, the accuracy will improve.

ennir

As someone living on the prairies I can't speak to the hostility that is promoted within Quebec, such as the incidents you posted Unionist, but certainly Quebec is slagged sufficiently in the MSM that many people I have talked to would not think of travelling to Quebec because they feel they are not welcome.

I tell every person I have the opportunity to that Quebec City is a place that all Canadians should visit at least once, I assure them that they are many people in Quebec that are happy for tourists.

I think this is because the people of Quebec are much smarter at enjoying life than we are on the prairies, or perhaps anywhere else in Canada other than Newfoundland.  I think the tradition of the spectacle, which is vibrant there,  has been lost to us and therefore we are isolated from the joy of community life.  As I said elsewhere, the perfect victims willing to inflict our victimhood on others. 

Always this tradition of divide and conquer.  We need to be smarter than that.

Unionist

ennir wrote:

Always this tradition of divide and conquer.  We need to be smarter than that.

Amen [in a purely secular sense of course]!

 

NicycleBicycle NicycleBicycle's picture

As far as I'm aware the Globe&Mail is the only newspaper in Canada with the editorial policy to render the term First Nations uncapitalized. I just assume this to be an example of racist "dog whistling." Has there been any word from the editors at the Globe&Mail on their rationale for this policy? 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

ennir wrote:

Always this tradition of divide and conquer.  We need to be smarter than that.

Amen [in a purely secular sense of course]!

 

Shouldn't that be "Aperson"?

Unionist

lagatta wrote:

The really weird thing is the article in the Guardian of all places about the (idiotic) Office de la langue française directive about pasta and polpette (Italian-style meatballs; by the way in Italian, polpette can also be fish-based or even vegetarian).

The Office said it was all a mistake and apologised to the restauranteur, by the way. Great publicity for his (glitzy and overpriced) restaurant, by the way.

And the fallout:

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/OQLF+head+Louise+Marchand+resigns/80... head steps down as minister seeks modernization [/url]

Quote:

The Office québécois de la langue française needs to be “modernized” and its inspectors must be more “supple” in enforcing the French-language Charter, Cultural Communities Minister Diane De Courcy acknowledged Friday.

De Courcy made public a hastily-produced report in the wake of the “Pastagate” scandal. The report calls for the creation of a new position at the OQLF to field complaints from merchants who feel they have been unfairly targeted by French-language inspectors. De Courcy also announced that the longtime president and director-general of the OQLF, Louise Marchand, will be stepping down.

 

6079_Smith_W

It's a bummer, of course.

But I'm sure those who enjoy lutefisk, gravelax, schmandkuchen, sui mai, goi ga, and haggis will appreciate the loosening of the law.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yes because Ford knows it was impossible to find them in Montreal before this tyrannical office came to its senses.

Unionist

It's not just the MSM, is it?

6079_Smith_W

...or perhaps its the lack of refrigeration. Because lord knows you need to keep that stuff chilled.

 

Unionist

This is starting to look like the comment page of the Montreal Gazette, or the Calgary Herald. Ridiculing Québec, ridiculing its struggle to protect its culture and language, ridiculing the mistakes made by some low-level functionaries, ridiculing Québec's own efforts to correct its mistakes and move forward.

It's crap like this which is used, over and over again, to bolster the "yes" vote in referenda. Understandably.

autoworker autoworker's picture

If the shoe fits...

ygtbk

Well, if the PQ wants the OQLF to use a more conciliatory approach, after the head of the agency has stepped down, as documented here:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/fate-of-new-quebec-language-law-...

because of incidents like this:

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/03/08/graeme-hamilton-quebec-la...

then there's an implicit acknowledgement that the OQLF were making themselves look ridiculous. The media play things up to sell papers, advertising, etc. - we all know that. However, it's really hard to see what legitimate public policy the recent high-profile cases have been in aid of.

Unionist

ygtbk wrote:
... there's an implicit acknowledgement that the OQLF were making themselves look ridiculous.

Yes, every single person in Québec, and around the world, understands how stupid these petty incidents were, how they were all a matter of literal-minded and overzealous low-level functionaries, how no one in any position of authority has ever tried to justify them. It's more than an explicit acknowledgment.

And, Québec has indeed acknowledged all that and is taking measures to correct it.

So why are people here piling on, along with the National Post and the like?

It's not just a neocolonial attitude of superiority to these poor dorks in Québec, although that's a huge dose of it. It's primarily a way of calling into question and reversing the verdict on the establishment of French as the only official language of Québec - i.e. Bill 101, which has been in place for over 35 years. Rather than emulate the right-wing Québec-bashers (although some here are no slouches when it comes to that), they conveniently seize on these egregious and hilarious incidents (which, please note, have caused no big harm or damage to anyone - rather, they've been great for business) in order to attack through the back door that which they don't dare challenge head on.

 

ygtbk

@ Unionist: it's clearly the case that the "low-level functionaries" in question needed to be reined in, and that they are being reined in. They harrassed legitimate businesses for reasons that in retrospect are hilarious, but were likely not all that funny to the business owner at the time. Noting that, and noting that similar incidents are terrible for Quebec's international reputation, is not Quebec-bashing. It's just verbum sap.

It's not only Quebec where you can find incidents of low-level functionaries making life awkward for people. It's pervasive.

Unionist

dp

Unionist

ygtbk wrote:

It's not only Quebec where you can find incidents of low-level functionaries making life awkward for people. It's pervasive.

That was kinda exactly my point, ygtbk. But in the case of Québec, such petty phenomena are exaggerated, broadcast, and used very deliberately to ridicule the efforts of a whole society to protect its language and culture, by those who wish it ill. Like the National Post. Hence the title of this thread.

ygtbk

@ Unionist: Alternately, it could be the case that people in other provinces, having no animus against Quebec, but lacking an analogue of the OQLF in their own province, find the idea a little surreal. YMMV.

Unionist

You mean, these same people find sovereignty movements and language laws quite reasonable, but just find these incidents surreal? It's not just that they don't have an OQLF. It's that they don't really understand or accept Québec's right to self-determination. That's why I'm told it would have been political suicide (allegedly) for the NDP to vote against the Clarity Act.

These petty incidents are magnified for a reason, in my view. It's exactly the same as the frenzy that was briefly created in Québec over a few incidents designed to foment Islamophobia to the political benefit of Mario Dumont a few years ago. It's all about the title of this thread.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist your corporate media indeed acts as you say it does.I don't share your views on how people outside of QUebec view it but then I only live outside QUebec so what would I know.

Our corporate media vilify everything Chinese and many here gladly engage in the pile on at every turn and the Chinese out here are not even trying to assert their rightful place as one of the founding settler nationalities.  Dragon boat races fine, leaders from Quebec dressing up in costume fine.  CETA is maybe not so bad but the same deal with China is evil. 

The MSM in Canada stokes xenophobia at every turn not just about Quebec.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Unionist your corporate media indeed acts as you say it does.I don't share your views on how people outside of QUebec view it but then I only live outside QUebec so what would I know.

I do NOT believe "people outside of Quebec" are Québec-hating colonialists, and I've told you that before. You're thinking of Thomas Mulcair and Bob Rae and Stephen Harper - you know, the ones who think that everyone in Canada loves the Clarity Act and that it would be suicide to interfere with "Canadians'" hatred of Québec nationalism. I spent more than half my life outside Québec, and I know very very well that people have to be trained, over a lifetime, to be filthy racists. They are not born that way. That's why I opened this thread. And as you'll note, the main focus here was (originally) the stoking of wars and racism within Québec. Please check back and ensure that my memory is correct. And in fact, that's why I opened it in the Québec forum.

Quote:
The MSM in Canada stokes xenophobia at every turn not just about Quebec.

That is the absolute truth.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

You mean, these same people find sovereignty movements and language laws quite reasonable, but just find these incidents surreal? It's not just that they don't have an OQLF. It's that they don't really understand or accept Québec's right to self-determination. That's why I'm told it would have been political suicide (allegedly) for the NDP to vote against the Clarity Act.

Sorry I had no idea you were only referring to a few politicians.

 

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Unionist wrote:

You mean, these same people find sovereignty movements and language laws quite reasonable, but just find these incidents surreal? It's not just that they don't have an OQLF. It's that they don't really understand or accept Québec's right to self-determination. That's why I'm told it would have been political suicide (allegedly) for the NDP to vote against the Clarity Act.

Sorry I had no idea you were only referring to a few politicians.

 

I'm not only referring to a few politicians. I'm referring to a segment of society, both in Québec (obviously - read 90% of this thread) and outside, who are amenable to xenophobic neocolonial propaganda by the MSM and the elites served by it. Some people (not me) believe that segment is so vast, and immutable, that it would be suicide for the NDP to recognize Québec's rights. If that were truly the case, then the sooner Québec gets out of Canada, the better for all concerned. I will repeat, as many times as necessary, that I don't believe that to be the case for one instant. That's why I spend a lot of time challenging people here (and elsewhere) who arrogantly ascribe their own backward sentiments to "the voters" or some other such euphemism.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Great then we agree. I think that sometimes you fly so close to the sarcasm line that I have a hard time getting your meaning.  Its not like any posters here try to straddle both sides of an issue so they can always be right.  I must have been reading one of those posts before I turned to this thread.