White Niggers of America

Book Review: Vallieres, Pierre (Joan Pinkham, trans.). White Niggers of America. Montreal: Editions Parti Pris, 1968. Prepared by: Sarah Weingarten


In White Niggers of America, Pierre Vallieres presents a two-pronged argument which is at once simple and extremely controversial.

Firstly, he argues that the workers of Quebec (a group that he claims makes up more than 90% of its French population) can rightly be called white niggers of America.

For Vallieres, it is as if the working class of Quebec is living as a colonized people, subject to exploitation by ruling classes, which include a Quebecois elite, a Canadian elite, and a broader international economic elite in which the United States figures prominently.

Secondly, Vallieres argues that action, and furthermore drastic, and militant action, is necessary to change the situation in which the workers of Quebec find themselves.

In addressing his main arguments, Vallieres creates a work which in many ways mirrors the complexity and chaotic quality of politics in Quebec in 1968 (the year in which White Niggers of America was first published.)

A number of issues relevant to the theme of colonialism emerge from this multifaceted discussion. I will deal in turn with Vallieres treatment of several such key themes.

Firstly, Vallieres considers what it means for the workers of Quebec to be white niggers, or in broader terms, what it means to be a subjugated group within a given society.

The use of the word nigger implies a parallel to black people, particularly under conditions of slavery in the United States prior to the Civil War.

Vallieres explicitly develops this parallel, focusing in particular on the assumed inferiority and social denigration of the nigger. He also draws from this parallel the idea that the nigger is typically imported to provide a base of cheap, slave-like labor from which a ruling class can sustain itself.

Another key identifying feature involves power relations; the nigger lacks any kind of control over the structures of political and economic power in his society, yet cannot escape their tremendous influence.

Secondly, Vallieres deals with the role of history in the development of a subjugated class. He discusses the history of Quebec (even before it came to be known as such) at considerable length, and presents historical events as significant factors with lasting effects on working class Quebecers.

Two key points should be noted.

  • Firstly, Vallieres states that the working class in Quebec (or New France at that time) started from a position of disadvantage, particularly those who came from France seeking an escape from the limited possibilities that they faced in that country.

  • Secondly, he argues that from this unenviable position, a number of events occurred to further weaken the working class in Quebec.

    Therefore Vallieres suggests that both historical origins and historical events occurring over time play a major role in creating advantaged and disadvantaged classes.

  • Thirdly, Vallieres addresses the deliberately self-perpetuating nature of power hierarchies, often through the lens of his own experience.

    He argues that a relationship of exploitation, once established, permeates every aspect of society (down to the level of the family and the individual), and therefore becomes very resistant to change. This process is not random, but rather designed by the ruling class to consolidate their power.

  • Fourthly, Vallieres considers the question of how a colonized people should best undertake to deal with the system that exploits them.

    He chronicles his own struggle as a member of the class of Quebecois white niggers, identifying a number of the strategies that he himself attempted as ultimately ineffective or insufficient to initiate meaningful change.

    Ultimately, Vallieres concludes that education, theory, ideology, law, and anything else that is part of (or a product of) existing societal structures will fail to rectify unfair subjugation.

    Therefore, the only way to change the circumstances of the white niggers of Quebec is to overthrow the system that exploits them, eliminating in particular the economic, administrative, political, subjective and intellectual conditions that it imposes.

    Quebec Nationalism

    It is sometimes hard for English Canadians to grasp how deeply many French Canadians feel the loss of control over their identity.

    A generation ago, it was summed up in a book by FLQ philosopher Pierre Vallieres, who compared the plight of Quebecers to the oppression of blacks in the United States in his book White Niggers of America.

    In his manifesto, Vallieres discussed the determination of the workers in Quebec to put an end to three centuries of exploitation, of injustices borne in silence, of sacrifices accepted in vain; to bear witness to their new and increasingly energetic determination to take control of their economic, political, and social affairs (1971).

    Although most French Canadians do not see themselves as victims of slavery, most do believe they and their culture have been subjected by oppression at the hands of English Canada.

    Quebec nationalism finds its roots in a nation's struggle to protect its culture, its language, and ultimately its identity.

