In my opinion, La Fête Nationale tragedy shines light on the mindset of the organizers with regards to the intersecting issues of race and the environment. In particular, it unveils how white french Québec grapples with its changing climate and evolving identity. Within the limited boundaries of the pure-laine vision of a sustainable future, it is clear that the desired transition to a low-carbon economy will not object to the unabashed sequestration of energy from melanin bodies. This green vision binds these black bodies to low-status work on behalf of the environment. The “forever-immigrants”, many born on this land, in this environment, can never fully rid themselves of the brand of “Les Autres, là” burned onto their skin with white-hot iron. This blurry condemnation has been written in quebecois prose onto black bodies for centuries, to the point where ink and grit collude to usurp skin and culture. To what extent does the green imagination of the white Quebecois and the white Canadian couple greenhouse gas reduction with the subordination of black and brown peoples?
Black Internet is well versed in decoding the care-free gesturing of matantes but is it not their nieces and nephews, (the organizers) that whisper the racist rigaudon?
“On a mis le nègre au travail pour l’environnement,
Mais l’environnement du nègre,
On l’a négligé volontairement!
Vive la développement durable!”
This is organic racism clothed in eco-friendliness. This is white sustainability. A sustainability where what stands the test of time is not the well-being of the planet and the people who populate it, but the tense relation between those who benefit from unjust decisions and those who are forced to carry the weight of those same decisions.
Mon cher Quebec, you can paint di ting green…but the issue remains black and white. Ya nuh foolin’ we.