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  • Kate 22:07 on 2020-06-02 Permalink | Reply  

    The owner of Steve’s music store says getting looted was worth it to fight racism.

    • david1991 20:28 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Fair play. Good attitude to take.

      That said, does he think that it was a bunch of black people that raided his store?

      Like, does anyone really believe it wasn’t just a bunch of stone cold criminals seizing their opportunity?

    • Blork 20:54 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Noble attitude if the protest had actually done something to fight racism (as in, if there had been a measurable outcome). Otherwise, its just a loss.

      This brings to mind a rhetorical question I’ve been asking around to people with retirement savings. That question being “how much of your retirement savings would you be satisfied to lose if it meant a revolution in the US that completely turns things around?” As in, if there were such a revolution, and it caused a market crash that depleted your stock portfolio, at what measure of financial loss would you draw the line at it being “worth it” for the sake of the positive outcome?

      Unfortunately it’s a too-complicated question and everyone gets lost in the details. (It’s not about you donating your money, and the question 100% assumes a very positive turnaround in the US, which would presumably be a model for other places.)

      Also: it’s a rhetorical question, so it’s not really meant to have a specific answer.

    • Alison Cummins 00:24 on 2020-06-04 Permalink


      My presumption is that we aren’t as rich as we think we are. The bottom is falling out for us (or, wealth is being redistributed globally) anyway, so if the precipitating event is a useful revolution I’m all for it.

    • Max 09:46 on 2020-06-04 Permalink

      Some moron got himself arrested attempting to return one of the stolen guitars.


  • Kate 10:25 on 2020-06-02 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro says it has figures showing that use of public transit is gradually rising again, which should be no surprise as retail and other workers go back to their jobs.

    • Kate 09:55 on 2020-06-02 Permalink | Reply  

      Two boroughs, Pierrefonds-Roxboro and CDN-NDG, voted in favour of bodycams for police on Monday night, an idea the city set aside a year ago.

      Also in the Journal, MBC supports the idea, floated in comments here, that Sunday’s march was merely aping Americans, since some signs were in English and therefore un-Québécois and invalid because Quebec has no institutional racism. At least, none that can be seen by a white guy.

      It may be obvious, but some – like MBC – may be oblivious: because the history of black people in Canada, and Quebec, is different from the history of those in the US, because our ownership of slaves was not so widespread, it doesn’t mean we have no racism here. Because the US had Jim Crow laws we can point at and we didn’t (but if not, what law was Viola Desmond defying in Halifax New Glasgow?), that doesn’t mean our hands are clean.

      Update: Montreal North also voted for the cameras Monday.

      • John S 10:58 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

        Viola Desmond was in New Glasgow, not Halifax, when her car broke down and she decided to see a movie while she waited. There were no formal laws on segregation in place – only an unannounced and informal “whites only” on the main floor of the theatre policy.

      • Ian 11:00 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

        Marie-Josèphe dite Angélique is another name that keeps getting swept under the rug but yes of course it’s no surprise that those in power don’t think Quebec is rife with systemic racism, or recognize that it is in fact founded on it to a fairly consistent and well-documented extent, the simple fact of colonialism on inhabited land aside.

      • DeWolf 11:40 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

        Don’t forget Fred Christie, the Habs fan who went for a drink at a tavern in the Forum only to be denied service because he was black. He sued the tavern, took it all the way to the Supreme Court – and Canada’s highest court ruled that racial discrimination was perfectly legal. The court made its ruling the same year that Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Montreal Royals. We hear a lot of self-congratulatory bromides about how Canada welcomed a black baseball player but not how its own black citizens were suffering from officially-sanctioned injustice.

      • Jack 13:40 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

        This take down of MBC and how he constructs his white supremacist ideology by continuously framing the white majority in Quebec as perpetual victims, was written two years ago but is still absolutely topical.

      • david99 16:12 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

        Good thread here on reducing police violence, in the US context, at least.


      • Raymond Lutz 16:36 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

        Aping? “ I’ll tell you why people in Germany, France , Britain, Australia and all the other places join the protests. We also feel the chilling and dehumanizing effects of more than two decades of the neoliberal takeover of all aspects of society. We know that our future looks like America’s hellish present, if we don’t stop these “crazy baldheads” and chase them out of town, like Brother Bob used to sing. Crazy fuckin times we’re living in. Anything can happen. Wouldn’t even surprise me if the Aliens stepped in and said we’ve had enough of this shit. This experiment is terminated. ” georgetheonlyporge commenting on The progressive Soapbox channel

    • Kate 09:30 on 2020-06-02 Permalink | Reply  

      Time Out assembled a collection of photos and videos of the humpback whale visiting us in the river. Let’s hope the whale soon gets tired of her internet stardom and makes her way back downriver safely.