    In the eyes of nationalists, the term province serves to equate Quebec with Canadas other territorial units when in fact, for many francophones, Quebec is not just a province with a difference, it is a nation and deserving of recognition.

    ---Whether or not anyone agrees with Vallieres is not the issue, the issue is to read about Quebec History and understand how and why Nationalism occurs in some countries.

    EU attacks 'Buy American' clause

    Nationalism in the United States


    Following is the full text of the FLQ Manifesto, wherein Le Front de liberation du Quebec believed in 1970 in the full liberation of their people.

    What Le Front de liberation du Quebec failed to include in their Manifesto, was to dump The French Civil Code, which is the biggest cripler of equity and fairness and subsequently democracy.

    What the FLQ's Manifesto produced in Quebec is over 23,000 lawyers, belonging to Le Barreau du Quebec. Now that's a group of citizens who have no respect for workers and in fact are everything the FLQ despised.

    Manifesto of the FLQ (1970)

    Posted: September 08, 2009, 4:01 PM by Karen Hawthorne

    canada politics

    Following is the full text of the FLQ Manifesto:

    The Front de liberation du Quebec is not a messiah, nor a modern-day Robin Hood. It is a group of Quebec workers who have decided to use every means to make sure that the people of Quebec take control of their destiny.

    The Front de liberation du Quebec wants the total independence of all Quebecois, united in a free society, purged forever of the clique of voracious sharks, the patronizing "big bosses" and their henchmen who have made Quebec their hunting preserve for "cheap labour" and unscrupulous exploitation.

    The Front de liberation du Quebec is not a movement of aggression, but is a response to the aggression organized by high finance and the puppet governments in Ottawa and Quebec (the Brinks "show," Bill 63, the electoral map, the so-called social progress tax, Power Corporation, "Doctors' insurance," the Lapalme guys ...)

    The Front de liberation du Quebec finances itself by "voluntary taxes" taken from the same enterprises that exploit the workers (banks, finance companies, etc. ...)

    "The money power of the status quo, the majority of the traditional teachers of our people, have obtained the reaction they hoped for; a backward step rather than the change for which we have worked as never before, for which we will continue to work" ( Rene Levesque, April 29, 1970) .

    We believed once that perhaps it would be worth it to channel our energy and our impatience, as Rene Levesque said so well, into the Parti Quebecois, but the Liberal victory clearly demonstrated that that which we call democracy in Quebec is nothing but the democracy of the rich.

    The Liberal party's victory was nothing but the victory of the election riggers, Simard-Cotroni.

    As a result, the British parliamentary system is finished and the Front de liberation du Quebec will never allow itself to be fooled by the pseudo-elections that the Anglo-Saxon capitalists toss to the people of Quebec every four years.

    A number of Quebecois have understood and will act. In the coming year Bourassa will have to face reality; 100,000 revolutionary workers, armed and organized.

    Yes, there are reasons for the Liberal victory. Yes, there are reasons for poverty, unemployment, slums, and for the fact that you, Mr Bergeron of Visitation Street and you, Mr Legendre of Laval who earn $ 10,000 a year, will not feel free in our country of Quebec.

    Yes, there are reasons, and the guys at Lord know them, the fishermen of the Gaspe, the workers of the North Shore, the miners for the Iron Ore Company, Quebec Cartier Mining, and Noranda, also know these reasons. And the brave workers of Cabano that you tried to screw again know lots of reasons.

    Yes, there are reasons why you, Mr Tremblay of Panet Street and you Mr Cloutier, who work in construction in St Jerome, cannot pay for "Vaisseaux d'or" with all the jazz and oom-pa-pa like Drapeau the aristocrat, who is so concerned with slums that he puts coloured billboards in front of them to hide our misery from the tourists.

    Yes, there are reasons why you, Mrs Lemay of St Hyacinthe, can't pay for little trips to Florida like our dirty judges and parliamentary members do with our money.

    The brave workers for Vickers and Davie Ship, who were thrown out and not given a reason, know these reasons.

    And the Murdochville men, who were attacked for the simple and sole reason that they wanted to organize a union and who were forced to pay $2 million by the dirty judges simply because they tried to exercise this basic right - they know justice and they know the reasons.

