Viva la revolucion or how racism is polarized by multiculturism


600000 Chilean students strike to protest Chile's education law. Police fired water cannons and tear gas at protesters. The more recent protests are part of a movement called "The Pinguin Revolution", a student activist movement to reform the education system.

In this post, I cover racism in Montreal, some Big Brother Au and Uk, a dreamlog, the problem with digg, the Motorola Q, Quebec separatism and a few other things.

cache of dynamite consumed by controlled fire

Another entry into my dreamlog, last night's dream brought in some nice science-fiction elements, probably because I watched Doctor Who last night before going to bed.

I am part of this ecclectic squad of adventurers and we are investigating a space-ship. We are shooting down rat-like creatures. We suddenly hear some noises behind us and hide. We see other aliens trying to do the same thing. We pretend to be cow like aliens and they ignore us and blast through. We go back and reassess our tactics

I am trying get from a town back to my home town, one way is longer but easier, and the other is a bit stranger, though I miss it every-time. I plan out my route.

I am an agent in this rag tag band of adventurers and we practice to make sure that everything is ok. I am driving a fast car, something like a WRX STI, it's ripping up the tarmac.

I am near a chain of hotels and we discuss what to do now. We are developping a disguise to infiltrate that world again. Our mission wasn't that successful, so we need to try again.

Karman vortices over the Aleutian islands in Alaska

Montreal is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Canada. Being in a french speaking province or state is also quite special. I have lived in Montreal for the last 4 years. Before that, I was living in Quebec City, the state capital, which is mostly french. I have had some incidents in Quebec City involving racism, but nothing too bad. Grade school was bad, because I came here from France. So on top of being a visible minority, I had a very pronounced french accent. I have never had any problems with any of my friends. With women, I did get the "Jungle Fever" vibe sometimes, because I was probably the closest that they have been to a black person. I can remember talks about the maudits immigrants voleurs de jobs [Ed. note: damn immigrant, stealer of jobs] around me from acquaintances. It was always added very quickly later on, after they realized what they had said, that I wasn't one of them, naturally.

Quebec culture is centered upon the conflict between English speakers and French speakers. Historically speaking, the Quebecois were not treated very well, and the sovereignty movement is a consequence of this. Sovereignty almost disappeared in 1995, when Parizeau, the former Premier of Quebec, accused the loss of the Separation Referendum on Ethnic votes. Funny, because most would consider me an Ethnic vote and I voted for sovereignty. Though it was a protestation vote, I didn't like politics that much back then. I am glad to see that this issue had gone under the carpet for the moment. I think Quebec should always be in Canada, to some degree. Outright separation is not viable, especially in an economic sense. Since most corporations in Quebec are still owned by English speakers, they would leave should Quebec separate. Housing and financial markets would crash, property values would stumble. Quebec would be a uni-lingual country, and that would be a problem for many of us. I can't imagine the other consequences of Quebec separating, but none of them are that great. I would think that a status somewhat similar to the states of the USA would be something that Quebec would like, however, Quebec will have large problems without the equalization payments of other provinces. The only provinces who would benefit from separation, would be Alberta and Ontario, but they wouldn't separate from Canada.

I am pretty sure some Quebecois pure-laine living in Montreal feel the need to be more racist than if they were in a homogenous society. Montreal is so multicultural, that they are constantly surrounded by not only English and French people, but by Filipino, Chinese, Indian, Haitian and more. It is a way for them to protect their cultural identity. If the society of Montreal were more homogeneously Caucasian, like Quebec City, I am sure racism would be less of an issue, since the need for discrimination against visible minorities is almost unnecessary, since they are not a threat. However, in Montreal, all these cultures living with each other and mingling makes a core group of Quebecois uncomfortable. Nothing is worse, when they see their culture diluted in their eyes, when Causasians mix with foreigners. In fact, I am sure some of the Quebecois pure-laine living in my condo development resent the fact that I live here, at age 30, when they are older and feel threatened by my presence. I have discussed this subject with a Filipino friend who lives here, and he has similar feelings towards this subject. It is such a paradox, because you would think that Montreal would be in general a bastion of tolerance, making cultures tolerate themselves in a better way. This is the case with most younger people, and I have the sense that in a few generations, this will be the general attitude. It is quite a novel idea, that multiculturism is actually polarizing racism in Montreal, but this is happening every day. How do these people deal with Quebecois like myself who have a Quebecois accent, swear like them but are in fact totally different in appearance? They discriminate and belittle.

In Big Brother news, In BBA Katie has been evicted. The surprise turn of events went against all odds. Odds being that Jamie was going to go. However, Katie was a goner, with a good portion of the vote. The housemates passed this week's task. Jamie is constantly looking in the mirror and playing with his hair. I think that he looks more in the mirror than Krystal, which is saying a lot.

