A Pandemic of Cowardice

2024-05-14

Defamatory accusations of bigotry are systematically used by promoters of gender theory, neoracism (which falsely claims to be antiracist) and anti-secularism. These three movements reject Enlightenment values such as universalism and objectivity, and use social censorship to silence dissent and debate. This behaviour is illustrated using several examples: the false assertion that sex is a spectrum, the Roland Fryer case, the suicide of Richard Bilkszto, the unmarked graves fiasco, and opposition to Quebec Bill 21. The solution to this conundrum is straightforward, but not easy: courage! We must not allow anti-Enlightenment ideologues to silence criticism and debate.

Sommaire en français Des accusations diffamatoires (de transphobie, de racisme, de xénophobie, etc.) sont systématiquement lancées par les promoteurs de la théorie du genre, du néoracisme (qui se prétend faussement antiraciste) et de l’anti-laïcité. Ces trois mouvances rejettent les valeurs des Lumières telles que l’universalisme et l’objectivité, et utilisent la censure sociale pour faire taire la dissidence et le débat. Ce comportement est illustré par plusieurs exemples : la négation de la binarité du sexe, l’affaire Roland Fryer, le suicide de Richard Bilkszto, le fiasco des tombes près des pensionnats pour autochtones et l’opposition à la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État au Québec. La solution à cette problématique est simple, mais pas facile : du courage ! Nous ne devons pas permettre aux idéologues anti-Lumières de faire taire les critiques et les débats.

We all know (or at least we did, before various institutions started succumbing to ideological capture) that sex is a binary biological phenomenon, defined by the type of gamete (sperm or ovum) which the individual can produce. Male and female are the only sexes. Even rare “intersex” individuals represent a combination of the two sexes, not some intermediate sex. The binarity of sex is not an opinion. It is a scientific fact, just as the evolution of species and the spheroidal shape of the Earth are scientific facts.

And yet, it has become fashionable to assert the falsehood that sex is on a continuum, a spectrum. This fashion has even spread to the sciences. In 2023, the American Anthropology Association (AAA) and Canadian Anthropology Association (CASCA) issued a joint statement denouncing “transphobia in anthropology.” In 2019, Scientific American published a blog claiming that binary sex is “phoney science” whose purpose is to “justify transphobia.”

The binarity of sex is not an opinion. It is a scientific fact…

How and why has this occurred? The accusations of transphobia made in both examples reveal clearly what is going on: emotional blackmail. If one fails to conform to currently fashionable gender ideology, then one is a bad, bigoted person. Forget scientific fact. The hurt feelings of a few fanatics take priority. Never mind the fact that “gender affirming care” is just a euphemism for mastectomy or castration (chemical or surgical).

Just as we must respect each adult’s right to self-determination of their own body, we must protect children and adolescents from unnecessary, irreversible, dubious medical interventions.

Neoracism

A similar fanaticism has infected the ostensibly “antiracist” movement, which has increasingly become little more than a cult. I call that movement neoracism. Neoracists are obsessed with so-called “whiteness” because of their hostility to Europeanness.

Classical European racism and 21st century neoracism differ in that the former considers European civilization to be superior to all others, whereas the latter considers it to be morally inferior to all others. They are flip sides of each other. Both are equally racist and Eurocentric. Both are equally irrational, toxic and reprehensible.

I offer three striking examples to illustrate the follies of neoracism.

The Roland Fryer Case

Roland G. Fryer Jr. is an economics professor and, in 2007, at age 30, the youngest black American to receive tenure at Harvard. One of his major research interests is the empirical study of race. In 2016, Fryer published a paper in the Journal of Political Economy in which he concluded that “blacks and Hispanics are more than fifty percent more likely to experience some form of force in interactions with police.” However, he also found that, in the most extreme cases, i.e. shootings, there are “no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account.” He suggested a possible explanation: the potentially heavy cost, legal and psychological, incurred by police officers if using lethal force. But neoracists were not buying it. According to neoracist dogma, anti-black racism is ubiquitous and cannot not exist, so Fryer’s finding of no racism in police shootings was heresy.

According to neoracist dogma, anti-black racism is ubiquitous and cannot not exist…

In March 2018, Fryer was accused of sexual harassment, although the allegations involved only verbal behaviour, i.e. inappropriate jokes. He was barred from his research laboratory and, in July 2019, was suspended from the Harvard faculty for two years without pay. One of the members of the disciplinary panel which judged Fryer was the notorious Claudine Gay, dean at the time. Gay later became president of Harvard, but resigned after only 6 months, under accusations of failure to deal adequately with antisemitism on campus and of repeated plagiarism in her (not very numerous) publications.

Gay’s appointment to the Harvard presidency was a result of the demise of meritocracy in higher education. Furthermore, the charges against Fryer were apparently a result of ideological bias, i.e. because Fryer’s objectivity was incompatible with the neoracist ideology which undermined that meritocracy in the first place. In the words of Glenn Loury, “She defenestrated Roland Fryer. She tried to destroy him… by the time she was through with him, he was suspended, his lab was closed, his teaching was supervised, and he was treated like a sex criminal.”

Diversity, Inclusion, Equity

In 2021, Richard Bilkszto attended DIE (Diversity, Inclusion, Equity) training sessions imposed by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). When the trainer, Kike Ojo-Thompson of the KOJO Institute, asserted that anti-black racism is worse in Canada than in the USA, Bilkszto, who himself had experience in antiracist activism, expressed disagreement. In response, Ojo-Thompson insinuated that Bilkszto was motivated by white supremacism. Ojo-Thompson is evidently the sort of trainer who brooks no dissent and who imposes the Kendian view that anyone who is not actively antiracist must be complicit with racism.

The situation degenerated from there, with Bilkszto taking mental health leave, the TDSB then refusing to reinstate him to the position he held prior to taking leave, then Bilkszto suing the TDSB, which subsequently sued the KOJO Institute. Bilkszto concluded that his reputation had been destroyed and, tragically, he committed suicide in 2023.

