CJAD800 radio host Barry Morgan wrote a blog yesterday entitled “Anglos ARE second class citizens” that delves into Quebec’s English language debate. Following is what Barry Morgan wrote, and afterwards is my response to him. Barry, it’s nothing personal, but you kinda sounded like a dick.
It was very encouraging to see that about 700 people turned out for this past weekend’s “You Have A Right” meeting organized by Canadian Rights in Quebec.
Not so encouraging was the fact that civil rights lawyer Julius Grey told the crowd that anglophones “are not second class citizens and we never have been.”
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Grey but was very surprised to hear that declaration. So was Harry Schick, who has been a regular target for the language police. Schick owns the Swiss Vienna Pastry and Delicatessen in Pointe Claire.
He joined me tonight to remind Grey, and anyone else who may have forgotten, that language rights for anglos have deteriorated over the years.
Just yesterday, I popped into a West Island depanneur where the employee greeted me in French. I carried on the conversation in English and he kept going in French, never bothering to acknowledge that a paying customer was speaking in the language of his choice.
Barry, Barry, Barry, articles like this do more damage than good for the language equality movement.
First off, Julius Grey was right. We are not second class citizens. That doesn’t mean however that we are not treated that way by the government. There is a distinction there that you are sorely missing which led you to unnecessarily attack Grey.
Secondly, you being offended that the employee at the depanneur wouldn’t acknowledge you in English goes against everything that those who believe in language equality are fighting for.
You went into that store, got what you needed, and walked out without being attacked by anyone for speaking English. That sounds like a victory to me. The employee used the language they were comfortable in, as did you, and to me that’s what this fight is all about: The right to speak the language of your choice without fear of retribution or attack.
The employee and yourself navigated one of the millions of daily interactions between French and English speakers in a manner that let you both express yourself freely and with respect for each other. This is the goal we’re fighting for here. To let the people of Quebec decide for themselves the best way to communicate with each other without the government stepping in and dictating it to us.
You turned a perfect example of success into a bad example of the stereotypical “domineering Anglo” trying to force someone to speak English and who gets insulted and indignant when it doesn’t happen.
I am sorry to say it but the employee you complained about wasn’t the problem that day. You were.
Please keep in mind that in the future if you’re insulted by someone speaking French to you, the door you walked in through is the same one you can take your money and walk right back out of.
We’re trying to build bridges here Barry, not burn them.