UNITE AND ACT STRATEGICALLY OR DIE

Clarence Bayne

The Wolves (la Muete) are in the garage waiting out the despair and annoyance of those that march for diversity and tolerance.
Zeiger is recruiting killers in the bars in our neighbourhoods, in hotel rooms and tenement rooms next to us. Meanwhile, Blacks discount history to compete for political favours, and leaders at all levels of government make simplistic statements about the threat of neo-Nazi activity in Montreal:
“This is not acceptable in this City. This is not the kind of people we are. It goes against the values of tolerance and respect promoted by the City.”
Yet, in the public spheres for which politicians are responsible and accountable, Blacks, visible and English-speaking minorities are excluded.
The potential of this country for social harmony and cohesive development is limited by an embarrassing quarrel between two rival European peoples. This rivalry goes back beyond the Battle of Waterloo, beyond the European rape of Africa, beyond the wars of Mercantilism where the British, French and Spanish battled in Caribbean waters and on the high seas over the gold and artifacts they stole form the Incas.
During those times the ancestors of Western Blacks were stacked like sardines in the holds of ships separately bound for plantations in the Caribbean and the Americas. So here we are today, speaking the languages we have come to master through a process of slavery and colonial capitalism. It is written (Eric Williams: Capitalism and Slavery) that our labour have financed the British Industrial revolution and capitalized the British colonial empire.
Yet, today we still struggle against the inequalities of a system that tolerates racism and systemic discrimination in the interest of a National duality of French and English.
The Coulliard Liberals have terminated the Commission on the Enquiry into Systemic Discrimination and Racism in Quebec because it was deemed too judgemental of Quebecers.
The Plante municipal government that so rapidly came to the rescue of the killer Pitbull demands that Blacks and other minorities prove that systemic discrimination and racism in Quebec is at a sufficient level to justify her municipal government taking concrete action to reduce or eliminate it.
But why should we be surprised by this “monkeying around” with democracy. This country, notwithstanding the mainstream talk about its commitment to multiculturalism (Canadian Constitution, Article 27a) and the value of diversity, has constitutionalized Bill 101 and de facto reduced the English speaking peoples to a secondary status in Quebec.
It has guaranteed the perpetuation of the French–English national duality, each with its enclave of lesser cultures. This creates a triple jeopardy for French and English speaking Blacks from the colonial Caribbean.
We are discriminated against by white Canadian societies because we are Black. Then, in addition, we are discriminated against because we were put on the wrong national ship coming to the New World and Slavery. It matters not, that the war between these two former slave owners and the wrongs of one against the other were outside the control of our ancestors bound for plantations in the Caribbean and Americas.
Research conducted by Professor Marie Mac Andrew (Faculty of Education, University of Montreal) show that English speaking Black Caribbean students in the French Quebec school system are negatively affected by exposure to systemic biases.
These are conditioned responses resulting from the historical antagonism between the White and English settler classes that dominate the Canadian landscape. In many parts of Quebec, English is associated with the language of the privileged and oppressors of the French Canadian. It seems to induce that response, no matter who speaks it.
Both the French- and English-speaking Whites seem unaware of, or not to care about, the contradictions Blacks experience in this struggle between the two camps. We struggle within ourselves because we are expected to choose sides based on the language of a race that has subjugated us and eliminated our language. That is true, whether as Blacks we speak French or English.
For example, I recently attended a political party workshop session on minority cultures and diversity in Quebec. It was co-ordinated by a Black French speaking African, who never offered this diverse group the option of speaking any language other than French.  It just never occurred to him.
When my turn came to speak, I had an overpowering sense of guilt about speaking English. But, I quickly recovered from my state of confusion, stating: “I (a Black person) have no intention of apologizing for the sins of the White English settlers against the White French settlers of Quebec, so I was going to unapologetically speak in English.”
What is unfortunate, and even more frustrating, is the fact that the Official Language Act, its fund and policies invented to patch up the wrongs of the “Notwithstanding Clause” and Bill 101, drive a wedge between Blacks.  Moreover, in Quebec, the new Ministry for English speaking relations technically offers English-speaking Blacks a voice.
But clearly, we exercise that only at the expense of being indifferent, at the time of our interventions, to the needs of French speaking Blacks. It is a ‘no win’ situation, unless we develop internally a united front based on the needs of all Blacks in the society.
It is the only strategy that makes sense, because the conversations are between the White settlers about the divisions of powers between themselves. In that discussion diversity has become a diversity among Whites and of White Women and White men.

Wake up!