Unmarked Graves

In 2021, the possible presence of unmarked graves was detected using ground-penetrating radar near several former indigenous residential schools in Canada. These schools had already been recognized as vehicles of cultural genocide, as one of their purposes was to suppress the languages and cultures of First Nations peoples, often separating children from their families and communities for extended periods. But now, with the possible discovery of children’s graves, the spectre of real physical genocide was raised. Speculation about unspeakable atrocities committed in the name of Canada circulated internationally. As the administration of these schools had been delegated to various churches, especially Catholic, there was a rash of arson and vandalism targeting Christian churches, some of which had been in use by First Nations peoples themselves.

However, as I write these lines, years later, no graves of children from indigenous residential schools have been found. Some sites have not been excavated. At those that have been, only previously marked graves associated with known cemeteries have been found. Thus the entire sensational story has turned out to be null and void, so far at least. And yet, mainstream media continue to repeat the allegations, as if physical genocide had indeed occurred. Already, in July of 2021 the Canadian Historical Association (CHA) published a statement asserting the “genocidal intent” of official Canadian policy. A group of some sixty dissident historians published an open letter, shortly thereafter, rejecting the CHA’s allegations.

…the more serious the accusation, the greater the accusers perceive their own virtue to be. In other words, they do it out of conceit.

Why do some people insist on promoting the worst possible interpretation of historical events, even when the evidence is lacking? Here is one obvious reason: the more serious the accusation, the greater the accusers perceive their own virtue to be. In other words, they do it out of conceit. In October 2023, I had personal experience of this fanatical disregard for objectivity. I was expelled from a Facebook group for Canadian secularists for the sin of posting about this issue. Just before my expulsion, one “antiracist,” true to form, claimed that my posting was “racist.”

Secularism and Quebec Bill 21

In June of 2019, Quebec adopted its secularism law, Loi sur la laïcité de l’État or Bill 21, which bans some civil servants, as well as public school teachers, from wearing religious symbols while on the job. This is a positive measure, although rather weak and should be extended to the entire civil service as well as to all physical installations. If civil servants and teachers are allowed to wear religious symbols while on duty, then separation between religion and State is obviously violated. And yet, very few Canadian secular organizations outside Quebec have expressed support for Bill 21, and some have even opposed it.

Banning the wearing of religious symbols […] targets behaviour, not people.

Some dishonestly accuse Bill 21 of “racism,” but that is clearly a category error. The law deals with religion and secularism and has nothing to do with race. Even more dishonestly, some accuse it of discrimination. But that is clearly false, because it applies to all religions equally. Banning the wearing of religious symbols—which can of course be removed while on the job—is a disciplinary measure (like hygiene standards, for example, or uniforms), not a discriminatory one. The ban targets behaviour, not people.

Civils servants in Quebec and many other jurisdictions—even the federal government of Canada—are required to behave with political neutrality, yet no-one objects to such a requirement. There is absolutely no reason why the expression of religious convictions by civil servants should be allowed greater latitude than expression of political opinions.

The Common Thread: Social Censorship

These three issues— gender theory, neoracism and anti-secularism—are linked by a common ideology which rejects universalism and objectivity. This anti-Enlightenment ideology elevates personal identity and feelings to a level that is unreasonable and does real harm to real people, including the very members of the minorities that that ideology claims to protect. In all three cases, there is a common strategy of social censorship, i.e. using intimidation to silence debate and dissent, using threats of ostracism—loss of job, loss of friends, loss of reputation, loss of contracts, etc.—in order to silence any opposition.

We all know the chorus here: specious and defamatory accusations of transphobia, racism, “Islamophobia,” xenophobia, etc. Any criticism of or disagreement with the ideology is instantly dismissed with accusations of being “right-wing” or “far right.” And it works, because people fear such accusations. It is because of widespread cowardice that the fanatics of gender theory, neoracism and anti-secularism are able to continue doing the damage they do.

To make matters worse, neoracist dogma has greatly strengthened anti-secularism. Neoracists denigrate European culture and elevate non-Europeanness. They thus consider Christianity to be the religion of the privileged and Islam the religion of the oppressed, leading to an absurdly complacent and positive attitude towards Islam, even though it is just as dangerous—arguably more so—than Christianity. Neoracists refuse to recognize the biological basis of race and racism, thus making the category error of conflating racial identity and religious affiliation and allowing them to make specious accusations of “racism” against those who criticize Islam. Finally, according to neoracist dogma, racism is always a one-way street, with whites being racist and non-whites targets of racism. Thus, neoracists refuse to recognize white-on-white racism such as anti-Québécois ethnic bigotry which is a major aspect of opposition to Quebec Bill 21.

When it comes to cowardice, it would be difficult to compete with ostensibly “secular” organizations in English Canada which oppose Bill 21…

When it comes to cowardice, it would be difficult to compete with ostensibly “secular” organizations in English Canada which oppose Bill 21 (and opposed the Charter of Secularism proposed by the PQ government in 2013-2014). Although they claim to support secularism, they hypocritically oppose it in the one place in North America—Québec—where secularism is making the most progress. By opposing Bill 21, such organizations are rejecting religion-State separation—the most important aspect of any secular program—and are thus antisecular. They are evidently incapable of freeing themselves from the assumption of religious privilege; that is, they cannot envisage treating religious ideologies fairly along with other ideologies by removing religion’s privileges.

Conclusion

If you support children’s rights, you will support restricting or banning unnecessary, irreversible medical interventions on underage persons, whether those practices are labelled female genital mutilation, male circumcision or the euphemistic “gender affirming care,” and regardless of the particular ideology used to rationalize such practices. You will also oppose the veiling of children.

If you support gay rights, you will oppose medically unnecessary procedures which attempt to change the sex of an underage individual, because studies have shown that a large proportion of young people suffering from gender dysphoria will, if allowed to mature without such procedures, grow up to be homosexual without gender dysphoria. In other words, applying such procedures prematurely often amounts to anti-gay conversion therapy. Furthermore, there is little evidence that medical transition decreases suicide rates.

If you support women’s rights, you will have no trouble defining the term “woman” objectively, as an adult female human.

If you oppose racism, you will oppose racist hiring practices and DIE programs in civil services, universities and all public institutions. You will support restoration of meritocracy.

If you support secularism, you will endorse religion-State separation and support legislation which bans civil servants, as well as public school and childcare centre personnel, from wearing religious and political symbols while on the job.

