Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rama Yade: "Too Many Blacks In French Sports? Perhaps Alain Finkielkraut Had 'A Point'"

From the US political blog Booker Rising. A translation of Rama Yade's comments about the overrepresentation of black players in the national French football team.

The French Secretary of State for Sport and moderate-conservative is uncomfortable with the high numbers of blacks and Arabs in French sport, arguing that it demonstrates lack of opportunity in France:

(commentary in French): "This week I participated in 'Diversity In Action,' a magnificent operation organized each year in Lyon with my friends Ali and Faisal Kismoune Douhane to promote diversity in French society. Around the debate 'Sport and Diversity"' which brought together Pascal Boniface, Olivia Cattan and Jean-Michel Aulas, everyone, including me, was extolling the virtue of inclusive sports. It is true that Marcel Cerdan (French Algerian origin) and Michel Platini (of Italian origin) Yannick Noah (from Cameroon), Mehdi Baala (of North African origin), and the black-white-Arab team players of the 1998 French soccer team, are all children of immigrants who passed through sport and show our young people today who identify themselves, they can escape through sport."

She continues her commentary: "At a point in the debate, I felt a slight discomfort. This relentless promotion of sport as a means of social success struck me as suspicious. Is it not somewhere a symptom of a failed society? As if sport is asked to manage those it no longer wants or has failed to integrate at school or the workforce. As if other than sports, these young immigrant could not do anything else. The legs yes, but not the head. They run so fast....But our young people from immigrant backgrounds would to become a Zidane or Noah, given a high chance of failure because not everyone has the capacity to become a world champion or to win Roland Garros! In short, these young people, could they not also entitled to medical professions, journalists or lawyers? However, it is as if these trades are considered inaccessible, we choose to ghettoize youth of immigrant origin. Without solving the problems of access to the labor market because one cannot remain a top sportsman all his life, who must think of a time or another in his retraining. The labor market always eventually catches up with you, with its problems of discrimination that thought away, turning to the sport."

Secretary Yade brings up Alain Finkielkraut, a conservative French essayist who in 2005 commented that the French soccer team was "black, black, black" (as opposed to black, white, Arab: "Result: young aspiring athletes have never been numerous. Moreover, there is no problem of diversity on the field and in stadiums (in leadership, however, it's tragic!). Quite the reverse. The France soccer team, they say, has eventually, black, black! Damn, is it possible that Alain Finkielkraut has been misunderstood?"

Read original French article here


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