Dr. Mathieu Bock-Côté: “Legault must stop his semantic cha-cha-cha” [“Legault doit cesser son cha-cha-cha sémantique»]

Dr. Mathieu Bock-Côté

Bambi would like to thank her friend Ahmed Samer for sharing Dr. Bock-Côté’s thoughtful article, published today in the Journal de Montréal:


Like Bambi, Ahmed Samer was happy to read this article offering a wise piece of advice to Mr. François Legault, Prime Minister of the beautiful Québec. Mr Legault has been resisting, even if in a perhaps weak or clumsy way today, a large media campaign of wokeism. Indeed, this racialist theory or ideology insists on wanting everyone and every institution to see our civilization through the limited lens of race. How sad when social relationships are now only allowed to be seen through the limited lense of so-called race (i.e., defined by skin colour) and/or or any other sectarian characteristic (you name it). Of course, such an ideology or theory assumes (and wants to impose this vision on us all) that the so-called white folks are the “mean racist ones” and the minorities, or the so-called BIPOCS (e.g., supposedly deer of colour, like Bambi) are the “oppressed racialized victimes”.

If you do not agree with it or simply refuse it, even if you respect those who believe in it (like Bambi), they tell you it is the evidence of its existence :). You are even called a denier. Is there anything more potentially totalitarian than this sad vision of the world? This has become irrational to the point of sounding like a discourse of a religion, not like logic, science, or the richness of different opinions, anymore. Even religions are more nuanced than such a mindset behind this ideology.

Although Bambi may be wrong, she keeps asking herself: Is there anything more absurd, socially unhealthy, potentially toxic, and even self-destructive than the above vision of our societies/world? Anyhow, Bambi will continue to question this, even if Mr. Legault himself becomes “the king of wokeism”. Seriously, Bambi is saying so because she knows, just like her friend Ahmed Samer, what sectarianism OR tribalism can do to a country :(.

Indeed, these two are not the only ones. You should hear how many other Canadians of recent immigration/newcomers are thinking of leaving Canada because it is going in this insane and self-destructive direction. Just today actually, Bambi heard of one of them in Montreal! A few months ago, she heard at least 3-4 allophone, and even anglophone, friends from Québec expressing that they are too fed up that they are contemplating voting yes on any third referendum on the sovereignty of Québec. Can you imagine how strong and meaningful their statement is!? Some said it in English even. Do you see the irony? Do you see that Canadians, whether living in Québec or outside of it, are fed up of such divisive, regressive, ideologies. No, again, not just Bambi.

In addition to all the above, one must remember that Mr. Legault seems to benefit from a large support of Québeckers, as shown in recent surveys, a year ahead of the elections in this province. Despite his weaknesses or errors, this politician is pragmatic and reasonable. In addition, he seems to have met a large percentage of his electoral promises, despite the pandemic, as reported in Québec media. Perhaps this may explain why most Québeckers respect him, whether they will vote for him again or not. Who knows? Perhaps his politically satisfying performance may be a factor in the equation explaining the increasingly harsh media pressure on him, in both official languages, for a year now (and especially in the last few days).

Anyhow, below is a quick translation of Dr. Bock-Côté’s article. Once again, thanks to him for being articulate. Bambi allowed herself to insert some comments within the text (she could not help it).

While he has stood up for more than a year against media harassers who want at all costs to subject Québec to the theory of systemic racism, François Legault began to sway when the coroner Géhane Kamel, without any ideological reservation, took up this accusation.

The Prime Minister seems under siege, especially as we try to make him believe that Québecers have for their part fallen on their knees in front of their ideological aggressors.

By saying that there used to be systemic racism, but there is no more, the Prime Minister accredited this concept, unwittingly opening a door to its legitimization.


Everyone goes to bed, so do it! This is the slogan of the moment. Whoever “recognizes” systemic racism has a good soul, who refuses to do so with a vile soul. This concept is no longer used to describe reality or not, but to sort between the pure and the unclean, the good and the bad. It is a marker of public morality.