If you care about objective truth, you will speak up against the fanatical practices described in this article. To fear defamatory accusations is eminently reasonable, but you will not allow that fear to silence you. Remember the aphorism (attributed to Socrates, but I got it from Michael Sherlock): “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”


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Racism, Neoracism and Antiracism

2024-05-13

This is the English translation of a blog previously published in French under the title « Racisme, néoracisme et antiracisme »

It is taken from a talk which I gave on 27th April 2024, at a forum on universalism organized by the Association des Québécois unis contre le racialisme (AQUR or Association of Québécois United against Racialism), held at the Grand Bibliothèque in Montreal.

Sommaire en français Ce blogue est disponible en français : « Racisme, néoracisme et antiracisme »

Influenced by postmodernism and cultural relativism, the post-left rejects universalism and sees the world as a collection of groups, each with its own interests and its own “truth,” often irreconcilable with those of other groups. Thus, the interests and feelings of the group (real or presumed) take precedence over objectivity, leading to an overvaluation of emotion. as well as social censorship of comments deemed “offensive” towards a group perceived as a target of injustice.

During the era of European colonialism, Europeans considered themselves to be the centre of the universe, having a duty to civilize the rest of the world. Today, the post-left continues to place European civilization at the centre of the universe, but that centre is now considered to be rotten and the source of all forms of oppression. This latter attitude is simply the flipside of the first. Both racism and neoracism are Eurocentric. Both are false. Both are harmful.

Classical European Racism Neoracism
(self-styled “antiracism”
of the post-left)
Antiracism
Eurocentrism:
Europe = the greatest civilization
Eurocentrism:
Europe = source of all evil and oppression
Universalism
Prejudice against certain groups Prejudice against certain majorities, especially “Whites” Colour-blindness
Tribalism based on pseudoscience Multi-tribalism based on postmodernism “Racial” identity: just one of many personal attributes
Exaggeration of genetic differences.
Hierarchy of “races.”
Obsession with “racial” identity.
Racialization of religious affiliation.
Only one human “race.”
Respect for freedom of conscience.
Discrimination against “inferieur” groups Any inequity is considered resulting from injustice.
Positive discrimination.
Anti-discrimination.
Meritocracy.

According to classical European racism, Europe is the origin of the greatest civilization. This racism constitutes tribalism rationalized by pseudoscience, for example Nazi racial pseudoscience. This racism exaggerates the biological differences between so-called “racial” groups and creates a hierarchical classification of these groups.

For the neoracists of the post-left, who falsely claim to be antiracist, Europe remains the centre of everything, but it is now the origin of all evil, of all oppression. Neoracism promotes prejudice against certain groups considered dominant, especially against the so-called “white” majority. Neoracists are obsessed with racial identity, the importance of which they exaggerate. However, they have no clear definition of either “race” or “racism,” thus allowing religious affiliation to be racialized. For them, any inequity must be the result of injustices and their solution is positive discrimination in favor of “oppressed” or “marginalized” groups.

Finally, an authentic antiracist approach, that is to say universalist, favours colour-blindness in matters of skin colour and considers that the “racial” identity of the individual is only one attribute among many others. The innate aspect of “race” is recognized, but also that all humans belong to the same “race.” Freedom of conscience is respected. Universalist antiracists oppose discrimination and favour meritocracy.


The post-left denies the existence, even the possibility, of anti-White racism, even while practicing it. For the post-left, racism is always a one-way street: it is always white people who are racist and it is always non-white people who are the targets of such racism.

Thus, the post-left refuses to recognize anti-Quebec prejudice, a major theme in Canadian history and an important aspect of opposition to Quebec secularism. After all, Quebecers are just whites!

The post-left also ignores the danger that anti-Zionism may degenerate into anti-Semitism. After all, Jews are just whites.

The post-left also refuses to recognize anti-Black racism and slavery in the Arabo-Muslim world. This is because, according to post-left dogma, non-Whites cannot be racist.


Next blog: A Pandemic of Cowardice

The Fall of Minneapolis: A Dishonest Documentary

2024-05-05

In connection with death of George Floyd, did the four police officers get a fair trial? Whatever the answer to that question may be, the documentary film The Fall of Minneapolis cannot be trusted to inform us honestly.

Sommaire en français En rapport avec la mort de George Floyd, les quatre policiers ont-ils bénéficié d’un procès juste ? Quelle que soit la réponse à cette question, on ne peut pas faire confiance au film documentaire The Fall of Minneapolis pour nous en informer honnêtement.

The Fall of Minneapolis is a documentary film, available to watch free on-line, which makes the claim that Derek Chauvin was wrongfully convicted of murdering George Floyd in 2020. When I first viewed the film, I was convinced by it that there were indeed excellent reasons to doubt the fairness of the trial of Chauvin and the other three police officers. I have observed, both from following current events and from my personal experiences, that the so-called “antiracist” movement is often extremely dishonest and fanatical. I have become so accustomed to that movement’s excesses that it was easy to believe the allegations made by the film. Furthermore, I did not want to assume that, because the filmakers are right-wing politically, they must be incapable of reporting the facts honestly. Again, so-called “antiracists” make a habit of accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being far-right or even fascist, thus constantly crying wolf, thus destroying their credibility.

However, after reading Radley Balko’s critical analysis of the film, I am no longer convinced. Although I still have doubts about some aspects of the case, I no longer trust the film to describe the situation honestly. It would appear that, in this case, the filmmakers did indeed let their political biases influence them so much that they lied outright, letting their pro-police prejudices take priority over truth.

The most important issue, the one which convinced me that the film could not be trusted, concerns the so-called Maximal Restraint Technique or MRT, approved by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), which involves holding the suspect on the ground, face down, while the police officer uses their knee to keep the suspect in that position. The film leads the viewer to believe that Chauvin, while holding Floyd on the ground, was using the MRT correctly and in a way which did not impede Floyd’s breathing. The film even includes footage from the trial in which witnesses, testifying before the court about police procedures, deny that such a technique is even approved by the MPD or taught in its training session, whereas training manuals clearly show that that technique is indeed approved and taught. This makes it appear that some witnesses are lying, and that the truth would exonerate Chauvin!

However, as Balko explains, Chauvin was not using the Maximal Restraint Technique correctly, and the witnesses were simply testifying that whatever Chauvin was doing, it was not an approved technique because he was not using the MRT as it is taught. The MRT is meant to be used only very briefly in order to install a “hobble” because the prone position can indeed hamper breathing. In Balko’s words, “They train them to use a technique where you put a knee on the side of the neck. You put most of your weight on your foot, but you do that to keep the person in place just long enough to administer this device called a hobble, after which you’re supposed to roll the suspect over to their side so they can breathe.” Chauvin and his fellow officers never administered the hobble, and they kept Floyd on the ground and on his stomach, unnecessarily, for some nine minutes.

There are other issues of course, in particular the autopsy results and how the documentary film reports them. Furthermore, one of the two filmmakers is the wife of a former head of the police union of the MPD. Thus there is a possible conflict of interest. But the MRT issue is the most important.

I still have some major misgivings about the trial. The fact that it was held in Minneapolis itself, with the courthouse basically under siege by demonstrators demanding revenge against the police officers, means that the trial could not have been completely fair. The jurors were under enormous pressure to find the officers as guilty as possible, probably even fearing for their lives if they rendered a verdict less severe that what the mob demanded. I seriously doubt that Chauvin merited the draconian sentence of 22.5 years in prison. If the trial had been held in a different city, under calmer conditions, things might have turned out differently.


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The George Floyd Case

2023-12-19, Withdrawn 2024-02-26

I have decided to withdraw this blog because it was insufficiently critical of the film The Fall of Minneapolis, based on information I received after writing it. I have since written another blog about the film: The Fall of Minneapolis: A Dishonest Documentary

Sommaire en français J’ai décidé de retirer ce blogue car il n’était pas suffisamment critique à l’égard du film The Fall of Minneapolis, au vu des informations que j’ai reçues après l’avoir rédigé. Depuis, j’ai écrit un autre blogue au sujet de ce film : The Fall of Minneapolis: A Dishonest Documentary


Next blog: Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Conversion: An Act of Desperation

Exaggerating Historical Injustices

The indigenous residential school controversy

2023-09-08

So far, no human remains have been found at several indigenous residential school sites where the presence of unmarked graves was alleged. Unscrupulous “antiracists” seem to care very little about historical truth.

Sommaire en français Jusqu’à présent, aucun reste humain n’a été retrouvé sur plusieurs sites de pensionnats autochtones où la présence de tombes anonymes a été alléguée. Les « antiracistes » sans scrupules semblent se soucier très peu de la vérité historique.

In Canada, mainstream media and the so-called “left” have become so biased, so dishonest—especially on any issue involving racism or alleged racism—that it is apparently necessary to consult right-wing or foreign media to get any common sense reporting on such issues.

Consider allegations, made in recent years, that unmarked graves of children murdered in native residential schools have been found in several locations. A recent article “True North’s reporting on the ‘unmarked graves’ narrative has been vindicated” in True North points out that whenever excavations have been carried out in such locations (the article lists three: Pine Creek in Manitoba, Shubenacadie Residential School in Nova Scotia and Camsell Hospital in Edmonton), no human remains have been found. An article “What happened to Canada’s ‘mass graves’?” in the UK’s Sp!ked lists four sites (including a former Mohawk school in Brantford and Kuper Island Residential School in B.C.).

The True North article also laments the attacks (both verbal and physical) on Christian churches resulting from these allegations. Normally, I would not particularly care about the churches, but I do care about false accusations of murdering children—even if directed at Catholic and Anglican priests and nuns. And of course we must denounce the wave of vandalism and arson directed at several churches in western Canada in 2021. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau foolishly dismissed the church burnings as “understandable.”

I especially denounce those fanatics who slander anyone who questions the dominant narrative about native residential schools by labelling them “denialist,” as if there were any comparison to be made with the Nazi holocaust, an outrageous implication. Some scepticism is healthy and wise.

Of course not all the data are in. […] But based on the evidence—or rather lack of evidence—so far, it is reasonable to maintain that the native residential school system implemented cultural genocide at worst…

Of course not all the data are in. There are apparently other alleged burial sites which have not yet been excavated. But based on the evidence—or rather lack of evidence—so far, it is reasonable to maintain that the native residential school system implemented cultural genocide at worst, not physical genocide. People of European descent have, in many situations, been guilty of genocide against the First Nations of North and South America, including Canada, but apparently not in this case.

Exaggerating the degree of injustice suffered by a group is counter-productive, because it leads to discrediting those allegations which are indeed valid. If self-righteous “antiracists” continue to use the word “genocide” to describe the situation, many will begin to doubt the reality of even the cultural genocide which did occur.

So why do some people continue to indulge in such exaggeration?

So why do some people continue to indulge in such exaggeration? The greater the persecution of which they can accuse their adversaries, the greater they perceive their own virtue to be. In other words, they do it out of pure conceit, to inflate their egos.


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The CRTC, Pierre Vallières and Postmodernism

The recent CRTC decision, reprimanding Radio-Canada, is unjust and foolish.

2022-07-03 (Link added 2022-07-04)

Instead of puritanical censorship of mere words, we need to be able to discuss freely racism in general and, in particular, the issues raised by Pierre Vallières’ famous 1968 book, in which he drew parallels between anti-Black racism in the USA and anti-Francophone prejudice in Canada.

Sommaire en français Au lieu d’une censure puritaine des mots, nous devons pouvoir discuter librement du racisme en général et, en particulier, des questions soulevées par le livre célèbre de Pierre Vallières de 1968, dans lequel il établit un parallèle entre le racisme anti-Noirs aux États-Unis et le préjugé anti-francophones au Canada.

Recently (2022-06-29) the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) reprimanded Radio-Canada for using the word « nègre » during a radio show without sufficient warning to listeners, calling on the broadcaster to make a formal apology. The word was used in the title of a book being discussed. Fortunately, two members of the Commission disagree with the majority decision and reject the complaint against R-C.

Unfortunately, the controversy over a mere word has obscured the real issue: the ideas in the book whose title contained the word. The Radio-Canada radio broadcast (2020-08-17) discussed those ideas, but the recent CRTC reprimand contains only condemnation of use of the word, without discussion of context. So we need to recall that context.

In 1966, Pierre Vallières, writer, journalist and FLQ activist (Front de Libération du Québec), took refuge in the USA with the help of the Black Panthers. He was arrested for participating in a demonstration before UN headquarters in New York City and was imprisoned for several months. During that period in prison, he wrote the now famous book Nègres blancs d’Amérique, published in 1968, in which he drew certain parallels between the situation of French-speaking Québécois in Canada and Blacks in the USA and expressed solidarity between the two liberation movements.

The word « nègre » in French is roughly equivalent to the English word “negro” which was considered correct at the time. If you put « sale » (dirty) in front of it, then the French word becomes racist, but of course you could put « sale » in front of « blanc » or any other colour and the result could be a racist insult. But taken alone, « nègre » does not have the extreme racist connotations and enormous emotional charge of that other English word, six letters beginning with “n” and ending with “r” and which I cannot even mention here without risking serious repercussions. However, when Vallières’ book was published in English translation, it was precisely that very strong n-word which the publisher chose to use in the title. I assume they did so because they wanted the title to be hard-hitting and highly charged. I think they succeeded.

Francophone men in Quebec were in a slightly worse position (compared to Anglophones) than Afro-American men in the USA (relative to whites).

Vallières’ parallel between the Québécois and Afro-Americans was not spurious. It is important to recall the economic situation of Francophones in Quebec at the time. In the 1960s, the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, known also as the Laurendeau-Dunton Commission, was set up by the federal government to study the relative situations of the English and French languages and cultures in Canada. Among its findings were that, in 1960, in Quebec, the average employment income of unilingual French-speaking men was 51% of that of unilingual men of British descent. At the same time, in the United States, the average employment income of black men was 56% of that of white men. In other words, Francophone men in Quebec were in a slightly worse position (compared to Anglophones) than Afro-American men in the USA (relative to whites).

This was not to suggest that the two situations were identical. The history of slavery in the USA and the racist propaganda which was used to legitimize the enslavement of Blacks are specific to that country. Vallières’ intent was to express solidarity among oppressed peoples, not to ignore the variety of different forms of oppression.

The CRTC’s dreadful decision to censure Radio-Canada for merely quoting a book title is not the first time that antiracist intentions have degenerated into puritanical censorship. Remember the dismissal of Wendy Mesley in 2020 for quoting Vallières’ title. (And I understand this occurred during a preparatory meeting, not even on the air!) Let us hope that Radio-Canada management does not capitulate and respond with the same abject cowardice which the CBC displayed in the Mesley case.

We should also not forget that this Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism was the seed from which the Canadian Multiculturalism Act eventually developed. But that development was a corruption of the original intent. Biculturalism began as a consideration of Canada’s two founding European peoples, the British and French. But over time, that concept faded, to be replaced by multiculturalism which reduced the French to just one minority culture among many, thus assuring the dominance of English language and culture in Canada.

Antisecularism and Postmodernism

Although the situation has evolved considerably since Vallières’ time, anti-Québécois prejudice is nevertheless still present today. It has been recycled and weaponized by antisecularists in order to denigrate Quebec’s secular legislation, Bill 21. In fact, obscuring the content of Vallières’ analysis by censoring its title, as the CRTC is attempting to do, plays right into the hands of those antisecularists. Some particularly dishonest opponents of Bill 21 even accuse that law (and by implication, Quebecers who strongly support it) of “racism.” Their hypocrisy is blatant, for it is they who are using a racist prejudice to oppose the law.

…the obsession with “offensive” words is a particular preoccupation of the anti-Enlightenment pseudo-left…

In general, the obsession with “offensive” words is a particular preoccupation of the anti-Enlightenment pseudo-left (a.k.a. the “woke”). It is based on the postmodernist idea of the power of language. As Pluckrose and Lindsay explain in Cynical Theories (page 60),

“The power and danger of language are foregrounded in all the new applied postmodern Theories. […] the idea that words are powerful and dangerous has now become widespread and underlies much scholarship and activism around discursive (or verbal) violence, safe spaces, microaggressions, and trigger warnings.”

Put succinctly, the “woke” choose to conflate words with physical violence.

In this particular case, pseudo-leftists refuse to recognize the existence of the anti-Québécois prejudice which Vallières denounced in his title because most Québécois have the wrong skin colour. Furthermore, pseudo-leftists tend to be resolutely antisecular by virtue of their racialization of religious affiliation. Objecting to an “offensive” word in the title is a convenient distraction from the issues which Vallières raised.


Relevant Links


Next blog: Stillbirth, The Failure of Secularism in the English-Speaking World

The Bullshitization of the Term “Systemic”

2021-12-01

How antisecularists have overused and abused the expression “systemic racism” as a weapon to fight Quebec Bill 21.

Sommaire en français Comment les anti-laïques ont usé et abusé de l’expression « racisme systémique » pour en faire une arme contre la Loi 21 au Québec.

The word “systemic” is a perfectly legitimate adjective. According to the on-line dictionary Wiktionary.org, systemic means (1) “Embedded within and spread throughout and affecting a whole system, group, body, economy, market, or society” or (2) “Pertaining to an entire organism.” (This is not to be confused with the term “systematic” which refers to something which is orderly, planned or methodical.)

For example, discrimination against atheists and other non-believers is systemic in Canada, because it is specified repeatedly in the country’s constitution and federal legislation. The very first line of the constitution’s preamble declares “the supremacy of God.” Hate propaganda legislation grants impunity to statements which would otherwise be considered hate-speech provided that they are based on a religious text. Religious institutions are granted sweeping fiscal privileges. Citizenship judges are required to allow “religious solemnization” in ceremonies. And so on.

Another example: Systemic colonialism and racism in Canada’s “Indian Act” which regulates relations between the federal government and First Nations. Although amended many times since, the Act was first adopted in 1876 unilaterally, i.e. without negotiation with First Nations.

Canadian history is replete with systemic prejudice against Francophones, although less so today, now that laws suppressing the French language in several provinces have been repealed. Historically, anti-French and anti-native bigotry converged, as the French mixed with native populations (e.g. intermarriage) much more than did the English. This convergence of prejudice was most evident in the Louis Riel case in the 1880s.

