Hate crime in Montréal. Stand together, denounce hate

8 Sep

Tuesday night, September 4th 2012: as Parti québécois leader Pauline Marois celebrates her party’s electoral victory in the downtown Montréal’s Métropolis, an assault weapon fires outside the nightclub. One man, the 48 year-old father of a 3-year old girl, falls to deadly spray, and a younger one is badly injured. Only the weapon’s jamming stands between the attacker and a much higher casualty count.

And as the attacker is pulled away, he screams “the English are waking up!…There’s going to be fucking payback!”

The attack cannot be called anything less than tragic. A young girl will never again see her father and the man’s family is undoubtedly reeling from profound feelings of loss. He had been doing nothing wrong when his attacker struck and could not have possibly expected it.

However, it is imperative that the weight of this attack not be understated. This attack is, and must be characterized as, a hate crime. When a member of the country’s cultural majority attacks members of that country’s majority, it is tantamount to the violence committed by white pride groups in the United States.

It doesn’t matter how you feel about the PQ, Québec nationalism, official languages or any issue. A man is dead because an angry Anglophone thought it justified to open fire on fire on French Canadian fellow citizens.

Citizens of all backgrounds must pull together to denounce hatred. It is tasteless and counterproductive to treat this as a bad “omen” for the PQ government, as Sun News has done.

To the family of the victim, M. Blanchette, Our sympathies are with you.

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