      • Kate 09:20 on 2020-06-02 Permalink | Reply  

        La Presse considers Sunday’s demonstration and concludes the anti-racist message was more important than the vandalism that came from a small group of casseurs at the end. Activists are continuing to speak up against police profiling, all against the background of François Legault’s claim there’s no systemic racism here. Coming from the man who drove through Bill 21 – the Loi sur la laïcité de l’État, the act meant to enshrine xenophobic attitudes in law – that’s pretty rich. Both the mayor and her police chief acknowledge systemic racism in this piece.

        • Ian 11:22 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          The mental gymnastics that people go through to explain and justify how imposing a very specific interpretation of laicity upon a very specific population is not racist are always cringe-inducing to watch. Of course this is mostly the same group that insists catholicism is heritage, not religion.

        • David87 12:45 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          Not racist because Islam and Catholicism aren’t races?

        • Kate 12:51 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          I feel I’m being trolled here to some extent, but: Islam may be a religion, but most of its practitioners are, as they say, brown people, and not Québécois de souche. That makes excluding Muslims essentially a racist idea.

        • Chris 14:45 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          The expansive use of the word “racist” bugs me too. What’s most horrible about racism is that you’re judging/treating someone based on unchosen and immutable characteristics, like skin colour. A person doesn’t chose and can’t alter his skin colour and it’s an irrational and stupid way to judge a person’s character. It is abhorrent. But criticizing an adult’s ideas is fair game. Sure, maybe you were brainwashed/indoctrinated/raised into being a Liberal/Conservative/Capitalist/Communist/Catholic/Muslim from birth into adolescence, but once you’re an adult you chose to keep or reject those upbringings, then you own them. If I argue that supply-side economics is idiotic, I’m not being racist. If I argue that transubstantiation is idiotic, I’m not being racist. If I argue that Muhammad flying a horse from Mecca to Jerusalem is idiotic, I’m not being racist.

          Those that think their religion should never be criticized *deliberately* conflate criticism of religion to racism, to quell criticism of religion. And I’m afraid much the Western world has fallen for it. Especially wrt Islam.

          (As with anything, there is of course an overlap between racists and critics of religion, but that does not make them one and the same.)

        • Kevin 15:19 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          “Racist” is the Montreal anglo word for discrimination of all kinds.

          And our charter specifically bans discrimination against religion too. (well, the Canadian one. The Quebec one banned discrimination against religion until Legault rewrote it last year).

        • Alison Cummins 15:36 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          “Xenophobia” is a fine word.

        • Uatu 15:59 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          Bigoted is fine as well.

        • Ia 16:00 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          @Kate, if some of the people commenting here are playing at being intellectually disingenuous for kicks, then yes, you are being trolled. If they sincerely believe what they are saying, well, that’s another issue.

          Loi 21 targets people who wear religious symbols (ostensibly) but is in fact anti-immigrant law. It is an excellent example of the kind of mental gymnastics we are all forced to endure by Legault and his ilk, presented as serious thought.

          Allow me to be specific since this is apparently necessary: Making this about “Islam” or “Judaism” or “Catholicism” is a dogwhistle: this is really about “foreigners” vs. “real Québecois, i.e.; if you aren’t white, Francophone, & ethnically French, then you had best act white pronto because the government doesn’t want to even see you working at a public-facing job.

          If you sincerely believe that Loi 21 isn’t racist because Islam is not a race, think a bit harder about what the underlying message is… it is, quite simply, “assimilate, or go back where you came from, foreigner” and no, they don’t care if you were born here.

          That most of the people targeted by Loi 21 also happen to be POC should be obvious to even the most unobservant amongst us.

        • David86 16:09 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          I mean, I could tediously explain disparate impacts, racially based discrimination, etc.

          But this legislation is just not racist, on its face. It’s culturalist: doesn’t want Muslims to practice publicly.

        • david88 16:21 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          And Ian, you’r right – it’s assimilationist culturalism, which is a very French way of taking in immigrants.

