The Desjardins affair: it’s time to calm down and react!

The Desjardins affair: it’s time to calm down and react!
The Desjardins affair: it’s time to calm down and react!

This year, National Patriots Day was shaken up by a poster installed in several Desjardins branches. We could see a flag of Canada there, a mark of both anachronism and a lack of sensitivity.

On social networks, we will have noted at least two types of reactions.

On the one hand, many people have not hesitated to express their dissatisfaction, some going so far as to threaten to move their accounts to another institution.

Then there is the other reaction which one might be tempted to describe as serene.

Silent reaction

Indeed, during a long sunny weekend, nothing is more pleasant than spending time with family and treating yourself to a little respite. However, it could be that there is something other than a completely circumstantial detachment behind the silent reaction of a large part of Quebecers.

On social networks, the favorite proverbs of our legendary indulgence accumulated: “to err is human”, “live and let live” or the classic “it’s not the end of the world”.

Obviously, a poorly designed poster is not the end of the world.

But what if this poster was a sign of our total numbness?

Because Desjardins may say that its management did not approve the poster, the process is still easy to imagine: a graphic designer designed the poster, sent it to the printer who sent it to the branches which then naturally mobilized employees to install it.

When you think about it, the number of people involved in this very small administrative process is relatively high. And, basically, the probability that all these employees are unaware that a poster representing a Canadian flag on National Patriots Day is incoherent is approximately the same as the probability that these same people will coordinately despise the The legacy of these liberators: weak.

There remains the numbness.

Live sighing

Numbness is not exactly ignorance or contempt. To be numb is to live with a sigh. Numbness means choosing your battles and fighting fewer and fewer of them.

In the minds of the Desjardins employees involved in this story, numbness means letting such a poster go by because we let so many things go by on a daily basis and one more is not the end. of the world. In any case, we will just have to say that to err is human. In fact, it may even be the equally numb members of the “Quebec community” who will say it for us. So, don’t panic, why not live and let live?

While full-time indulgence undoubtedly offers some peace of mind, there is a cost to allowing yourself to become numb.

People who refuse to see politics where they are are giving in.

And this incident is deeply political.

Desjardins is not Second Cup or Mountain Dew.

In 1908, at the Youth Congress, Alphonse Desjardins gave a very great speech in which he addressed the importance of dreaming, of defending an ideal and of devoting oneself to the preparation of “the future [et de] the moral grandeur” of Quebec.

In 1990, the Desjardins Movement supported the sovereignty project.

Naturally, 2024 is not 1990 and even less 1908. But the Desjardins Movement has long encouraged the emancipation of Quebecers. Today, we come across a poster with a bicycle or another with a flag of Canada on the day when we highlight freedom and emancipation. This cannot be invented.

The next few years will be very political in Quebec.

It might be time to sober up before passing out.

Rémi Villemure, author and holder of a master’s degree in history

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