A paradox exists in half the country of Quebec regarding Louisiana. This huge gutter of America, irrigated by the Mississippi, has been repeatedly presented as the epitome of the bad luck that awaits the French in Quebec. From this perspective, Louisiana is seen as a scarecrow, a territorial Seven Hours man. This is the image François Legault has bluntly used in recent days to pose as a defender of the nation against its enemies.
In the collective psyche, however, Louisiana attracts more than it repels. There is no denying the appeal this country enjoys. This is partly due to the richness of its culture, but also to Quebec’s relations with this region. Even patriots considered it after the suppression of the revolution of 1837-1838 at the time of their forced exile. For decades, hundreds of young Quebec teachers have taken up teaching there. The amount of news broadcasts about Louisiana also indicates that there is a lot of interest in it.
However, the apocalyptic character of a Louisiana where French flows to the bottom is sung both literally and figuratively. The day we will live in this country there, Gilles Vigneault sang in When we leave for Louisiana, “we will talk to each other about these great countries that are lost here”. Stephen Faulkner wondered if one fine morning we would wake Cajuns from oversleeping. However, no one on this record from the 1970s has pushed this chorus, except François Legault, to suggest that the threat of Louisianaization is explained by…immigration! Not only does François Legault sound false, but his claim is devoid of common sense. Why ?
Much of Louisiana’s population has its origins in France and Acadia, as well as Germany, Spain, Africa, and the Caribbean. The result is a unique culture. Jazz was born there for a reason, carried on the wings of the French word to chat† The richness of the local cuisine is also explained by these interrelationships. But we would try in vain to explain the gradual disappearance of French people in this area through immigration! Because the failure of French in Louisiana is primarily due to the relinquishment of what François Legault himself has long given up: sovereignty.
In 1803 Napoleon ceded this part of America to the United States for a pittance to feed his armies. Price of the transaction: the trifle, in today’s currency, of about $400 million. There will be catastrophic pressure on the French language, but not just on it. Moreover, this banishment of French in Louisiana was little different from that of the French speakers in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and New Brunswick. Why does Mr. Legault choose to speak only of Louisiana rather than these provinces of Canada? He who basically sided with Canada, why is he doing less than nothing to support this diaspora with which we are connected?
Through dishonesty or ignorance, François Legault allows two falsehoods to hang over Louisiana. First, immigration does not explain the decline of French there, nor does it explain here. By then refusing to consider the effects of one society’s dependence on another, out of contempt, in other words, the tools that independence provides, the Prime Minister would lead people to believe that a society can preserve itself through powers to control immigration. to master . Is it only to prove himself before the eyes of the electorate, by concocting a sterile conflict from scratch, that Legault allows himself so much follies in the light of history?
Everything comes together, to hear the Prime Minister, towards his dangerous obsession of an electoral nature: immigration. Instead of playing to set fire to the center of social peace, he wondered what concrete effect his rain of checks for $500, or $3.2 billion, would have had if they had been channeled into culture. and the education of his society? Did he want to know if the bit of road policy doesn’t belong to another era? Is he considering the difficulty of finding shelter in Quebec? Does he know that the difficulty of existence is that too?
Of course, it would take a good dose of joviality, accompanied by a touch of blindness, to think that French is taken for granted in North America. How can we believe today, in certain circles, that everything is running smoothly for French? At best, 5% of the population in North America speaks this language. Most of the speakers are now grouped together in a spare – oh! pardon – in a province. Moreover, one wonders why in Quebec, through the entanglement of its fate with that of the Aborigines, we do not understand them better.
During the ceremony marking the unveiling of the statue to Jacques Parizeau, we should have heard the President of the National Assembly and the Member of Parliament from Lévis, François Paradis, confirm that this monument “constitutes the DNA of a province that remembers”. This highly provincial and biologic facelift of Parizeau’s energetic and voluntary heritage, here’s a perspective that has nothing to envy to a Louisianaization hitherto rejected by the Prime Minister. One wonders how so many PQ members, who have sworn only by Parizeau, find themselves in the pocket of the Caquistan today, that is, in a return to the least generous French Canadian nationalism, the narrowest.