The fact that the French language is dominant in one province, Quebec, gives Francophones a degree of autonomy and agency not enjoyed by First Nations peoples who are much fewer in number and scattered in many small, isolated reserves. Nevertheless, prejudice against Francophones remains a reality, and that situation has systemic aspects. The 1982 constitution was adopted without the approval of Quebec. Judges in the Quebec Superior Court and Quebec Court of Appeal are appointed by the federal government and thus, not surprisingly, tend to be prejudiced in favour of ideologies (such as cultural relativism) which are promoted federally. (This was patently obvious in the 2021-04-20 decision of Justice Marc-André Blanchard.) Furthermore, the federal government financially supports court challenges to Quebec laws such as Bill 21 (which partially implements State secularism in Quebec) via the Court Challenges Program. Strong—in fact, fanatical—opposition to Bill 21 by Anglo-Canadian media and politicians is an example of cultural imperialism.

One more example: Child sexual abuse is systemic in the Roman Catholic Church. It is not the result of a few bad apples, so to speak, but rather a consequence of how the Catholic system is organized. Priests are endowed with divine authority, thus granting them a great deal of moral authority over adherents of that religion. At the same time, priests are forbidden to marry or to have sex (at least theoretically), thus creating an overwhelming degree of sexual frustration. The combination of these two circumstances makes widespead sexual abuse practically inevitable.

However, in recent years the word “systemic” has been greatly misused for ideological reasons. In particular, the expression “systemic racism” has become almost ubiquitous because it is a major element of Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT began as an academic discipline of legal scholars, studying racism from a systemic point of view, i.e. as a consequence of legal, cultural and social systems rather than the prejudices of individuals. CRT is the ideological centrepiece of the current so-called “antiracist” movement, but which should more accurately be called neo-racist or racialist as it rejects colour-blindness and is obsessed with race which it sees everywhere. Partisans of this ideology dogmatically interpret all disparities as caused by some kind of prejudice such as racism or sexism, never even bothering to consider that other factors—even random chance—might play a role. Thus, if a profession does not display the same demographic diversity as the general population, they then assume that prejudice must be the cause.

Ideologically motivated accusations of “systemic racism” have become commonplace. This is especially the case in the context of Quebec and secularism. The adversaries of secularism, in their zealous opposition to Bill 21, regularly accuse Quebec, Quebeckers or the Quebec government of “systemic racism.” They rarely if ever define exactly what is meant by that term. Questions such as: What system in Quebec is infected with racism? are never answered. Much has been made of the case of Joyce Echaquan, a Atikamekw woman who was the target of racist comments in a Quebec hospital and died of pulmonary edema. But that was obviously a case of individual racism, not systemic, unless accusors can point to objective evidence of some kind of systemic phenomenon.

We know full well what is really happening here. So-called antiracists are indulging in anti-Québécois bigotry—hey, let’s call it anti-Québécois racism to be perfectly blunt—as a dishonest means to denigrate Bill 21. Such “antiracists” are objectively allied with Islamists who regularly weaponize Canadians’ hostility towards Quebec in their efforts to kill Bill 21. Of course Bill 21 has nothing whatsoever to do with racism and is in no way discriminatory. Rather, it is the accusers who are themselves guilty of bigotry and racism. A particularly extreme example of this is Amir Attaran, professor at the University of Ottawa, who calls Quebec the “Alabama of the North.”

So far, Quebec Premier François Legault has resisted all attempts by these ideologues to pressure him to agree that “systemic racism” is endemic in Quebec. He is to be congratulated for his determination. Let us hope that he remains steadfast and continues to refuse to capitulate to such intimidation by antisecularists.


Next blog: Quebec Bill 21 for Dummies

The “White Supremacism” Scam

2021-03-30

Accusations of “racism” and “white supremacism” have become increasingly meaningless because those who make such accusations have an agenda, an ideology, which has nothing to do with fighting racism.

Sommaire en français Les accusations de « racisme » et de « suprémacisme blanc » sont devenues de plus en plus dénuées de sens parce que ceux qui font de telles accusations ont un programme, une idéologie, qui n’a rien à voir avec la lutte contre le racisme.

The ideology of white supremacism is of course a reality. It was certainly a very serious reality in the U.S.A. during the many decades of legal enslavement of black people in the southern states, when it served as an excuse for that servitude. White supremacism remained a reality for many years more, even after the emancipation proclamation which came into effect on January 1st 1863. Even after blacks gained the right to vote, in theory at least, that right was often denied using various stratagems, such as making voter registration difficult.

After such a long history of extreme anti-black racism, it is certainly reasonable to assume that the ideology of white supremacism survives even today in some parts of the U.S.A. However, identifying it has become more difficult in recent years because of the pseudo-left’s noxious habit of seeing racism and white supremacism everywhere, whether it exists or not.

Furthermore, Canada is not the United States, despite the similarities. And Quebec is certainly not the United States, the similarities being less pronounced. On the Canadian side of the border, slavery was much less extensive, it was never a major aspect of the economy, it was prohibited earlier and it did not involve blacks exclusively. Racism in Canada may target various groups, but racism against First Nations persons is probably more serious than racism against blacks.

British Supremacism

One aspect of the Canadian situation which is very different from the American is the importance here of anti-Francophone prejudice. It is reasonable to assume that racist attitudes against groups originally from Europe are much less pronounced that those against non-European groups. Nevertheless, we must not forget that one of the original sources of anti-Francophone racism in Canada, especially in the early years of Canadian history, was the phenomenon of frequent intermarriage between North American natives and the French, so there is a link between these two racisms.

…in Canada the more appropriate expression would be British supremacism..

To summarize, white supremacism may exist anywhere, but in Canada the more appropriate expression would be British supremacism. Even in the USA, white supremacism is much less prevalent than it was only decades ago.

You have no doubt heard about the University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran who recently became notorious for his remarks on Twitter calling Quebec the “Alabama of the north” and asserting that the province’s culture is racist and its government white supremacist. These remarks by Attaran, based on two isolated incidents of racism in Quebec, are themselves racist, i.e. anti-Québécois bigotry.

Hitching a Ride

Attaran’s anti-Québécois comments […] are just another installment in that propaganda.

