Have you ever noticed that someone who “apologizes, if” hasn’t acknowledged their mistake?
Saying that we “apologize if” puts a condition on the so-called apology and puts the onus, not on the person who offended, but on those who were offended.
François Legault offered a classic example this week.
Legault in his own words
“Quebecers are peaceful. They don’t like chicanery, they don’t like extremists, they don’t like violence. So we have to make sure that we keep it as it is now… All in all, this issue is not unique to Quebec. I look at what happened in Germany, what happened in many other countries. It’s always a challenge, the integration of newcomers. »
To mix immigration, immigrants and “chicanism” and “extremists” is really… extreme! This betrays deep prejudices.
To be prejudiced, as the word suggests, is to judge others in advance. It’s believing the worst about people other than yourself.
Well calculated apologies
Hours after his statement, Legault posted this on Twitter:
“Immigration is an asset for Quebec. Integration will always be a challenge for a French-speaking nation in North America. I didn’t want to associate immigration with violence. I’m sorry if my comments caused confusion. My desire is to unite. »
Legault had not spoken of integration when he used the term “extremists”, he was speaking of individuals. He has indeed made the equation between immigration and “chicanism” and “extremists”. And that’s all.
Mr. Legault does not say he is sorry for having associated immigration and violence. He says to himself “sorry if my words have led to confusion”. Clearly, if you are offended by his remarks, it is you who are confused, it is not he who conveys prejudices.
The bottom of his thought
During his press briefing, Mr. Legault reused an expression he has used since the adoption of Bill 21, a law that openly discriminates against religious minorities.
Defending his vision of secularism, he exclaimed “that’s how we live in Quebec”. He had said it for the first time on Facebook when the law was passed. Quebec is the only jurisdiction in North America to have legislated to prevent a Muslim teacher, for example, from wearing her headscarf in class. Legault finds that it is not Quebec to do so.
The same goes for a Sikh who wears a turban as an expression of his faith and desires to be a policeman. Across the country, I have seen Sikh police officers doing their job professionally and impeccably, but here, according to Legault at least, that’s not how we live.
Clearly, what Legault is saying is that if you are different from him in terms of your religious beliefs, and the expression of these, you are not Quebecers. That’s the bottom of his mind and it came out again yesterday.
The words of François Legault are a shame. Generous, open to the world and to others, respectful of differences, “that’s how we are in Quebec”, Mr. Legault.