Brathwaite censor? | The Montreal Newspaper


Ten years ago, the biography of Normand Brathwaite, written by Isabelle Massé, appeared. But if I talked to you today on the radio about this book, I wouldn’t be able to pronounce the title. Otherwise I would risk a rebuke from the CRTC.

The biography of my friend Normand (black artist), written by Isabelle Massé (black journalist), bears the title of a nod to a book by Dany Laferrière (black writer): Brathwaite, How to work like a nigga without getting tired.


You realize? Ten years ago Normand and Isabelle found it normal and fun to wink at Laferrière’s book using the “n-word”. How the world has changed in just 3650 days!

Last week, the CRTC ordered Radio-Canada to apologize for using the “n word” on a radio show where a columnist mentioned the book. white negroes of america by Pierre Vallieres.

Since then, the Quebec Federation of Professional Journalists has condemned this “dangerous precedent that imposes on media censorship as exaggerated as it is unjustified.”

And on Friday, in an open letter, thirteen media personalities, including Bernard Derome and former Radio-Canada ombudsmen, also denounced the CRTC’s decision.

One thing in particular shocks me about the CRTC’s decision. This is when the federal agency accuses the Crown Corporation of not having “shown enough respect and sensitivity towards the communities affected by the term.” But who judges what upsets “the communities concerned”?

Aren’t Isabelle Massé, Normand Brathwaite and Dany Laferrière part of these “affected communities”?

For Spicy aperitif, the podcast that I lead with Richard Martineau, we received Normand Brathwaite at home on May 18th. In this episode that you can listen to on QUB Radio from Thursday this week, Normand tells us, about the title of his biography, that when it comes to “n-word”, the context changes everything. It all depends on what you put in front of the word “n”.

I would like to recommend CRTC members to listen to this podcast. But I have a question for them: How should I, as an interviewer, tell Normand Brathwaite the title of his biography … without naming it?

Do you have what it says on the back cover of Normand’s biography? “Actor, improviser, comedian, comedian, host and musician, Normand Brathwaite has undeniably marked our television and radio history. We are far from the negro on duty … “.

It’s crazy how things can change in ten years …


In closing, a word on the “artist” who initiated the complaint against Radio-Canada which led to the decision of the CRTC.

He is a musician I have already mentioned in my column, because he dared to seriously ask the question “Does Quebec love only white artists? He was also one of the leaders of the resistance against the game SLAVIC.

In short, a Permanent Victims subscriber who sees racism everywhere.

But this time, this activist has waged a battle that threatens the freedom of expression of all Quebecers, regardless of their skin color.


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