I have these takeaways from this account of “cancel culture” in Montreal in the 1930’s:
Cancel culture has been around for a long time. Jews have been targeted for millennia. Yet we persist in staying true to ourselves and our values. Bigotry and hate will never prevail against people who persevere.
The article makes it sound like nationalism caused the persecution of minorities. Not so. Hate caused the oppression. The antidote to hateful nationalism is not no nationalism – it is nationalism that protects freedom, liberty, and individual rights.
“Children in Quebec’s Roman Catholic schools received an education emphasizing royalist and religious values. Jews, Asian persons, and Black persons were viewed as undesirable immigrants and economic competitors.”
“Amid the economic misery of the Great Depression, some of Canada’s most influential leaders blamed Jews for the poor economy. Jewish stores were boycotted in Ottawa. In Quebec an Achat chez or Achat chez nous – “Buy from Home” movement quickly turned into an anti-Jewish tool, urging French Canadians to boycott Jewish businesses.
“Quebec nationalist leader Father Lionel Grouix stirred up hatred of Jews among Quebecois. In a 1933 article, he urged readers to heed his solution to “the Jewish Problem” by boycotting Jewish businesses. “Do not buy from the Jews…” he ranted. This and similar calls to refuse to do business with Jews were repeated in other French-Canadian newspapers as well.”