Thursday, August 04, 2005

G-G choice: decoding racism

The right-wing blogistas are all a-twitter about Michaëlle Jean. She'll be our new Governor-General, and they are outraged at the prospect.

What could possibly be wrong about the choice of a multilingual Canadian, national TV host, international documentarist and teacher of Italian literature?

Well, you can't come right out and say she's a bad choice because she's a Black immigrant. From Quebec. Francophone. So you express yourself in ways such as the following, a classic of its type from ET over at Shotgun (decoding provided):

It is trivial and irrelevant to divert criticism of this choice to her being 'ethnic', 'non-white', 'a woman', even to her being 'Quebecois'..blah blah.

Er…why raise any of this then?

She doesn't fit what should be a standard for a patronage appointment of this stature; namely, a lifetime work towards the betterment of the well-being of the majority of Canadians. There are lots of local broadcasters and journalists and sports writers and national news reporters. So what? There's absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in qualifications between any of them…well, a lot of them are far more knowledgeable than Ms Jean. Far more knowledgeable. And a lot of them speak many languages as well.

Oh? Like who?

Hey- there's Chantal Hebert, there's Andrew Coyne, there's Irshad Manji, there's Don Cherry….

Stop right there. Don Cherry? Multilingual? Knowledgeable (except for hockey)? Who knew?

So- what was this position appointment really about? Remember - forget the trivia. Don't even mention the 'non-white', female irrelevancies. The appointment was made, as are ALL LIBERAL actions - for one purpose only. Votes for Power.

"Don’t even mention," a locution known in rhetoric as a paraleipsis.

The agenda is for the Montreal city votes in the next election. That's what it's all about. The Liberals figure they could lose the rural votes, the outside Montreal votes, which will go to the Bloc. But, Montreal has usually been Liberal and the Gomery has badly damaged that Montreal base. This appointment is for both the ethnic votes - which are ALL in Montreal (how's that for a diverse province...all the ethnics are only found in Montreal; they aren't welcome elsewhere in the province)...AND - it's for the Montreal city votes.

There's that word "ethnic" again, but just ignore it. Jean's race and origin don't mean anything to ET--he's told us that how many times? But they're a vote-getter. Why? Dumb ethnics will vote Liberal just because the PM's appointed a Black individual as Governor-General. They don't consider their votes like white folks do. Race is the only issue they ever vote on. They all vote alike. And they all look alike, too--leastways, that might explain why a Vietnamese-origin Canadian, for example, could be expected to support the Liberals because they put a former Haitian in the G-G spot.

ET acquires, in the hot sun of summer, a swarm of ditto-heads, some of whom are a little less guarded:

Fercrissake Martin, at least pick a native-born disloyal poltroon.


GG-designate Jean's selection certainly strikes me as [racial] profiling, which I thought was a Bad Thing.


I can't blame the lady herself, she will likely do a fine job but do not try to tell me a white male multi-generational Canadian from the West ever had a chance here.


But this is not to say that every Conservative is a racist. There are a indeed a few around with that good old-fashioned traditional Canadian value known as decency. Here, for example, is the Monarchist League, singing a different tune:

The Monarchist League of Canada joins all Canadians in extending good wishes to
our new Governor General-designate, Michaelle Jean.

And right-of-centre Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson, takes the high road: Jean will be taking plenty of heat in the next few weeks, he says, despite her "potent resume": her "challenge will be to answer [the] naysayers in the same way Ms. Clarkson did: by becoming an exceptional governor-general."

But last word to Gorian, who braved the Shotgun blasts:

It's funny how many of these gripes contradict each other…you complain (as if to remind yourselves) that race isn't the issue, and then mention her race as a tag-on gripe in every other complaint… Maybe you all just like to complain a lot.

By George, I think he's got it.

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