Dear Mathieu Bock-Côté,
I will do you the dissatisfaction of writing this rebuttal in English instead of the “dying” French language. Oh, the horror! For someone who claims that conservatives like you are the minority voice, you sure are very loud. Unlike the raging leftist, not liberal, that I am, you have a much bigger platform and reach with your column in the Journal de Montréal. So, yes indeed, I suppose you are a minority, a minority of Francophone cisgender White men who are conservative.
I, like many others, saw your article about manifestations in English and how they are a rejection of Quebec. To quote Kourtney Kardashian: “Kim, there are people dying.” As a sociologist, I’m surprised that so much has gone straight over your head. Instead of focusing on the reasoning behind the protests, you decided to target the signs written in English. What wonderful priority you have taken. The specific protest you wrote about happened on March 21st following the horrible anti-Asian shooting in Georgia and was in response to the rise in anti-Asian hate that has occurred in tangent with the pandemic. Although the shooting occurred in the United States, it is still very much relevant to us Canadians. By your logic, if anything happened in Quebec, then other countries and people elsewhere shouldn’t bother. You yourself recognized that most of the protest’s signs were an English but that there was a presence of French ones as well. The protest on March 21st was not the first nor will it be the last manifestation to bear the streets of Montreal. During the Climate March on September 27th, 2019, it was estimated that there were 500,000 participants. On that day, there were numerous signs in all languages, including English. Why not voice your concerns then? Why did you decide to voice them now when the collective Asian community is in mourning and fear? Your timing is in poor taste and you clearly do not care that innocent people have lost their lives. I might not know what was going on in your mind when you decided to write this, but I do know that there is some shock factor to it.
According to you, by writing and speaking in English, I am rejecting my “societé d’accueil”. May I remind you that the only reason I am in America is because of Euro-American interventions in my “home” country of Vietnam. If it were not for that, I’d probably not be here right now. This is the same reason for many others like me. Also, by “giving in” to the English language, you say that I am no longer part of the “minorities”. I suppose that English erases all aspects of my queer, mentally ill Asian immigrant identity. When does my privilege come then? Does it take 5 to 10 business days to arrive through Canada Mail? If the English language totally erases all my oppression, then why didn’t I know that sooner?!? It would’ve solved all my problems by now…NOT.
Additionally, I must inquire what is the heart of the identity of the people of Quebec? You say that French is the common language of our province. However, I believe that the Indigenous people of Quebec would very much beg to differ. Is the heart of Quebec’s identity genocide to the Indigenous population? By your definition, it seems so.
You are full of delusion and are so far from reality. You live in an echo chamber where you self-victimize yourself and are blind to all the privileges you have. They say that ignorance is bliss. I suppose it is true for people like you.
Not so warm regards,
Duyên Anh Hoang Angélique Yasmeen C.