International

Small Canadian town briefly newsworthy

Thanks to Sue R and Alan Allport in the comments to this post for alerting me to the marvellously tactless attempt by the town council of Herouxville, Canada, to impart its proudly felt values to any immigrants who might be thinking of moving there. The values in question can be found on the town’s own website; they’re not terribly unusual, but there is one specific area about which they’ve decided to make themselves absolutely clear:

Blog reaction has been mixed; some have dubbed the town “Heroville“, and praised it for battling “political correction”. Others, ie me, think they’ve caused gratuitous offence by making pointlessly clear their objection to things which are quite obviously already illegal. Still, to be fair to the Herouxville council, their declaration of standards was at least careful enough to avoid mention of any one specific religious or ethnic group, or to suggest that there was any one particular such group that was unusually prone to advocating things like the public beating or burning of women. Instead that was done by Salam Elmenyawi, president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, who told Reuters: “I was shocked and insulted to see these kinds of false stereotypes and ignorance about Islam and our religion”. Oops.

NB the BBC page about the Herouxville story has a link that reads “Are you racist? The test that claims to know”. The test is here, along with another test that also finds out how homophobic you are. Apparently I have “little to no automatic preference between White People and Black People”, but a “moderate automatic preference for Straight People compared to Gay People”. This might be because I took the homophobia test first, and wasn’t quite used to how it worked. Alternatively I might just have a moderate automatic preference for straight people compared to gay people. Anyway why not take both tests? We could find out who’s the most racist and homophobic Harry’s Place reader. Actually come to think of it I think we already know that, but we could find out who’s second.

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