"I want to say I'm sorry. It's divisive any time you (make it) about French and English in our country. But I didn't intend to go down that path."
Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean's comments last night were disgraceful and idiotic. On Twitter, I labelled his spiel "blatantly xenophobic," because he feared that a Francophone referee (not even from the Montreal area) would favour the Canadiens because...who cares about his logic, it's ridiculous. My accountant doesn't cheat when he files his own taxes because he's a professional.
He quickly apologized but accusations of racism flew instantly on Twitter and in the pages of La Presse and Le Journal de Montreal this morning.
When you call someone a "racist" publicly, you better be damn sure that you know for a fact that this person has displayed a pattern of racist behaviour. It's a loaded charge that sticks with people for years, decades even. Pundits have cheapened what is a very ugly charge and use it too often without restraint; it's why I didn't call Charter of Values promoters racists, because there's no way to prove they are all racists - it would be a lazy assumption on my part. If someone called me a racist in public, I'd sue them and I wouldn't be nice about it.
In order to be racist, in my view, you need to a) believe you are of a different race than the person you're victimizing and b) harbour ill will against the victim's race and view their race as inferior to your own. I haven't seen evidence that MacLean is a racist; he is, however, a boring broadcaster who lends what's perceived to be credibility to Coach's Corner to moderate Don Cherry's barbarism and incoherent caveman ramblings (Cherry has made comments that are a lot closer to racism than MacLean's from last night).
Reading old, white, privileged Christian Anglo-Canadians argue with old, white, privileged Christian Franco-Canadians about whether or not an old, white privileged Christian Anglo-Canadian broadcaster's silly comments on hockey officiating meets no one's rational definition of a debate on racism. Grow the hell up, people. The world is an ugly place filled with plenty of actual racism; this nonsense doesn't even show up on the radar.
That being said, Cherry should have been fired years ago, along with MacLean for enabling his nonsense. Is MacLean a racist? Let's work on the safe assumption that he isn't because I don't know for sure and neither do you.