Is it just me ?

I submitted an article for the RLQ contest - hoping to win the tickets to their conference in Montreal in April but more importantly - I simply wanted to particpate. I wrote in english because I do not write well in french but also because I think it's important that the anglophone community be included and in their own language. That upsets some people.

I received a few comments following that first entry which made it clear that not everyone shares my views concerning linguistic inclusion. I am used to such attacks, ignore them for the most part but respond when the mood strikes. I am afterall - Irish and French which means that I do not by nature - shrink from confrontation.

Not to be dissuaded by a few closed minded people and with plenty more to say, I submitted a 2nd article, in a good-natured attempt to compete with my friend Jocelyn who had done the same. That was 2 days ago and my submission has not yet been posted on the RLQ site. I don't know why and my mind is jumping to many conclusions - most I am sure are unfounded so I will not express them.

But as it happens, I did have 2 particularly  forceful encounters yesterday concerning the fact that I write in english - one when writing on my own FB page and the 2nd when commenting on Eric Duhaime's page regarding the abuse being experienced by the owner of the shoe store in Montreal. Oddly I was defending my use of english, against people apparently sympathetic to the boycott against another citizen but  unwilling to acknowledge my civil liberties, and doing it on the site of a man who works in both french and english. Very strange and quite frankly - a little hard to take.

What seems to be forgotten is that I have connections across this country - english and french. So that when I am attacked for writing in english, on my own page or elsewhere, in cyberspace - which is as far as I know - is language neutral - portions of the entire country gets a good look at what anglophones have to put up with here. It is a minority of people who feel quite justified in trying to construct language barriers online - but not everyone in this country understands that and the emerging look at life here is not flattering .

Still opinions are what they are. I am not idealistic enough to believe that I will change that, nor will any other single individual simply trying to participate in life here. But neither should we simply accept outrageous biaises, even from a few. So I hope the RLQ will see fit to publish my article on their site - not for it's literary brillance - but as an act of inclusion. If not, I will just post it here. I am hoping the 2 day delay in posting my entry is nothing more indicative than busy administrators or perhaps I missed the deadline. I really don't believe that 'language' is a problem for the RLQ itself, but it may be for some of it's members.

I am the first to acknowledge that public opinion - not good intentions - or even sound principle - drives political debate. I can only hope that my your views of inclusion are in the majority.