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As white supremacists march in the streets in the US, we can’t feel too smug here. Racism is, sadly, alive and well right in our home province, as the Liberal government chooses this moment to revive the debate about religious headgear.

Bill 62, the so-called anti-niqab bill, is being touted by the Liberals as a “compromise” that will allow for “social peace” — just a code word for a majority curtailing the rights of minorities … because any visual evidence of people different from them offends their fragile sensibilities so much that they can’t possibly survive. Or something. It’s akin to suggesting that the way to stamp out sexual assault is by telling women not to wear short skirts. It blames the victim of racism instead of the perpetrator. It assumes that the rights of a majority to not see something that offends them is more important than the rights of a minority to dress or practice their religion as they choose.

And, worst of all, Couillard’s approach is actually the most moderate of the three major parties, with both the PQ and the CAQ calling for even more stringent restrictions on religious headgear. It’s as if we’ve learned nothing from the mosque shooting in Quebec City earlier this year, from the Charter of Values debacle, or from what’s currently happening in the US and elsewhere.

Don Macpherson gets it exactly right in this case:

Bill 62 stigmatizes the tiny number of Muslim women in Quebec who wear facial veils. It encourages their persecution, like the harassment of women wearing Muslim head scarves during the debate on the former Parti Québécois government’s ill-fated “charter of values.”

It would enshrine in legislation the hypocrisy of Quebec’s “Catho-laïcité,” or Catho-secularism. One of Vallée’s amendments pretends that Quebec’s public institutions are founded on the separation of church and state, while the bill would preserve the crucifix placed in the Assembly to symbolize an alliance between the two.

The government pretends that the ban on face coverings in general does not discriminate on religious grounds. But its intent is given away by the fact that the ban is contained in a bill to restrict religious accommodations.

It’s a nasty little secret of politics that targeting vulnerable minorities gets candidates elected. Sadly that isn’t so much of a secret anymore, in the era of Trump. But we have our own demons to grapple with here.

It’s telling that so many quasi-Liberal, left-leaning people in Quebec support this nonsense. They believe, falsely, that because forced religion is bad, the answer to it is forced secularism. They want to hide any visual evidence of differences, in order to protect their “patrimoine”, or perceived superiority over everyone else. There’s honestly not much difference between the pro-laicite crowd and the neo-Nazis people marching in Charlottesville this week… except at least the latter are honest about their racist beliefs.

Bill 62 is a bad bill, scapegoating religious minorities in order to pacify racists. It should not become law. Call your MNA.


Godwin’s Law doesn’t apply when you’re talking about ACTUAL FUCKING NAZIS.

I’ve tried to think of something coherent to say about Charlottesville, and my rage just keeps getting in the way.

I’m a white person who benefits from structural racism every single day, and if I keep my mouth shut about it, I’m just perpetuating it.

I’m also a Jewish person who knows my history. When the shit hits the fan, time and time and time again, I know that we’ll be out there, first against the wall. The canary in the goddamn coal mine.

I can’t wrap my head around how people voted for the likes of Trump. I can’t wrap my head around how people keep defending him. And, most of all, I can’t wrap my head around how any of those people could possibly be Jewish.

How the HELL does any Jewish person — even one ignorant about the most basic facets of history — vote for someone who puts the likes of Steve Bannon in the White House? For someone who refuses to condemn Nazi white supremacist pond scum, because he’s too busy tweeting about Meryl Streep? For someone whose campaign stops were eerily reminiscent of Hitler Youth rallies? For someone who, like every bully in history, bolsters himself by targeting those people who are most vulnerable?

I’m not naive. We’re not immune in Canada. These pond scum racists exist here, too. The difference is that our current leaders doesn’t fan those flames. Trump does. He’s either a racist himself, or enough of a cynic to use racism to his benefit. It doesn’t much matter which. The effect is the same.

First they came for the Muslims. The Mexicans. The Haitians. The African Americans. The Native Americans. The trans people serving in the military. The climate scientists. The journalists. The judges.

And always, the Jews. We must never forget that, as much as we think we can hide behind white privilege and a feeling of relative comfort and security? But when push comes to shove, they’ll turn on us too. They already have.

#WeveSeenThisBefore. We know how it ends.

If you’re thinking, oh, it’ll all blow over? #WeveSeenThatBefore, too.

Time to get our collective heads out of the sand. Time to say enough. Time to say Never Again. And mean it. Because the stakes are too high.


No, it’s not peace in the Middle East. But it’s something.


One of the more positive effects of what’s been happening lately has been the coming together of the Muslim and Jewish Communities towards a common cause: A photo of two kids — a Muslim girl and Jewish boy — rallying for the same cause alongside their dads, warmed the hearts of audiences across social media. […]

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Quebec mosque shooting: Change the rhetoric


La Presse is now reporting at least 4 6 deaths in the Ste-Foy Mosque shooting. It’s just sickening. We’ll know more about the suspect who was taken into custody soon enough. But this isn’t merely on the shooter. This is on all of us. We can do more — we MUST do more — to […]

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What’s in a name? A job.


See, now, this surprises me not at all: Francophone name gives edge in job hunt, research shows: If you think your ethnic-sounding last name is preventing you from finding a job in Quebec, you may be right.Candidates called Tremblay or Morin are 64 per cent more likely to get an interview than someone with the […]

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StatsCan: Hate crime is up


The number of hate crimes reported to police increased by 42% between 2008 and 2009: While hate crimes remain primarily motivated by race (and black Canadians remain the most-targeted by hate crime), the data also showed the number of reported hate crimes perpetrated against Arabs and West Asians doubled (to 75 from 37). There was […]

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Another anti-racism initiative that’s sure to miss the mark


When will people understand that certain ways of dealing with racism only serve to compound the problem? Take, for example, the planned Quebec anti-racism initiative, which is being launched in response to public hearings and a report by the Task Force on the Full Participation of Black Communities in Quebec. Among the report’s recommendations: – […]

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Moratorium on “racist”


I was bored a little while ago, so I tried to count the number of times I’ve been called a racist. At first I was going to count all the instances on the web in general, then I decided it was too much and I’d limit it to the comments section of this blog. I […]

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