Mr. Mathieu Bock-Côté: “An American demonstration in Montreal” [Une manifestation américaine à Montréal]

Above is a picture taken from the Journal de Montréal (June 2, 2020) from the following article signed by Mr. Mathieu Bock-Côté:

Below is a quick translation of this thoughtful text:

“There was an American demonstration in Montreal this Sunday.

Why this expression? Because pretty much all of the visible signs were in English.

I see two possible explanations for this.


Either the demonstrators take Québec for the United States, and therefore they identify with the United States to the point of adopting its language.

Either they know they are in Québec (and they claim that the American problems are also ours), but they don’t care about its language and its culture and, thus, show a great contempt for its identity. Let’s call this a linguistic colonialism disguised as anti-racism.

We must come down to earth.

We are all overwhelmed by the assassination of George Floyd in Minnesota. And no one will dispute the persistence of racism in the United States.

But whatever activists may say, involuntarily revealing their historic lack of culture, one cannot confuse Québec and the United States.

Obviously, there are racist individuals here as elsewhere, and that, in all communities. They are condemnable. Racism is abject.

But the Québec society has not been structured around racial categories. It has not institutionalized racism as a principle of social organization. There is no structural or systemic racism here, as long as we do not tamper with the meaning of words. This pseudo-sociological theory is wobbly.

Besides, the people of Québec were dominated at home. They did not have the means to discriminate against many people. We forget it today because we present them as “white” people.


A nation is not a race. A white cannot become a black, a black cannot become a white. Race is a suffocating identity.

But you can come from anywhere, have any skin colour, and become a Québecer, as long as you claim and assume this identity.

It is this definition of ourselves that we must hold on to.”

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