Racism is not part of our culture

by nalmaghrawi on October 19, 2014 - 1:18pm

The article “Racist signs are popping up all over Saguenay, Quebec” by Stephanie Mercier Voyer in VICE news from August 7th, 2014 explains how the small town of Saguenay has grown to be increasingly racist. It explains the presents of racist stickers appearing around Chicoutimi that were given out by the Federation des Quebecois de Souche. The FQS stated that their main reason for doing this was because they believed that the presence of these religious groups it has impacted Quebec’s most valuable institutions. The campaign mentioned the restriction made on halal and kosher foods. Halal butcher places and mosques have been easy targets. Pig’s blood was smeared on a mosque and was left with an unwelcoming letter blaming the minorities for the circumstances they’re in. The author brings it to our attention that these discriminatory actions have been committed on minority groups due to nationalistic ideas of old-stock Quebecois. Although many locals showed their solidarity with the Muslim community by attending a rally, but still no progress was made in stopping the FQS. They continue to spread hate towards minority groups, although many people like Christian Bélanger deny that these issues are happening in Saguenay. He claims that the people of Saguenay don’t hold any racist ideas and that they tolerate everyone because racism is “not part of their culture”. The author concludes that racism will continues to persist, due to some peoples inability to accept the fact that they are racist and without them confronting themselves or changing their racist way of thinking, racism in Saguenay will only but continue to get worse.  


In my opinion, I think this subject shouldn’t be ignore because this is the exact type of racism that is often seen here in Quebec. I believe it to be dangerous when people do not admit that they are racist, because they will continue with their racist ways and not even know or admit to it. They’ll always try to justify being racist just like this organization. The FQS’s nationalistic ideology seem to help them justify being racist by blaming immigrants on threating the Quebecois identity. Not only that, but they also blame the minorities for the position they are in, by telling them that for whatever reason they migrated to Canada for, they’d have to assimilate into the Quebecois life. It is obvious that in Canada racism comes in different forms, both subtle and obvious which make it quite difficult to first spot it. Racial ideologies help maintain racial inequality, and the racial ideologies that are spoken about in this article is seen in public places. These racist ideologies make racism seem “normal” and that’s why I believe people like Christian Bélanger have a hard time admitting that there is any presence of racism. I strongly believe that without coming to terms with the reality of racism, these hate crimes will never end. Problems won’t be solved if people don’t seem to recognize any problem.




I chose to respond to the article “Racist signs are popping up all over Saguenay, Quebec” because I was surprised to know that racism is present in Saguenay since I thought of that province as being remote, peaceful, and very “Quebecois” with little to no immigrants. I also responded because it complements my own article where I state that racism is now everywhere in society. I think the author is right by stating racism will not stop, but only worsen. I agree with a few things in the articles response, where she/he says racism is dangerous when the individual himself is not aware he is because his rage come within and he has no control over it since he doesn’t even know it’s there. Lastly, I agree that organizations, in this situation the FQSs, shape and help justify racist behaviors by their ideologies. Therefore, racism can come in different form making it harder to identify and stop. I don’t agree with the last statement of the response where it’s says that hate crimes will never stop as if people don’t start to recognize racism and that it’s a problem. Like seen in class through Diamond, racism is a socially constructed issue. Which is disagree with the statement because based on Diamonds idea, whether the problem is identified or not there will always be visible minorities in society that give certain group of individuals racist beliefs they then transmit to society. Therefore, I don’t think being aware we are racist will eliminate it nor diminish it. If it did I would be curious to know what plan or Technics would be used by organizations and society to do so.