Grace's eviction from Friday

It has been revealed that Susie was a stripper and has been accused of being a prostitute by her former husband. That would explain her presence in a music video by HIM where she strips completely down. Like I have said before, she has a lot in common with Lea, who is a porn actress. I have posted links or clips of both of these already, if you want more info, check out the big-brother category in the Memoirs.

I just noticed that WP is down starting 16:20 EST. Just came back at 16:40 EST. This is actually the 2nd time I have lost part of an article while I was spellchecking with WP. I will have to be more careful.

There is a large problem with the memediggers. It turns out, and I am not surprised by this, that 60% of digg's front page is controlled by 0.03% of users. Here is another post covering this fact.

There is a lot of buzz generated by the new Motorola Q. This site reviews all the uses that you can get out of this phone. They also have a bunch of youtube videos explaining these uses.

technobubble36.gif digg.png newsvine.png nowpublic.jpg reddit.png blinkbits.png co.mments.gif stumbleupon.png webride.gif paypal_16x16.gif scoopt.gif rss.png




11 responses to “Viva la revolucion or how racism is polarized by multiculturism”

  1. range Avatar

    I really got into this article on racism, as well as the other post. It's the first time I have actually taken the time to put down my feelings about racism and the way it affected me.

  2. mick Avatar

    This is a bit of a learning experience, reading your post.

    Tonight I realised several things — that, in spite of my choice to listen to and read non-State-centric news reports, there is quite a bit that I don’t understand about the politics of Canada. It seems a shame that I live less than 5 hours away from a point of entry and I haven’t a clue what is happening just to my north. I recall, vaguely, the call to vote on separation, but it seems almost dreamlike and I couldn’t tell you what the issues were.

    The other thing I realised, which is related, is that Canada has just as many issues with racism as the States. Again, in my oblivion, I had always perceived folks up north to be a little more tolerant, a little more liberal.

    I REALLY need to educate myself better. I’ll have to make sure that I stop at some other news services other than NPR and the BBC for my news (or, at least, follow the links to Canadian news).

    Thanks for the perspective.

  3. range Avatar

    The politics of Canada are quite tame, I believe. It comes from the british heritage. However, there has always been some problems in Quebec. Being the only french speaking state in all of North America makes it hard to conserve the Quebecois culture, but we have with legislation and attitudes. However, there always is a resistance to change. Montreal is one of the most diverse cities in North America. It doesn’t matter if you’re blue or green, Montreal embraces all. The remnants of the older generation however still try to resist the change. Their attitudes still resonate against the people who are used to being free of these opinions.

    For this sole reason of tolerance and acceptance, I would not live anywhere else in Quebec, but Montreal. In the rest of Quebec, French is the main language. There is discrimination against English speaking citizens, but not against tourists though. It is a divide polarized by Sovereignty. Most English Quebecois are against it, whilst most French Quebecois are for it.

    We have passed laws making gay marriage legal, but the new PM, who is a Conservative, is trying to appeal these laws. This will not happen. Canada, in general is more liberal and tolerant. The divide within communities is less apparent. Here in Montreal, neighborhoods are a diverse mix of ethnicities and cultures. The art and music scene is vibrant here.

    You only have to look at France and their recent problems with youths from the large cities. There will be an undercurrent of hate until time passes and the current young generation teaches their children to be the same way, and the older generation is gone from memory.

    Thanks for the comment, I always enjoy discussing such matters and welcome to The Memoirs, Mick.

  4. Mr Angry Avatar

    Nothing like racism to fire one up. No matter where you sit on the spectrum, issues of race seem to inflame passions. I’m a big fan of multiculturalism myself. After growing up in a whitebread town, living in cosmopolitan cities like Sydney and Melbourne is an eye-opener. Can’t beat the food, that’s for sure.

  5. memoirs on a rainy day » YouTube is the new You or how blueberries will save your life Avatar

    […] This is my comment on the continuing exploration of how racism affects our culture in Montreal. This comment was in response to Mick comment from Sweet Immolation. The politics of Canada are quite tame, I believe. It comes from the british heritage. However, there has always been some problems in Quebec. Being the only french speaking state in all of North America makes it hard to conserve the Quebecois culture, but we have with legislation and attitudes. However, there always is a resistance to change. Montreal is one of the most diverse cities in North America. It doesn’t matter if you’re blue or green, Montreal embraces all. The remnants of the older generation however still try to resist the change. Their attitudes still resonate against the people who are used to being free of these opinions. […]

  6. range Avatar

    Yeah, mate, had some Thai food in a joint today with my wife. C14$ for the both of us with huge portions. It’s a place called Soupe et Nouilles.

    On racism, you have to be aware of the problem, but not dwell on it all the time, because there isn’t a lot that you can do to change these attitudes. I did have a call from one of the condo administrators, apologizing for any behaviour that I might have felt was inappropriate, after I sent them a letter of complaint.