Of course, we have heard a lot of anti-Québécois bigotry in recent years, It reached a fever-pitch in 2013-2014 when the PQ government of the time proposed a Charter of Secularism, calmed down a little when the PQ lost power, then rose again to an even hotter fever pitch in 2018 when the newly-elected CAQ promised to pass secular legislation and then did just that in June 2019. The anti-Quebec propaganda machine has not let up since then. There is an objective alliance between the anti-Enlightment pseudo-left (which I call the post-left) and political Islam which both oppose secularism fanatically and obsessively. Both essentialize (i.e. racialize) religious affiliation, thus conflating race and religion, which allows Islamism to hitch a ride on the coattails of the so-called “antiracist” movement.

Attaran’s anti-Québécois comments, even if Attaran made no reference to religion, are just another installment in that propaganda.

…recognizing “systemic racism” would allow Islamists to weaponize that concept and use it against secularism, i.e. against Bill 21.

For several months, Quebec premier François Legault has been under a lot of pressure to recognize the existence of so-called “systemic racism” in the province. He has resisted that pressure, refusing to acknowledge such a thing. Legault recognizes of course that racism exists in Quebec as it does everywhere, and he has expressed his commitment to fighting against it. But the expression is an ill-defined concept which contributes nothing to that fight. In fact, if racism is labelled “systemic” then individuals cannot be held fully responsible for their racist actions, if any, thus undermining that fight. Furthermore, it is obvious that “systemic racism” is a vague buzzword of both the post-left and Islamism, and that to recognize its existence would simply be a genuflexion in their direction, a gesture of submission to their retrograde ideologies. It is also obvious that recognizing “systemic racism” would allow Islamists to weaponize that concept and use it against secularism, i.e. against Bill 21. I congratulate premier Legault for his determination in refusing to capitulate.

Defamatory Accusations

Recently I was expelled from the Facebook group The Four Horsemen of the Anti-Apocalypse after posting a blog about the Swiss referendum which approved a ban on face-coverings, including Islamic full veils. I supported the ban and criticized Islamism’s promotion of the veil. In response to my posting, one very imaginative (and very “woke”) group member accused me of being “racist”, “alt-right” and “White Supremacist”!! I objected strongly, calling the accusations slanderous and insane. A group moderator then expelled me for being “rude” and having a “chip on your shoulder”!! (Indeed, that chip is exactly where it should be, because such accusations are completely unacceptable.) To summarize, I was expelled for supporting a restriction on Islamist proselytism.

If the moderator had had any sense of ethics, he would have expelled the person making defamatory accusations, not me. Ironically, the moderator was also angry at me for saying that many people in the group get pissed off at any criticism of Islam and that the moderators sometimes censor such criticism. He then proved I was right on both counts by expelling me.

Anyway, the above example is hardly exceptional, because the post-left “woke” mentality has infested so much of our society—and not just social media—that such manipulations occur with alarming frequency. Given the de facto alliance between the post-left and political Islam, accusations of “white supremacism” and similar slanders are becoming standard Islamist propaganda. I have described two examples above, one involving a U. of Ottawa professor, the other a personal experience. Accusations of “systemic racism” serve a similar purpose.

Crying Wolf

With the post-leftists and Islamists crying wolf all the time, such accusations are taken less and less seriously.

In other words, “White Supremacism” has become a scam, a specious accusation used by post-leftists and Islamists to defame and ultimately silence their critics. This is a toxic situation for several reasons: it stifles debate, it prevents necessary criticism of a very dangerous politico-religious movement, Islamism, and, finally it make it more difficult to recognize real instances of white supremacism. With the post-leftists and Islamists crying wolf all the time, such accusations are taken less and less seriously. If everybody is a white supremacist, then nobody is.


Next blog: La nécessité de la Loi 21

Racialism versus Secularism

Racialising Religious Affiliation to Oppose Secularism

2020-07-21

A few excepts from my long article The Battle Raging Between Racialism and Secularism published recently in Topical Magazine. The article criticizes the tendency of today’s so-called “antiracist” activists towards racialism and towards racialising religious affiliation as an anti-secularism strategy. The text presents several definitions in order to set the terms of the debate, followed by numerous examples of the racialisation of religious affiliation in France, in the United States and finally in Canada, with particular attention to the opponents of Quebec Bill 21.

Sommaire en français Quelques extraits de mon article, assez long, intitulé The Battle Raging Between Racialism and Secularism (La bataille farouche entre le racialisme et la laïcité) paru récemment dans la revue en ligne Topical Magazine. Il s’agit d’une critique de la tendance, chez les militants soi-disant « antiracistes » actuels, à verser dans le racialisme et à racialiser l’appartenance religieuse afin de lutter contre la laïcité. Le texte présente plusieurs définitions afin de préciser les termes du débat, suivies de nombreux exemples de la racialisation de l’appartenance religieuse en France, aux États-Unis et finalement au Canada, en particulier chez les adversaires de la Loi 21 québécoise.

…ethnicity, like race, refers principally to a person’s innate, immutable characteristics. Religion, on the other hand, is an ideology, a collection of ideas, beliefs and practices. Ethnicity is a personal identity, whereas religion is an opinion and an option. The distinction is crucial. To change one’s “race” is impossible. To change one’s religion may be easy or difficult, depending on one’s degree of indoctrination, but it is certainly not impossible. It may be as uncomplicated as changing one’s mind.

If religious affiliation is elevated to the status of ethnicity, then it becomes viewed as practically unchangeable, fixed for the person’s lifetime, making the individual a prisoner of the religion in which he or she was born and raised. Conflating race or ethnicity with religion implies the negation of freedom of conscience. It also opens the door to social—or even legal—censorship of criticism of religion, because if a religion is a “race” then is not criticising religion a form of “racism”?

Religious apologists tend to love the idea of conflating “race” or ethnicity and religion, because such conflation is a perfect tool for deflecting criticism of their religion. However, they need to think seriously about the implications. If we accept seriously the idea that anti-religious sentiment is indeed a form of “racism” then the three Abrahamic monotheisms—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—become, for this very reason, explicitly and unequivocally racist. Judaism asserts that the Jewish people is chosen by Jehovah and tough luck for everyone else. Christianity holds that those who fail to accept Christ are doomed to an eternity of punishment in hell. As for Islam, its holy book the Quran repeatedly expresses violent hostility towards non-Muslims and, in some contexts, enjoins Muslims to kill them. Adherents of these three religions would do well to reflect on this before embracing the religion-equals-race fraud.

