2007 CBC poll: 59% of Quebecers say they're bigots

And who do they hate the most? The top three, from least to most hated:
  • Africans (27%)
  • Jews (36%)
  • Muslims (50%).
CBC reports: "Fifty-nine per cent of Quebecers admit to being racist to some degree, according to a Léger Marketing survey published Monday in Le Journal de Montréal. In comparison, only 47 per cent of those outside Quebec say they are racist to some degree.

"Among Quebecers, most (43 per cent) said they were only mildly racist, while 15 per cent said they were moderately racist and only one per cent responded that they were very racist. The findings stunned Jean Dorion of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

"'I do not perceive the Quebec society as being racist,' he told Le Journal de Montréal. The findings come from three surveys in late December and early January. The first two surveys were conducted over the internet, with 2,228 Quebecers taking part, while the third survey interviewed 3,092 people across Canada.

"The survey looked at Quebecers' views of a variety of cultural groups. It found 36 per cent of Quebecers have a bad opinion of Jewish people, while 27 per cent have a poor opinion of blacks. Fifty per cent have a bad opinion of Muslims."


Daniel said…
Hmm, interesting. I do notice this is a self-identification survey, i.e. it's not an objective measure of racism, but a self-perceived one.

Now race has been a BIG issue in the last few years in Quebec. There's been a big (and I have to admit, ridiculous) debate over concessions to minority communities, and Jewish and Arab communities took the brunt of the rhetoric. I wonder if in so doing this debate hasn't made people more self-aware of their own prejudice. And isn't that better than saying 'I'm not racist but...'?

Not trying to defend the Quebec population... It definitely has issues of which I'm painfully aware. I'm just wondering what's the story behind people saying to a phone survey that they are, say, 'very racist'. I don't know racist people to call it racism, just, well, 'reality' in their own warped minds.
Minister Faust said…
You ask an excellent question; some of the answer can be found (as well as a rebuttal to it) in the full article which is linked.

The self-disclosure is actually more damning, because it's a statement against interest, to use the phrase on *Law and Order*. However, it could be that Canadians from the R.O.C. (rest of Canada) are simply more devious or less angry, and so more guarded about disclosing their bias.

As well, a person quoted in the full article challenges the interview questions themselves.

I enjoy your reading that people may be *admitting*, not *bragging* or swaggering or defending. It could be shameful disclosure, in other words. I hope you're right.

Indeed, Quebec has much to envy for the R.O.C., including an active culture of social democracy, and a vibrant artistic life, as well as--stripped of their separatist dimension--two political parties which share many of my own values.

My point in such postings is NOT to single out Quebec, although I concede that's been the result. I'm actually researching and writing a manual on the experiences of French-speaking continental African immigrants, so that's why the flurry of postings dealing with realities of interest to them.

As well, as an an Alberta, I'm reacting against the common stereotype that Albertans are the country's worst bigots, whereas the East (not the Maritimes; "Central Canada" is northern Manitoba, as anyone with a map can plainly see) is depicted as the centre of enlightenment and multiculturalism. My own experiences, and extensive disclosure and reporting by others, demonstrates otherwise.

So it's kind of a "man bites dog" story for the Canadian imagination. But I admit that, unfortunately, such reporting can also feed into an anti-Quebec sentiment which is wholly undeserved, especially if it's motivated by (non French-) Canadians who refuse to admit the depths of discrimination that the Anglo establishment heaped on Franco-Canadians for centuries, and the legitimate anger, resentment and yearning for self-determination it created.
Daniel said…
Yeah, I guess part of me reacts to these articles defensively, because although it's your perception, being from Alberta, that Canada dismisses Alberta as racist, my experience as a Quebecois has been pretty much the same for Quebec. After all, a few people have called the francophone Quebecois society fundamentally antisemitic and racist.

In other words, coming from Quebec, this type of story is not a reversal, but sadly commonly heard. Justifiably so, mind you, in many cases, as the delicate questions Quebec tries to deal with has endangered a number of asinine defensive reactions on all sides.

One thing of note: I'm pretty sure that the 36% of Quebecois claiming to be biased against Jews are actually claiming bias against Hasidic Jews. Now, I am *not* saying that's right in any way, shape of form! But French-speaking Quebecois have very little exposure to Jews in Montreal, as they are for the most part English speakers. The form of Judaism most Quebecois tend to be exposed to are the ultra-conservatives such as Hasidism. Most Quebecois - OUTSIDE the areas where Hasidic Jews live - have a hard time with the notion of ultraconservatives avoiding all contact with Quebec society.

I guess I'm pointing this out because I somehow hope, naively, that Quebec's admission of racism is mostly a question of ignorance. But that's me, ever the optimist. :)
Minister Faust said…
I'm really glad you've commented, because frankly I had no idea that the perception of Quebec as fundementally racist was common. And in saying that, I don't mean you're wrong... I mean I really didn't realise such a perspective was common, perhaps because my two youthful summers living in Montreal made me absolutely fall in love with the place, and my experience of it, as a wonderful, cosmopolitan, and frequently universalist place.

Hopefully we as Canadians of many backgrounds can do more to fix our own provinces and less to slag each other's.

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