          In fact, the Anglosphere is a major global outlier in letting people keep their old ways yet still be allowed notionally full participation. You go to Switzerland, where every naturalization occurs after a public vote on the applicant, and there are villages that people just always vote down anyone who doesn’t assimilate. You go to somewhere like Argentina, where citizenship is granted by a judge, and the headscarf is there again an indication of insufficient assimilation. Forget about the Asian countries where naturalization without years long and hardcore integration is absolutely impossible, like not rare, but straight up impossible.

          Anyway, culturalist anti-islam just isn’t racism.

        • Ian 17:44 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          You sound oddly supportive… in any case “culturalist” is a term that only gets much traction in a very few circles – usually circles that say things like “I’m not racist, but”. Whether this is actually indicative of your personal views, you should be aware of the resonance your use of words has. This is how dogwhistle politics works too, incidentally – politicians can say “I’m not racist, I am protecting my culture” (for instance).

          For what it’s worth, the term “cultural racism” may be more in line with what you are trying to describe, but I digress – For what it’s worth, despite some of the assertions here, using the word “racism” broadly is not a Montreal anglo thing. In fact, even the UN has this to say –

          The term “racial discrimination” shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

          1965 UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

          To engage in hair-splitting competitions over whether specifically targetting an ethnic group on the basis of their religion vs on the basis of the colour of their skin counts as racism or not is an exercise in futility. Those who are determined to prove their racism is not “technically” racism not only miss the forest for the trees, and will never be persuaded that there is anything at all wrong with their worldview.

          Like I said, that most of the people targeted by Loi 21 also happen to be POC should be obvious to even the most unobservant amongst us.

        • david999 18:07 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          You’re not correctly reading that subsection if you think it says that discrimination against religion is racist.

          In fact, go to literally any source – for instance, the notoriously right wing Canadian Human Rights Commission – and you’ll find that there’s no support whatsoever, anywhere for that interpretation.

          And you’re saying, ‘well, it has the effect of disproportionately falling on foreign people with brown skin’ but if the words are to mean anything, then disparate impacts just doesn’t matter. At a certain point, Christmas then is racist, the works. Which I’m sure many radical groups already advocate!

          And this isn’t hair-splitting, it’s the fundamental issue.

          I both support and oppose religious discrimination: if it’s up to me, all the religions are suppressed equally.

          The issue here is that if you call culturalist anti-Islam moves “racist,” then you’re necessarily saying that a massive majority of francophones is anti-Arab/Indonesian/Pakistani/African on the basis of their physical appearance when they’re just not. That’s not at all what’s going on. You’re just dead wrong.

        • Ian 18:35 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          I am also an atheist, but one of the big differences between us is that I don’t waste my intellectual energy trying to figure out ways to justify racism simply because a side benefit is the suppression of religion.

          Again, “culturalist” doesn’t have much popular traction simply because it is hair-splitting – you are describing cultural racism, which is, as you may imagine, a simple subset of racism.

          According to current science there is no such thing as race per se, at least in the 19th century sense, does that mean racism doesn’t exist? Of course not. Like the UN said, racism can apply to “race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin”. That you don’t consider culture obviously included is a funny little intellectual dance move, and I really do wonder why you are so firmly committed to plotting out those moves. Statements like “if it’s up to me, all the religions are suppressed equally” sounds an awful like “I’m not racist, I hate everyone”.

          For what it’s worth, you are wrong about the Human Rights Commission – they have supported many cases supporting religious garb as a cultural practice protected by the constitution – notably, arguing that people should be allowed to wear turbans in the RCMP.

          All that aside, if you don’t think that skin colour plays a role in the support for Loi 21, you are the one that is dead wrong. It’s just that nobody is willing to say so on the record – that is precisely what dogwhistle politics is all about.

        • david999 19:13 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          The basis of the Canadians’ HRC support of religious garb is precisely that it’s a religious rather than racial speech/practice. Because there is no racial speech/practice. As you correctly note, the entire concept of “race” is invented and performed.

          But as Chris above notes – when we start to hive off archaic forms of human organization (ie. religion) from criticism, because we’re crazily, artificially, and totally in service of some agenda conflating it with immutable characteristics, then what are we achieving??

          I’m not a racist (though, I guess that by your expansive definition, I am), I don’t hate everyone (though, I guess by your expansive definition, I do), but I really dislike religion (though, I guess by your expansive definition, I don’t).