    Yes, there are reasons why you, Mr Lachance of St Marguerite Street, must go and drown your sorrows in a bottle of that dog's beer, Molson. And you, Lachance's son, with your marijuana cigarettes ...

    Yes, there are reasons why you, the welfare recipients, are kept from generation to generation on social welfare. Yes, there are all sorts of reasons, and the Domtar workers in East Angus and Windsor know them well. And the workers at Squibb and Ayers, and the men at the Liquor Board and those at Seven-Up and Victoria Precision, and the blue collar workers in Laval and Montreal and the Lapalme boys know those reasons well.

    The Dupont of Canada workers know them as well, even if soon they will only be able to express them in English (thus assimilated they will enlarge the number of immigrants and New Quebeckers, the darlings of Bill 63 ).

    And the Montreal policemen, those strongarms of the system, should understand these reasons - they should have been able to see we live in a terrorized society because, without their force, without their violence, nothing could work on October 7.

    We have had our fill of Canadian federalism which penalizes the Quebec milk producers to satisfy the needs of the Anglo-Saxons of the Commonwealth;

    the system which keeps the gallant Montreal taxi drivers in a state of semi-slavery to shamefully protect the exclusive monopoly of the nauseating Murray Hill and its proprietor - the murderer Charles Hershorn and his son Paul, who, on the night of October 7, repeatedly grabbed the twelve-gauge shot gun from his employees hands to fire upon the taxi drivers and thereby mortally wound corporal Dumas, killed while demonstrating.

    We have had our fill of a federal system which exercises a policy of heavy importation while turning out into the street the low wage-earners in the textile and shoe manufacturing trades, who are the most ill-treated in Quebec, for the benefit of a clutch of damned money-makers in their Cadillacs who rate the Quebec nation on the same level as other ethnic minorities in Canada.

    We have had our fill, as have more and more Quebecois, of a government which performs a-thousand-and-one acrobatics to charm American millionaires into investing in Quebec, La Belle Province, where thousands and thousands of square miles of forests, full of game and well-stocked lakes, are the exclusive preserve of the almighty twentieth century lords.

    We have had our fill of a hypocrite like Bourassa who relies on Brinks armoured trucks, the living symbol of the foreign occupation of Quebec, to keep the poor natives of Quebec in the fear of misery and unemployment in which they are accustomed to living.

    We have had our fill of taxes which the Ottawa representative to Quebec wants to give to the Anglophone bosses to encourage them to speak French, old boy, to negotiate in French: Repeat after me: "Cheap labour means manpower in a healthy market."

    We have had our fill of promises of jobs and prosperity while we always remain the cowering servants and boot-lickers of the big shots who live in Westmount, Town of Mount Royal, Hampstead, and Outremont;

    all the fortresses of high finance on St James and Wall streets, while we, the Quebecois, have not used all our means, including arms and dynamite, to rid ourselves of these economic and political bosses who are prepared to use every sort of sordid tactic to better screw us.

    We live in a society of terrorized slaves, terrorized by the big bosses like Steinberg, Clark, Bronfman, Smith, Neaple, Timmins, Geoffrion, J. L. Levesque, Hershorn, Thompson, Nesbitt, Desmarais, Kierans.

    Compared to them Remi Popol the lousy no-good, Drapeau the Dog, Bourassa the lackey of the Simards, and Trudeau the fairy are peanuts.

    We are terrorized by the capitalist Roman church, even though this seems less and less obvious (who owns the property on which the stock exchange stands?);

    by the payments to pay back Household Finance;

    by the publicity of the overlords of retail trade like Eaton, Simpson, Morgan, Steinberg, and General Motors;

    we are terrorized by the closed circles of science and culture which are the universities and by their bosses like Gaudry and Dorais and by the underling Robert Shaw.

    The number of those who realize the oppression of this terrorist society are growing and the day will come when all the Westmounts of Quebec will disappear from the map.

    Production workers, miners, foresters, teachers, students, and unemployed workers, take what belong to you, your jobs, your right to decide, and your liberty.

    And you, workers of General Electric, it's you who makes your factories run, only you are capable of production; without you General Electric is nothing!