To defend himself, François Legault released the Petit Robert. Let’s agree on one thing: it’s a bit light.

The Prime Minister understands why he opposes this toxic theory. He should know it too, and explain it to Québecers clearly and calmly by finishing his little game of semantic cha-cha-cha.

There is no shortage of brilliant intellectuals to have analyzed this notion by showing how it is sociologically unfounded. François Legault should sit down with them to deepen his thinking [Bambi strongly suggests he consults Dr. Bock-Côté himself!].

Because the war of definitions is not a pure battle of words. In politics, whoever buys a word buys a concept, and the concepts then have consequences in the definition of public policies.

The vocabulary battle has the function of building the mental universe in which society operates. If you convince a society that it suffers from “systemic racism”, or that it lacks “openness to the other”, or that it would be complacent towards a “culture of rape”, it will eventually act in that direction.


Anyone who buys the theory of systemic racism accepts the absurd idea that Québec is divided between a structurally advantaged white majority and “racialized minorities” [indeed how absurd!!]who are victims of visible and invisible discriminatory processes. He accepts the idea that whites are racist because they are whites [how absurd…], that minorities are victims because they are a minority [how absurd…]. He agrees to transform society into a gigantic rehabilitation workshop [BOTH sad and dangerous ☹].

Above all, he gives in to a vision of society which treats the slightest statistical disparity between groups as proof of racism in addition to pushing “minorities” to victimize them who come to see discrimination everywhere, without ever making the slightest self-criticism [related to this good point, Bambi finished reading an excellent book, entitled “An inconvenient minority” by Mr. Kenny Xu whom she was honoured to be one of his podcast’s guests this summer, as shown on her personal website and in an earlier post, see further below]: https://rimaazar.ca/. In his book, Mr. Xu provided evidence of how Asian Americans prove that such ideology simply does not work. Indeed, their own excellence/adjustment to the country, from one generation (ie., the migrant parents who do not even speak English) to the next one (i.e. their academically or socially successful children), speak volumes about it. Of note, and very sadly, the excesses of this theory/ideology in the form of the attack on excellence/meritocracy have literally discriminated against this very diverse yet talented (hard-working) group in prestigious American universities, like Harvard. So why are we increasingly pushing for more ideologically-based excesses in our societies if it does not work? And who benefits when an entire society becomes more divided and, overall, perhaps more mediocre? Clearly, everyone loses in the end].

We come back to it: François Legault has shown immense courage since the summer of 2020 by resisting media pressure. But the best defense is offense. Taking out the dictionary will not be enough” .

4 thoughts on “Dr. Mathieu Bock-Côté: “Legault must stop his semantic cha-cha-cha” [“Legault doit cesser son cha-cha-cha sémantique»]”

  1. Very confusing editorial by Bambi. Some points to consider:

    Wokeism is just a passing fad which has precious little to do and is utterly incompatible with Quebec.
    Quebec separatism is much older than wokeism, though support for separatism is weak and not at all on the rise, not with English Canadians, not with Natives nor newcomers.
    Quebec’s retention rate for immigrants is also weak — around 50% leave the province.
    Quebec is not a country and does not have a Prime Minister.
    Institutional racism is not the only problem Quebec has to deal with; there’s also incompetence. Just think of Gilles Duceppe’s own mother who froze to death because the staff at her residence forgot to let her in from the Canadian winter, er– or should we say Quebec winter?

    1. Yes, Québec has a “Prime Minister”. This is how the official title is called. Check it out. We do not say a “Premier” like in the other provinces. We say “Premier Ministre”.

      Wokeism or sectarianism may be a trend and after many years, it shall pass. True. However, it is potentially destructive and the effects of such identity-based ideologies may be more harmful than you may think. Time will tell.

      Mr. Legault himself is not interested in separatism. And as a reminder, even the Bloc Québécois, did not make it part of its electoral campaign platform.

