For a Montrealer like me, who lives and plays happily in both solitudes, and is always trying to bring Quebecers and Canadians together, it was the ultimate nightmare.
An old Anglo, in a balaclava . . . and a bathrobe . . . screaming “The English are rising up!!! There’s going to be fucking payback!!!”
After killing a poor stage hand, throwing a molotov cocktail at the back entrance, and trying to shoot-up the PQ victory party.
For no sane reason.
And what makes it even worse for me is that even though the gunman is apparently mentally ill, I can’t help feeling that the escalating level of anti-Quebec sentiment in this country played a part in this tragedy. I wrote about it the night before the shooting.
And some of the comments I received, and sick stuff like this only confirms those fears . . .
For let’s face it eh? This violent genocidal hatred is out of control, and it will tear our country apart more surely than the separatists ever will.
So I’m not prepared to dismiss what other factors may have driven the Metropolis gunman to violence, as easily as John Ibbitson does here.
Does the increasingly heated political rhetoric of our times — the personal attacks, the wild distortions, the disintegration of civility that marks the modern dialectic — prompt angry people to act who otherwise might not? Does the anonymous vitriol that spews across the web help dissolve the inhibitions that might otherwise deter them? Do our increasingly polarized and unrestrained media play their part?
In the days ahead, some people are going to make such claims, but they will never be able to marshal convincing evidence, because such things are beyond accurate measurement. In our hearts, or our guts, we may fear it could be so. But we can’t know.
For I really think the MSM should ask itself whether it’s helping to feed that anti-Quebec beast, by constantly demonizing the PQ, or sowing panic about the dire consequences of a distant and almost certainly doomed referendum. Or portraying Quebecers as racists or xenophobes. Or allowing its comment sections to overflow with anti-Quebec garbage.
When they should be helping to better explain its reality, as Jonathan Kay does here.
Much as we Anglos like to denounce “pur laine” Québécois nativism, we should put our complaints and fears in context. The real burning issue among the vast majority of separatists is about language policy, which is amenable to rational debate; as opposed to questions about bloodline, which aren’t.
Which is to say: There is no real ethnic dimension to the French-Anglo conflict. If everyone named Kay or Smith or Webster agreed to speak French in public, and educate their children in French, not even the shrillest French nationalist would object to their inclusion in the independent Quebec nirvana they seek to build. In truly tribalized societies, by contrast, the object of nativists and xenophobes is always the expulsion or brutalization of minorities — never their “conversion.”
For fear and ignorance are a deadly combination . . .
And the hatred they produce can poison us ALL.
Just not if I can help it eh?
Not in my Québec. Not in my Montréal.
No matter where you stand politically, you have to agree that this isn’t what Quebec is about. We just want people to be able to get together and at least agree on that.”
And not in my Canada. Screw the ignorant bigots of this country who are leading us to a very dark place. And playing into the hands of the Con Regime.
At a time when it should be obvious that Quebecers are far more interested in defeating that regime, than they are in leaving Canada.
Yup. French and English together. Forever.
Fini la haine. No more HATE . . .