"When I was in Boston I was surprised to see that on campus about one-third of the students doing their bachelor's degrees had slanting eyes."And because he doesn't think he said anything wrong, he won't apologize.
"I don't understand," he said in Quebec City on Thursday. "Maybe there's a nuance between the word in French and the word in English."I don't think there's a nuance. Rather, I think that the English-speaking community is more in tune with the rest of North America on issues of cultural sensitivity. When US Senator George Allen made those "macaca" comments in the 2006 election about a man of Indian decent he was widely criticized. It was in the media for weeks in the US. But were it not for the Quebec English-language media, this story would not have even been told.
According to Canadian Press,
French-language media tended to ignore the original remarks on Wednesday, while their English counterparts did mention it.Maybe Boisclair didn't have racism in his heart when he used the term. But how is it that he never learned that the term "slanting eyes" was not acceptable.
(Note to Boisclair: I know there must have also been quite a few Jews and Arabs at Harvard. But avoid using the terms 'hooknose' and 'towelhead' when discussing reasonable accommodation of minorities in Quebec.)
Regarding the 'slanting-eyes' comment, Boisclair says he says he won't apologize.
"I don't have any intention of apologizing," he repeated several times, saying it's a term he uses quite frequently.Frequently! Does he publish a White Power newsletter or something?
This isn't the first time a PQ leader has made comments like this and then seemed perplexed that the English-language media made a story of it. In 1995, Lucien Bouchard said that Quebecers were "une des races blanches qui a le moins d’enfants" -- one of the white races with the lowest number of children.
To prove he wasn't a racist, Boisclair said his 'slanty-eyed' friends at Harvard made a point of sharing with him some of their ancient Chinese proverbs. He shared one of these with reporters: "Owa tana siam."