History is full of stories of people who fought for democracy and sacrificed their lives to have liberty in different parts of the world. Freedom fighters, libertarians, socialists, communists, republicans, democrats, various religious denominations, and so on, fought for the same belief: freedom. It was only 50 years ago that people of colour were brutally discriminated against in the United States and were excluded, humiliated, and ignored by American society. White people believed that they were superior to black people. It was not long ago that women in Canada did not have a right to vote in any election. Society ignored women’s basic democratic right completely. In 1970, Canada’s law enforcement still fought against the terrorist group called FLQ (in English, Quebec Liberation Front) to end decades of brutal killings, bombings and kidnapping of politicians attributed to the group. In all cases, one group thought it had superior values to those of other group.
I don’t mean to appropriate these experiences, but I feel that today, Quebec’s Charter of Values is a case of imposing unjust values against people who do not share the same beliefs as Parti Québécois. Yet, Canada still struggles to define Quebec values for many Canadians—values of separatism, Francophone and etc. The word “values” is bothersome. Pauline Marois, Parti Québécois premier of Quebec, has no right to tell Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs or other religious denominations what to wear in government sector jobs. The same wrongful doctrine applied when white Americans divided buses into sections for blacks and whites. Human dignity is at stake again.
Every Canadian has a duty to oppose the prejudiced Charter of Values to their fullest extent. We do not need to have Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X to fight against prejudices. We all have a conscience, and that is enough to stand up and tell the Parti Québécois that we are all equal regardless of our religious beliefs. History is watching us again. The founders of Constitution are watching for us to defend human dignity and minority rights in Quebec today. Canada does not need to become a symbol of racism in its soil. Faithful immigrants have worked hard alongside born-Canadians to build a better country in the last century and longer.
French Canadians use the same Canadian currency and passport as the rest of Canada. We do not want to see Muslims, Christians, Jewish and Sikh people complain to God that they’re being discriminated against in Quebec. Canada has long passed that time, and we do not need to have a stamp of silence in face of the Quebec Charter of Values in our heart’s passport. Let’s tell our politicians that we all grew up in families that taught us to respect each other regardless of our race and religion. Let’s let the world know that, this time, we fight for our dignity, and that’s how we want our name to go down in history.