It is important to preserve the biological meaning of the word “race” in order to prevent the apologists of certain ideologies from hijacking the concept for their own dubious purposes.

The racialisation of religious affiliation and the specious accusations of “racism” which it facilitates are hallmarks of racialism and probably the most important and toxic propaganda weapons of the fiercest opponents of secularism. These opponents are currently on the warpath in several countries. Let us consider a few examples.

Bill 21 is eminently sensible and moderate legislation. It is a matter of professional ethics. A representative of the State, while on the job, should not display partisan political or religious symbols. To allow the wearing of such symbols by State employees represents an unwarranted and unacceptable privilege accorded to the ideology which the symbol promotes. Several nations—France and parts of Switzerland, Belgium and Germany—also ban the overt display of religious symbols worn by some or all State employees. Bill 21 also bans face-coverings worn when providing or receiving government services, which is also the case for many European and African countries, some of which are Muslim-majority countries.

…one particularly creative opponent of Bill 21 links the bill to anti-black and anti-indigenous racism and asserts that it could very well lead to genocide… In light of the examples listed above, to say that Bill 21 meets with a hostile reaction is an understatement. The reaction has been hysterical, fanatical and patently insane.

This disinformation was repeated by many mainstream media as if it were fact, thus establishing a false link between an act of violence directed at a particular religious community and an extreme form of racism. Proponents of racialism and their Islamist allies pushed for M-103 as a result. Furthermore, that motion led to the formation of a parliamentary committee whose recommendations would open the door to allowing federal funds destined for anti-racism programmes to be misdirected into defending religious minorities and, through them, the religions themselves.

Racialism and the racialisation of religious affiliation are both profoundly dishonest and a considerable step backwards towards religious obscurantism and tribalism. It amounts to jettisoning freedom of conscience and abandoning universalism by labelling each individual indelibly with an attribute—i.e. religious affiliation—which is no more significant than an opinion, an opinion which not only may change, but which must be allowed to be changeable if we are to respect the individual’s fundamental human rights.

Read the full article.


Next blog: Lettre aux médias pour dénoncer le Conseil québécois LGBT

Sometimes Makeup Is Just Makeup

By apologizing, Trudeau merely confirms his fatuousness.

2019-09-20

My observations about the recent controversy surrounding Justin Trudeau’s use of makeup.

Sommaire en français Quelques remarques au sujet de la récente controverse à propos du maquillage utilisé par Justin Trudeau.

Canada’s national bimbo and Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has been in hot water recently because of several photos which came to light showing him wearing black or brown makeup. One of the photos shows a young Trudeau as Aladdin, wearing a turban and heavy, dark makeup; another shows him made up to imitate Harry Belafonte for a performance of one of Belafonte’s hit songs. There are a number of observations that can be made about the controversy which has ensued:

  • The intensity of the controversy is outrageous, totally out of proportion to the triviality of the incidents in question.
  • It is nevertheless poetic justice that Trudeau—a darling of the identitarian left—should now be a target of that movement’s ire and condemnation.
  • The controversy is an example of imposing American (i.e. USA) standards outside the USA, showing just how Canada is so overwhelmingly colonized culturally by our neighbours to the south.
  • The whole hullabaloo illustrates, yet again, the damage done by the identitarian, intersectional, regressive pseudo-left—that pretentious and retrograde movement which has almost destroyed progressive politics in several countries and in particular here in Canada—and the necessity of doing what we can to reverse that damage.

Given the history of slavery and extreme anti-black racism in the USA, it is no surprise that blackface is now considered unacceptable in that country.

First of all, it is important to understand what blackface is all about. According to the Wikipedia article on blackface, it is an old theatrical tradition in the USA, involving a non-black person wearing black makeup in order to represent a caricature of a black person. The article goes on to explain that today blackface is “generally considered offensive and disrespectful” in the USA—a fair description, although perhaps understated. Given the history of slavery and extreme anti-black racism in the USA, it is no surprise that blackface is now considered unacceptable in that country.

Dany Laferrière is a Québécois writer, born in Haiti, and member of the Académie française. In a recent comment on the Trudeau photos, he comments that true blackface does indeed involve ridiculing and dehumanising people of black-African origin, a tradition from an era when Afro-Americans were considered to be little more than chattel. Often, the makeup was applied leaving some pale skin around the eyes, making them look menacing, while the lips were often exaggerated, to augment the caricatural effect.

However, that is not the case with the Trudeau photos. The first involved Aladdin, a fictional character from a dream-filled tale taken from Arab literature, nothing to do with Afro-Americans. The second was an imitation of a singer who happened to be black: there is nothing wrong or offensive about such role-playing. To imitate Harry Belafonte, Trudeau donned costume and makeup. Such impersonation might even be considered positive, displaying a desire to be the person one is trying to depict. According to Laferrière—and I agree completely—Trudeau’s behaviour was not racist and there was no need for him to apologize.

It is foolish to interpret every action involving blacks through the distorted lens of the traumatisms of American history.

But Trudeau did apologize, saying that he now sees that what he did was racist. He thus validates the indentitarian left’s toxic obsession with race, seeing racism everywhere (except where it really exists, such as the anti-Québécois ethnic bigotry so blatant among anti-secularists). I don’t know where the Trudeau photos were taken, but it was not in Alabama or Mississippi. It is foolish to interpret every action involving blacks through the distorted lens of the traumatisms of American history. As Laferrière points out, Trudeau’s apology is a matter of partisan politics, an affair of white politicians who have to keep up appearances for electoral and popularity purposes.

Trudeau himself is one of the most avid practitioners of the highly dubious politics of those who are now criticizing his so-called “racism” (or excusing him for behaviour they would condemn mercilessly in any politician they do not like). Trudeau has not been at all shy about using such gratuitious accusations against Quebeckers who disagree with his opposition to secularism, even though that issue has nothing to do with “race.” At least makeup has the possibility of being relevant to the issue of racism, but in this case it is not.

Alas, poor Justin, stung by his own stinger, target of the disapproval of his erstwhile adoring allies. Trudeau is not a racist; he is an airhead. He gets no sympathy from me.


Next blog: Two Questions About Bill 21