      Mr. Legault is simply ensuring that Québec will decide for itself when it is its jurisdiction (e.g. the healthcare system, education, and other). Mr. Legault is good news for the rest of Canada because ensuring this for Québec will also help other provinces (perhaps less so smaller and poorer ones like at Bambi’s end, as they depend more on the federal government).

      You are right about the retention rate (at least according to data from the 1990s). This has many explanations.

      There is no institutional racism in Québec, Fred. There is only racism, like anywhere else and like your own racist words toward Québec too (just check some of your old comments and you see what Bambi means).

      This being said, you are right, the tragedy of the late Ms. Duceppe (may her memory be eternal…) can happen to anyone. Her SAD story is beyond incredible :(. This is another proof that there is no systemic mistreatment. Everyone can be in this situation there. Had this story happened now and to someone slightly tanned (after the long summer), radical activists would be exploiting the story, as they sadly do every time :(. Bambi finds this shameful.

      Québec is far from being perfect (no place is). Yet, it is beautiful and Bambi hopes it will remain so…

      To conclude, you talked about institutional racism, if this concept would apply it is to Canada rather and to its “Indian Act” precisely. Why don’t we work on changing it? As Bambi heard on the radio today, a good question by Mr.Bernard Drainville, why isn’t the Indigeneous leadership demanding this from our government? Perhaps there is no consensus. Plus, why does our federal government seem to be more interested in symbols than in acts? Perhaps they will surprise Bambi/us in this mandate and do something about it? Could it be? It is about time. Bambi is sure we both agree on this.

      1. I never made any ‘racist words toward Québec’. Bambi’s comments are based on her assumption held these past 18 years that I’m not from Quebec, but another province like Manitoba. When I saw Bambi recently, she seemed to let go of this false belief but now is recidivating. It’s no secret I’m a fourth generation Canadian from Laval, Quebec. My ancestors reached Montreal as early as 1919 so I know what I’m talking about. It is impossible for me to have racist views about Quebec since it is my province.

        As for my past comments, I did and still do examine the racist laws in Quebec from another point of view, namely by asking the question ”What would happen if these racist laws were applied to francophones for the first time?” Since the object of Bill 101 is to exclude all non-francophones from society, what would happen for example if only non-francophones were allowed into cinemas showing English films and admission were granted only to those showing the same certificate of English instruction they required of us to gain admission to English schools since 1977? And tourists and temp residents must prove origin in English speaking countries by the same principle.

        Apply these principals to *everything* in society and francophones would not like it at all once their discriminatory laws were applied to them. THAT was my point and it is their laws that they made.

        1. “Quebec’s Bill 21 is a racist law conceived by racists to please racists.” This is just one example of your own words Fred (taken from your comments). How do you call this, if not racist. Perhaps just unkind :)?

          As a reminder, it is a bill voted for in Québec’s National Assembly. Of course, you are free to think and express whatever you wish. Just know that many readers of this blog happen to be from Québec and may have voted for their current government because of this bill, since it is a majority government (with or without wanting to, you have insulted them). Your reply was to a post where the bottom line message is that we should respect Québec’s laws. They are made by Québec and meant for Québec only, whether we like them or not.

          Bambi’s post about Québec’s bills are nuanced. She even explains her own reservation with it over time or with some of it, etc. She knows this bill very well, for having read/consulted it more than once, and often explains on this blog. She happens to support it (so racist according to your comment above :)). Seriously, the point is not this or that bill. The point is the absence of respect of a nation that wants to protects its language, values, etc.

          Bambi does not care from which province your ancestors came (although she cares for them/their story). As as reminder, she was not even born in our country. Plus, what does a personal conversation between friends (entertaining you/chatting when you were over :)) have to do on a public blog?

          Anyhow, thanks for all your thoughtful contributions to this blog, including the above. Most importantly, thank you for being whom you are. Thanks for being the friend of both Bambi’s spouse/Bambi and for your incredible support, Dearest Fred (Bambi is saying this a bit ahead of Thanksgiving :))!

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