Quebec, je pleure

Written April 10, 2014, after Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois were defeated in a provincial election, and some anglophone analysts in Toronto were hailing the defeat as the end of the Quebec sovereignty movement and its dream of nationhood:

Québec, je pleure

“I’m gonna dress you up like the Mother Queen
Fuck you up like you’ve never seen.”
– Serge Fiori, from Crampe au cerveau

Two days after the Quebec vote, my initial relief over the election of a federalist party has given way to sadness — and guilt. And shame.

The sovereignty dream is over, the analysts are saying, and many anglos in Quebec and across Canada are rejoicing.

But not me. I am crying inside. And outside.

Oh my God, what have we done, we anglos?

Why did we fight so hard over the past four decades to quash the dream of our francophone sisters and brothers who only wanted a small slice of the North American pie that they could call their own?

Why couldn’t we understand their desire for a nation?

Why couldn’t we have given it to them, willingly, and shared their dream with them?

Why did we feel we had to toe the federalist line?

Why did we have to impose the American-Canadian dream on them?

Why were we so selfish?

Oh God, we were so blind. So thoughtless. So lacking in empathy and compassion . . . and love.

Am I the only anglo who feels guilty tonight?

Yes, this is about what I feel inside.

I can’t deny the feelings.

They are there.

Guilt. Sadness. Shame.

Tears.

Ce soir, je pleure avec les souverainistes québécois.

Je suis une Québécoise.

– Jillian