          At any rate, we’ve come to a point in our culture – again, essentially based on the American influence – where being called a racist is among the worst of slurs a person can suffer. That’s huge progress. But then you have these people who want to use that term to describe all sorts of behavior they don’t like. I’m an oddity, because I come from a long line of Quebec Anglophone free thinkers (though it tends to skip a generation, sadly) who are resolute on a bunch of issues, none of them particularly pro francophone, truth be told.

          But for me, preventing the muslims from getting a toehold here in Quebec, when we’ve finally just got rid of the Catholics, it’s crazy.

        • david999 19:16 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          Sorry, it’s crazy not to prevent that religion from getting in. From my perspective.

          And I couldn’t care less about the race of the moron practicing that religion though, obviously, a Quebec convert to Islam (that McGill woman, for instance, who went from being a radical feminist to taking up the burka) is just out to lunch in some fundamental way.

        • Ian 20:04 on 2020-06-02 Permalink

          My mother’s family were Mennonites, I get the idea of a religious cult not contributing to human flourishing. They were driven out of Switzerland, burned at the stake, sold into slavery (that was an actual punishment in 17th century Switzerland) and all that at the hands of fellow protestants for believing in the wrong kind of baptism.

          I assure you, I am well aware of how all religion is capable of oppression.

          That said, it is a hallmark of a liberal society that we allow people to believe in whatever dopey shit they want as long as it doesn’t break the law. You can believe in nihilism or Islam, as long as you don’t break any laws.

          In fact, anarchists have done some amazing community work in the pandemic as have religious groups – most of the food deliveries I have been doing with my “evil” privately owned car have been provided by Muslim and Sikh community groups, I was organized by a guy that is a Mennonite, and as a syndical anarchist of course I accepted no payment. We are delivering food and distributing supplies based on need, not religion, class, or other measures of righteousness…

          The simple fact is there is no virtue or purpose to Loi 21 that benefits society in any way. Even if you don’t see it as racist, as it clearly is, it doesn’t actually fix any issue that exists except in the minds of people that fear their children seeing anyone that wears a hijab despite the fact that almost every garderie and school in Montreal is staffed by people that wear hijab and do a great job.

        • Ryan 09:33 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

          And this right here is the type of conversation that is NOT OK. Do you truly believe that POC and marginalized communities have the luxury to debate like this when we are witnessed first hand again and again the treatment and lack of resolution to something that is just wrong. With the blatant disregard not only by the government but by the surrounding populace?
          Enough talk.

        • Meezly 11:45 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

          Agreed. All conversation except from Ian, who has shown an amazing amount of patience.

        • Myles 12:27 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

          The point people are making when they say that the Loi 21 is racist isn’t that they think Islam is a race. It’s that people wouldn’t feel the way they do about Islam if Muslims were mostly white Europeans. They wouldn’t have the same rigid belief that all Muslims are strictly practicing and intolerant, because they wouldn’t see them as a vague mass of Others. It’s naive to think this is truly just about religious and cultural practices.

        • david1991 20:33 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

          “And this right here is the type of conversation that is NOT OK.”

          This is what’s going on right here, all right.

          Like, I went through this with anglophones v francophones pretty much my whole life, this whole “what you’re allowed to say” bullshit. And it’s coming back around again, but this time as an American-imported racial thing, through the prism of religion, as interpreted by a bunch of Canadians who moved to Quebec, and want to impose their values.

          Check your privilege!

        • Alison Cummins 11:45 on 2020-06-04 Permalink


          You are correct, not all opinions are equally valid or deserving of equal time. Your belief that you know all there is to know about everything relevant to a productive, pluralistic society that makes best use of everyone’s contributions does not entitle you to take up other people’s time and effort, any more than a fervently-convinced homeopath is entitled to take up the time and effort of a public health committee.

        • david343 07:00 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

          From the ‘don’t know what to say but must say something’ file you seem to pull most of your thoughts from . . . Thanks for the contribution, Alison.

      • Kate 09:12 on 2020-06-02 Permalink | Reply  

        A long car chase that began with an initial vehicle theft in Shawinigan around 8 Monday evening and ended with the suspect getting tasered in Boucherville after leading the chase on and off Montreal island involved further vehicle thefts and ended with several people injured. I thought I remembered from some time ago that police had promised not to undertake potentially harmful chases over simple property theft. I guess sometimes they get carried away.

        • Kate 09:03 on 2020-06-02 Permalink | Reply  

          The spokesman for the Olympic stadium says the installation is ready for the new normal by virtue of its sheer size and capacity as a sports venue. What used to be criticized as too much empty space is now a virtue.

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