The incident "involved a black man who did not initially match the owner of the car," the police report states. "Debellefeuille sounds like a Québécois name and not the name of someone of another origin."
In response to what Debellefeuille is calling "racial profiling," he - along with the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations - has filed complaints with the Quebec Human Rights Commission and the police ethics commissioner.
"It was humiliating," Debellefeuille said. "This is not just for myself but for all visible minorities out there who may experience this sort of humiliation like I did."It has got to stop."
Will the National media pick this story up and ask for an internal investigation? Will this be minimized, ignored or blamed on the rural city divide?
According to a poll released in 2006, 40 percent of Quebec respondents harboured anti‐Muslim views (Montgomery, 2006: A10). Fears of the Muslim “Other” have certainly played a role in the assertion of a national habitus that distinguishes between “Us” and “Them” primarily on the basis of religious affiliation and secondarily on the basis of language (whereas the post‐1960s national habitus gave pride of place to the linguistic criterion). Fears of the “Other” play into the notion of a “Self” whose very identity is under threat and therefore needs to be protected all the more vigorously. These fears are well summarized in a quote from Solange Fernet‐Gervais, Hérouxville’s oldest citizen: “In Quebec, we didn’t resist the English and fight throughout our history to defend our identity, just to have Muslims dictate to us now how we ought to live!” (quoted in Audibert, 2007: 42, our translation).
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