    Workers of Quebec, start today to take back what is yours; take for yourselves what belongs to you. Only you know your factories, your machines, your hotels, your universities, your unions. Don't wait for an organizational miracle.

    Make your own revolution in your areas, in your places of work. And if you don't do it yourselves, other usurpers, technocrats and so on will replace the handful of cigar smokers we now know, and everything will be the same again. Only you are able to build a free society.

    We must fight, not singly, but together. We must fight until victory is ours with all the means at our disposal as did the patriots of 1837-38 (those whom our sacred Mother church excommunicated to sell out to the British interests).

    In the four corners of Quebec, may those who have been contemptuously called lousy French and alcoholics start fighting their best against the enemies of liberty and justice and prevent all the professional swindlers and robbers, the bankers, the businessmen, the judges, and the sold-out politicators from causing harm.

    We are the workers of Quebec and we will continue to the bitter end.

    We want to replace the slave society with a free society, functioning by itself and for itself; a society open to the world.

    Our struggle can only lead to victory. You cannot hold an awakening people in misery and contempt indefinitely. Long live Free Quebec!

    Long live our imprisoned political comrades. Long live the Quebec revolution!

    Long live the Front de liberation du Quebec.

    1999 Claude Belanger, Marianopolis College


    American Suicide /Canadian Suicide?

    America or Canada?

    Following is an email received on September 26, 2010:

    We know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado.

    In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant.

    Last week there was an immigration overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of America 's finest minds and leaders.

    A brilliant college professor by the name of Victor Hansen Davis talked about his latest book, Mexifornia explaining how immigration - both legal and illegal was destroying the entire state of California.

    He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.

    Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America.

    The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States.

    He said, 'If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let's destroy America. It is not that hard to do.

    No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that 'An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.''

    'Here is how they do it,' Lamm said:

    'First, to destroy America, turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country.

    History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures.

    It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual.

    The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: 'The histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy.'

    Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, and Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence.

    Pakistan and Cyprushave divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, Corsicans and Muslims.'

    Lamm went on:

    'Second, to destroy America, invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture.

    Make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal; that there are no cultural differences.

    Make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds.

    'Third, we could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort.

    The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity.

    As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: 'The apparent success of our own multi-ethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony.

    Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentriy and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.'

    Lamm said, 'I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture.

    I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor.

    It is important to en sure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities.'

    'Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated.

    I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population.

    I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school.'

    'My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money.

    I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.'

    I would get all minorities to think that their lack of success was the fault of the majority.

    I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority.'

    'My sixth plan for America 's downfall would include dual citizenship, and promote divided loyalties.

    I would celebrate diversity over unity.

    I would stress differences rather than similarities.

    Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that is, when they are not killing each other.

    A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent.

    People undervalue the unit y it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks.

    The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games.

    A common enemy, Persia , threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to overcome two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. 'E. Pluribus Unum' -- From many, one.

    In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the 'pluribus' instead of the 'Unum,' we will 'Balkanize' America as surely as Kosovo.'

    'Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits. Make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking.

    Words like 'racist' or 'xenophobe' halt discussion and debate.

    Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multiculturalism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws.

    I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them.'

    In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed.

    Finally he said, 'Lastly, I would censorVictor Hanson Davis' book 'Mexifornia.' His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book.'

    There was no applause.

    A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference. Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today.

    Discussion is being suppressed.

    Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness.

    Even barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate 'diversity.'

    American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America

    Take note of California and other states.

    To date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast.

    It is reminiscent of George Orwell's book '1984.' In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: 'War is peace,' 'Freedom is slavery,' and 'Ignorance is strength.'

    Governor Lamm walked back to his seat.

    It dawned on everyone at the conference that our nation and the future of this great democracy is deeply in trouble and worsening fast.

    If we don't get this immigration monster stopped within three years, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.

    If you care for and love our country as I do, take the time to pass this on just as I did for you.

    NOTHING will happen to change things if you don't!

  • Justice is a conscience, not a personal conscience but conscience of the whole of the humanity.
    Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of Justice.
    Alexander Solzhenitsyn