    This blog is getting political, or exploring social issues. I didn’t think it would go this way, but hey, I enjoy it.

  7. Kerryn Avatar

    I nearly explored this particular issue on mine but it didn’t seem to fit – trying to avoid the political over there (except in the most oblique way). Anyway, I woke up this morning thinking about your post and racism and started writing… it’s still just some incoherent thoughts on paper and maybe destined to never go further. But you got me thinking and that’s a good, good thing.

    I hate to do the me, too but I have to agree with Mr A. Multiculturalism rocks! I grew up in a country town and when I moved to Melbourne I had to confront some of my own beliefs and ideas, that I’m sure I inherited from my parents. Came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to be that way and let myself be open to new experiences and cultures. Two of my siblings, however, still live in the country and seem to have embraced the narrowmindedness that appears to be a product of growing up in a largely anglo community. I have to hope that their children get out of that environment and experience the wider world.

  8. range Avatar

    Montreal is the most multicultural place in Canada. I wouldn’t and couldn’t live anywhere else. I find the thought about returning to a more homogeneous city somewhat disturbing.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that multiculturism is bad, I am just saying that there are problems that might not be apparent on the surface of the issue. I find the post and the discussion compelling.

    Multiculturism is good. No two ways about it. What I wanted to discuss was the inherent resentment that sometimes is nested in multiculturism. This resentment fosters racism, which I oppose. I don’t want anybody to use syllogisms here either.

    Thanks for a great series of comments guys!

  9. alexis Avatar

    Ok canada is multicultural and it’s great.. ok so let me show you something from a french friend that made the mistake to go further in the topic by visiting an english canadian irc channel:

    Korax> why are you here, frog.
    there are no jobs no women no housing no drugs
    so stay in frog land.
    when we do a referedum they all come up here saying “nous vous aimes” and then after they treat us like shit… i just dont get it… why do you want us in this f***** country if you hate us so much
    we like seeing you suffer
    Korax> you are second class citizens.
    Korax> barely human
    kan> you also are not making any sence in your broken language
    Korax> we’re rich. you are poor. thats how things are
    kan> ive been to montreal, didnt need french
    Korax> the rest of you cunts should go back to france…oh wait, they hate you
    Korax> buncha 1400s era criminals farmers and shitbags, no wonder france shipped all you degenerates here.
    kan> abandon your language for a few dollars
    Korax> so you gunna beg or what, froggy?
    Korax> nobody wants to speak some dead undecypherable gibberish language…french…foo.
    Korax> face the facts chump. we got what you want, and your culture is meaningless when it comes to the mad paper stacks.
    Korax> stay nthere and die, or come here and beg for work. and we might give you scraps.
    Korax> maybe you can clean up dog shit in the park.
    Korax> oh your knees froggy.
    Korax> all french smoke.
    Korax> you are born with cigarettes in your big frog lips.
    Korax> and your 24h clocks and your couche tards
    Hoolibear> So.. tell me something, French speaker… where does your intellect come from?
    Korax> i see frogs coming here and whining and being dicks but begging for work.
    Korax> and you’re a filthy mexican
    Korax> thanks for the history lesson, you’re a frog. period. are you finished?
    Vo|t> with all this anti-french propaganda and all these frenh federalist from québec who wants everyone in canada to speak french.. i understand all this hate
    Korax> speak french speak french, thats all you care about is your overrated language
    Hoolibear> I just wish you should shut up and leave us be.
    Korax> Who cares, it sounds gross and is inefficiant.
    Korax> garbage subhuman animals.
    Hoolibear> Montreal is passable. Not my favourite, but a hell of a lot better than the rest of the Province.
    Korax> you cant call me racist.
    Korax> I just hate frogs, you people aint a race.
    Korax> you have zero infrastructure.
    Korax> zero resources
    Korax> all your land is rocks.
    Korax> your dams on native land
    Korax> that would come right back to canada.
    Korax> you’re the immigrant here, paleface.

    Yes canada is fun for a french speaker.. i agree with you.. the french quebecois are ignorants and this is why they want to preserve their french and their culture. And as someone said earlier, they will fade away and the new generation will be able to speak english everywhere in that province as well. viva immigration, multiculturalism is good. after all.. the rest of Canada isn’t racist toward quebecois. and even if canadians would be a lil racist.. that country was english before being french so it explains the hate.

  10. ed Avatar

    Well this guy Kotex, or whatever, is just an embarrassment to everyone. There’s racism everywhere, but most people have the sense not to wear it on their sleeves.

    I disagree that multiculturalism breeds racism, however. It exposes racism.

    The guy who hates a race because they had a bad experience might not have hated that race otherwise, but he’d be just as full of hate and would end up slapping his wife or neighbour instead. But the guy who thinks group X is inferior or weird will definitely change his mind once he has a few friends who are Xs.

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