Thursday, September 2, 2010

France: Racism and Politics

"Nowadays in France, like in Africa, when politicians need a boost in popularity or want to cast a wider political net, they make an appeal into the most primal instincts of the voters: ethnic identity", writes Global Voice contributor Abdoulaye Bah about French president Sarkozy.

In a very interesting post he analyses the situation of ethnic minorities in France, and the response to the recent riots in Grenoble.

In his story Bah quotes The blog lalignegenerale about Sarkozy's proposol that the nationality be revoked for the people of foreign origins when attempting to take the lives of a policeman, gendarme or any representative of the public authority.

« I won't dwell on the ubuesque notion of ”of foreign origin”. Because when exactly does “foreign origin” start? In the spirit of this measure, how many generations have to had passed on before one is protected from losing its citizenship? Does the president have criteria he'd like offer? Maybe a (DNA) Test ? And if by any chance the members of the Constitutional Council, State Coucil or the parliament were to approve of this inane proposition, what would then become of the no-longer citizens? Since they don't have a substitute nationality, what kind of legal vacuum would then fall into ? Former Frenchmen? Stateless people? As the president put it, since the “machine that provides nationality no longer works”, will it now produce stateless citizens?

The worst part is that at the end of the day, if this proposal is a serious one and not just some political fronting to win back some votes from Marine Le Pen ( ed. note: far right leader), then it would contradict three sacred axioms engraved in the founding texts of our republic: the Program of the National Council of the Resistance in May 15 1944, the Declaration of the Human Rights in 1948 and the Constitution of 1958.

As soon as those measures were announced, the daily newspaper le Figaro published an opinion poll conducted by IFOP that proclaimed the results he was hoping to see: that the majority of the French people shared his views on domestic security.

Read full story here


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