Reflections on the Ubiquitous Nature of Quebecois Bigotry

This evening, after a good day turned bad because of a frustrating lack of communication between my personal physician, my pharmacy and me, the patient/client stuck in the middle of these negligently incompetent assholes, my mind turned naturally to the politics of Quebec.

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Particularly, I am of a mind of the case of fellow Montreal-Slav Zbigniew Malysa, who was turfed after a browbeating from the Centre Hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal for the Crime of Not Speaking French While Seeking Medical Treatment.

The first thing I thought of was my own Father, dying, neglected, untreated, afraid and alone in an intensive care ward in the middle of the night in Verdun Hospital, seven years ago, the word

ANGLAIS

taped on a sheet of paper over his head on the wall above his bed.  My mother, in spite of all he’d inflicted on her, only left his side when for her own sake my sister made her go home.  I only visited him once, in his final hospital stay; and only then, I did it for my mother’s sake, not for his…certainly not my own.

Now, I’ll be the first to openly call out my late father as a miserable bastard who abused me, my sister and my mother.  I had no sympathy for him in his later, ailing years, because of the physical and emotional violence I suffered at his words, deeds, hands, and canes.

I watched as our close-knit family fell apart because of him.  I’ve never had a healthy adult relationship because of him; I went so far as to never allow him to meet his grandchildren while he was alive, because I refused, as their father, to expose them to such a toxic creature.

His own poison as infected me, and I will not have this misery visited on my most beloved.

But no one, no matter how despicable, no matter how low, no matter how vile, deserves to die alone, afraid and confused in the middle of the night because no one bothered to check on them or call family, simply because he was a unilingual English-Speaking person…in a hospital governed and run by a bunch of Francais Uber Alles racists and bureaucratic pigs.

Last month, in good faith, I asked my pharmacist to contact my physician, to refill my stomach and anxiety medications.

On a subsequent visit to the pharmacy I was advised that the prescriptions had been filled…and they had not.

Today had started out great for me.  Fantastic mood, unusually non-violent commute, brilliant morning at work, fun with clients and coworkers…a fan-fucking-tastic morning, all told.

Then, at lunch, I phoned my pharmacy to renew the medication I take to help me cope with my anxiety and depression.

The prescriptions had never been renewed.

A game of three-way phone tag between the pharmacy, my doctor’s office and me revealed that:

  • The Pharmacy sent the request
  • The Clinic claims to have never recieved it
  • The Pharmacy denies telling me that everinthing was copacetic.
  • The Clinic basically told me to fuck off and make an appointment, despite the fact that without this medication I cannot function
  • The earliest my physician is available to see me is at the end of the month
  • Neither the Pharmacy, nor my doctor’s clinic, will take responsibility, because they clearly don’t care.

Now, all of this is so frustrating that it takes all I can do not to lose it.  The medications currently being denied me are necessary to both my physical and mental well-being.  But somebody fucked up and nobody wants to own up, and everyone seems to want to blame me, in spite of the fact that I acted with both due diligence and good faith.

What is wrong with my home province, my city…my health care services when patients are so poorly treated, and treated even worse, based solely on the language they speak by default, or the religion they were raised with at home…or the color of their skin?

Quebec has a long history of racism, from French colonists committing the first acts of biological warfare in Western History, to the all-too-recent 2012-2014 government of former Quebec Provincial Assembly Premier Pauline Marois’ vile, disgusting and unapologetically, overtly racist policies towards English-speaking Quebecers and members of religious and ethnic minority groups throughout the province; the failed assassination attempt against her on the night of her election speaks volumes about how horrified Quebec’s English-speaking, Ethnic and Religious-minority Communities were that such a repugnant bigot should be given so much authority over their very existence.

There is something wrong with White French Canadian identity politics in Quebec.  They simultaneously claim to be the victims of endemic racism, while continually oppressing the rights of anyone not of White French Catholic ancestry.

Last year, we had a horrible mass murder occur in a Quebec City mosque, perpetrated by a right-wing ethnocentric nationalist Quebecois extremist.

But given the popularity of right-wing White Identity politics in Quebec, such as the metastesizing influence of extremist groups like La Meute and La Societe Saint Jean Baptiste and their multiple satellite / sock puppet organizations, Quebecois culture has an ubiquitous undercurrent of racial, linguistic and cultural primacy over everyone else.

Even Quebec Feminism is tainted by the ethnocentric belief that women who choose to follow Islamic tenets to wear the veil are either deluded or being deliberately provocative of Quebecoise culture.

To be direct, I know and work with more than a handful of Muslim women…I almost always have; the Muslim presence in Canada is over a century old.  Some Muslim women I know choose to wear the headscarf, some don’t.  But among those who wear it, a universal truth is that they CHOOSE to wear the veil, because here, in CANADA (The country Quebec refuses to admit it belongs to), we have freedom of religion; for these women, wearing the Hijab is a  matter of Faith, and a question of CHOICE – a question of their willingness to overtly wear their religous faith, no differently than Christians who wear a visible cross or even Crucifix, or Jews who wear the Yarmulke or display the Star of David overtly, Sikhs who wear the Turban or Kirpan, or for that matter Nuns, Monks, Priests, Rabbis, Bishops, or any number of religiously-oriented sectarian groups, such as the Knights of Columbus, who think subjecting their members to emotional and mental torture make up the “Sacred Rites” of earning one’s Second and Third “Degree” Membership Levels is the Christian Thing to do.

And yet so many Quebecois get their fucking knickers in a twist because some Muslim women dare to express their faith and wear the veil with pride, because in CANADA, they have the RIGHT TO CHOOSE whether or not to wear it – it isn’t an obligation, the way it is in some fundamentalist Islamic nations in the world.

But, then, we live in a province where Identity Politics are so ingrained that my own ex-wife was called a “Race Traitor” by more than one of her relatives for marrying an “English”.  Never mind the fact that I’m a Ukrainian-Canadian who is one-quarter French Canadian and one-quarter Scot – two of the Founding peoples of both Quebec and Canada.

This Province’s society is firmly rooted in late nineteenth / early twentieth century beliefs, stereotypes and attitudes.  For Sanity’s sake, BLACKFACE and jokes at the expense of the Disabled are considered SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE in Quebec.

It is an embarrassment equal to the disgustingly vile current President of the United States; it is a shame on both the Province of Quebec, and the Dominion of Canada.

It’s long past time Quebec and so-called “Quebecois” in particular take a long, hard look in the mirror, and admit that they have a problem…otherwise, they’re just part of the problem.