"Whose values; who's valued? Race and racialization in Québec" in Journal of Critical Race Inquiry 6 (1), 1-31
The first week of February 2014 saw the tragic deaths of two young people in Québec: Naïma Rharouity, a Muslim woman and mother of two who died following an accident in a metro station and Alain Magloire, a Black man and father of two killed by the Montreal police. Muslim women and Black men are racialized within Québec society in significantly different ways from one another, in life as in death. This article analyzes the reactions to and representations of these two deaths in the specific context of Québec and how they fit into heavily racialized scripts. A Muslim woman is strangled to death when an escalator catches her clothing; her hijab is blamed, making her a victim of her culture and dead because of the scarf she wore on her head. A Black man holding a hammer outside a metro station is deemed as so dangerous, violent, and threatening by armed police officers that he is shot dead. Both were victimized but also blamed for their untimely deaths. The challenges these stories pose disrupt assumptions and demand alternative narratives about racialized bodies. This article reveals the different processes of racialization of Muslim women and Black men, and argues that exposing the internal logic of this comparison promotes critical understanding of the ways in which racialized scripts shape and influence our lives. This further highlights ways to work towards building stronger solidarities to resist and challenge narratives that demand tragic endings for racialized bodies.
Rosalind Hampton is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in the Department of Social Justice. Hampton’s teaching and research include Black radical thought; Black studies at the university level; Black contemporary art and critical creative praxis; and Black women’s autobiography and storytelling.
Other publications from this author include: