I was reading a statement made a long time ago by Valorie Hall and I did not want to miss quote her so I just copy pasted it here for you to read in its entirety. I think this is what is wrong in our society, what is wrong in Canada and what is wrong in Quebec. There seems to be a question still even today as to how much prejudice is to be considered bad, or better yet tolerable. How prejudice do you have to be before it tarnishes your reputation? Does being a Nazi supporter make you a bad person? Does believing your race is superior to all others make you a bad person? Does a person’s racial beliefs and actions disqualify him from public honors such as having public streets metros or buildings name after you in your honor? Is it enough as Valorie Hall states that he influenced and gave a sense of pride to the minority French people of Quebec?
Do we just forget the parts of a person that we want and honor the parts that we choose to? Are we that desperate in Quebec to have heroes that we will stoop to making heroes out of bigots? This seems to be the way of Quebec. Someone also said that maybe the names of English racist should be removed from street names and such and I say,” Yes, yes no matter what the race we can not honor the racist without showing ourselves to be racist.” You can not honor half of a life you must honor the whole life, or you cheapen the very soul of the honor.
Or is it that in Quebec we see no wrong in prejudice and therefore can honor a person who is a bigot. Whether or not it is English or a French name it is not the issue. The issue is simply how much prejudice does it take to make a person unworthy to be honored by a country, province or city. I say just one utterance is enough; just one foul prejudicial action is enough; just one backing of a prejudicial law is enough. Whether the prejudice is born of ignorance; whether the prejudice was deemed necessary to save your own way of life, it must never be honored.
What should the rest of the world take Quebec to mean by this honoring of bigots? Does Quebec not send a mixed message? With the English problem and its treatment of the English does Quebec really need the cloud of still more bigotry floating over its head? Does Quebec and Montreal not care how insulting they are being to its citizens?
( I would just like to note that the picture below and its tag was not in Valorie’s statement.)
Valorie Hall, says and I quote her,
“I was elated that a campaign had begun to change the name of Lionel Groulx Metro to Oscar Peterson. What a sense of pride this would instill in many of our black youth who feel alienated from Quebec society.
The main reason given for selecting Lionel Groulx Metro for a name change was because of the racist views of Groulx. I wanted to find out everything I possibly could about Lionel A. Groulx, a Catholic Priest, born on January 13, 1878 and died on May 23, 1967. What I discovered about this man was not at all what I expected. There were many references about Groulx’s anti-Semitism and his belief in the superiority of the French race. I could have stopped my research there but I wanted to find the heart of this man. I found Groulx’s heart in the writings of many living and dead French people of Quebec. They loved Lionel Groulx because he gave them a sense of pride at a time when they felt they had no choice but to assimilate into the English majority. Groulx fought for minority French rights and for that reason he was considered worthy to have a metro station named after him.
I believe that the Lionel Groulx Metro name should not be changed. Instead, each and every child growing up in this minority community should be told the entire story of this flawed man who inspired a race of people to stand up and be counted as equals in Canada. “
So if the ends justify the means, do what you will to gain your foot hold and do what you must no matter what? Hurt who you must and ignore the suffering of who you must. In the end we will rewrite history and see that you are honored. Take pride in the accomplishments that we will remember and forget the pain and suffering that we will force the people to forget. The only problem with this strategy is that people rarely forget as this fight to change a name clearly shows.
Forget the metro, think of your people and remove from places of honor all the names from every place from every race of those who have been proven unworthy of such honors. It is your duty; it is our right to represent and be represented by decent people. Changing the metro name could have been a little step in the right direction, but we failed. We got frightened by the bigots. Let us go forward and begin to change the way we honor and who we honor and make sure they are honorable people first and give them a street when they deserve it. Let their lives have embodied our beliefs our dreams and who we are. Let us not honor them simply because we need a hero.
Through out history people have done things to give pride to their nation, or race, but if we deemed their actions were cruel, prejudiced, or hateful, we do not honor them. We taught all the people we knew not to act like them. The Hitlers, the Idi Amins, the Osama bin Ladins, the Milosevichs all thought they were doing great things and giving pride back to a people, but they were wrong and we said they were wrong and we do not name streets after them, or give them any other honors. Wake up Canada and cut the crap out. Wrong is wrong and will never be right.