French MP Harlem Désir set to become first black man to lead a major European political party

Via Euromight
The French Euro MP Harlem Désir appears certain next month to become the first black man to lead a major European political party.

After weeks of wrangling, Mr Désir, 52, was today named as the official choice of the hierarchy of the French Socialist party to replace Martine Aubry as its “first secretary” or national leader. The ruling party’s annual conference, set to take place between 26 and 28 October, is expected to endorse the choice overwhelmingly, giving Mr Désir a position once held by the late President François Mitterrand, the former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and the current President, François Hollande.

Mr Désir is seen as a safe pair of hands and competent administrator rather than a man likely to emerge as Mr Hollande’s successor as a “French Obama” or the Next Big thing on the Left. His choice is, nonetheless, a significant event in a country in which racial minorities have only recently started to play leading political roles.

Born “Jean-Philippe” in Paris in 1959, with a West Indian father and a Jewish mother, Mr Désir emerged in the 1980s as a Trotskyist, student and anti-racist activist (he was the founder of S.O.S Racism). He changed his first name to “Harlem” in homage to African-American political leaders. Read the full story at

Check out photos of his activist history at


France appoints three blacks as cabinet Ministers! But it didn't come easy


  1. This reaffirms what I have witnessed and believed for a long, long time; since my early teenage years: The more "conservative" the government in power, the greater will be the climate of anti-Blackness and negrophobia....... Harlem Desir becomes the leader of the Socialist party in France.

    As I stated at this site before, in ALL the Latin American countries, probably in most European countries, (certainly in this specific French case), and definitely in the United States, white political leadership is most ardently racist against Black people the more right-of-center their politics. The closer they espouse left-of-center, Socialist-leaning policies, the less (openly) racist. This, of course, is a generality, but uncanningly true in many cases.

  2. This goes with something I have seen too. Mix-raced black people are more proud of being minorities than Africans. This guy can teach these African actors in France to stop kissing French people's butts. Barack Obama can teach David Lammy, an African in England, that he can stop kissing up to bigots in the UK.

    Malcolm X was the same way.

  3. Oh sweet truth2011, you always have such a friendly, joyful and nice comments, and you have such a positive attitude. It's amazingly marvelous. Without your optimistic, understanding and cheerful contribution I would be such an embittered indivdiual.

    1. It's an ugly, inconvenient truth, but it is still the truth. Barack Obama should hate black people, but he doesn't. Compare that with people like Thomas Ngijol and Omar Sy, who aren't even supposed to be in France. It go so bad that White Americans were trying to ban that racist movie that Sy did from coming here. And Ngijol made a movie making fun of slavery and he's not even a descendant of slaves.

    2. Oh truth2011, I'm so glad you make us all aware that the inconvenient truth is so much more intelligible than the complicated and complex reality some try to explain with a nuanced perspective. But no, it's all very simple. Thanks to you I can only see how all that talk of different cultures and perspectives is misleading. Thanks to you I can finnaly be happy in life and know what is wrong from what is right. Thank you so much for this deep insight and enriching contributions! I hope you can enlighten all people around you with these great point of vues. You are sooo SMART!

    3. It's an observation that I have seen.

      A Haitian American, Mia Love, came to the US and joined a religion that's racist against blacks saying that we're inferior and that dark skin is a curse. When people confront her about her church's views, she says that she's an American first. This is a clear disassociation of herself with her race, because she thinks her nationality supersedes her race. That makes no sense; we're all Americans, but we're not all one race and that's the deciding factor in this country, not your American-ness. This country would be free from conflict if we all saw each other as Americans.

      Her experience is the same with Seal (African), Ballotelli (African) and countless of other Africans in Europe. Don't remind them that they're not European -- they love them some white women which truly is fine with me. Most black Americans wouldn't be here if it wasn't for interracial mixing. But, when all you go after is interracial relationships what does that say about you? When you make films making fun of slavery and taking on racist, stereotypical roles to make a quick buck (or Euro) in France? What does that say about how you see yourself? When you're making films so racist in Europe, you have WHITE AMERICANS calling for the film to be BANNED here in America?

      Africans in France have written on here about their fellow Africans. They like being African because they stick out; they don't like being Africans behind closed doors, though.

      Lammy Davis, an African in the UK, says he looks up to Barack Obama. Davis couldn't be further from Obama. Obama is proud of who he is and knows he's what he is which is all the more powerful when you consider what black people have done (and haven't done) in Obama's life. He really should hate black people. Malcolm X was mixed race and very pro-black. I wonder what he'd think of blacks if we were doing what Africans are doing in Europe, but in America. The same as MP Harlem Desir -- he grew up in France yet doesn't even see himself as a mixed race person but a black person. How did these people become more in touch with who they are in society when someone like a Lammy Davis, who says he admires Obama, is African and goes from fat white woman to fat white woman?

      Go to Europe. Do you see more Africans-with-Africans or Africans-with-whites more? Why is like that? Why is it the exact opposite of blacks in America or even blacks in Brazil?

    4. I hear what you are saying Anonymous but as far as mixed raced (black and white) folks are concerned, it seems like you are suggesting that they SHOULD choose a black identity over a bi-racial one, or even a white one, as a way of affirming or proving their black pride. If that is what you are saying, I don’t know if that is quite fair.

      Now, I am of mixed black (American) and white (European) heritage, but I CHOOSE to identify as a black man before anything else. I think being raised within a particularly limited and restrictive American and Swedish racial context greatly influenced that choice. In both societies, at most, I’m seen as Black and at the very least, non-white. The really interesting thing is that legally, at one point in America, I wouldn't have had a choice in how I identified myself; the American government would have given me a Negro identity. Now the 1 drop rule may be legally obsolete in most cases these days, but socially, it still lives on. In the first place, the whole point behind that foolishness was to box and limit people with any African descent into a singular and subordinate identity regardless of admixture. In Sweden, Swedish-ness is still immovably connected to whiteness. So, even if people don’t know what my precise racial admixture is, they know visually that I am not white and by default, not Swedish, even though I have a Swedish last name and a Swedish passport. So, because of my phenotype and how I am perceived, I have no choice but to be black, mixed or non-white. My home countries only afford me those limited categories, and of those, I have chosen blackness in large part because I identify more readily with black American culture than Swedish (which to them is, by default, white) culture. When it comes down to it, my "choices" were already pre-selected and historically prescribed.

      We must remember that every country sees race differently. The US concept of race is perhaps the most unique in the world. In countries like Spain and France, there were extensive social castes and hierarchies based on racial admixture to limit and restrict non-white bodies that emanated from the same racist foundation that the 1 drop rule did in America. And yes, those hierarchies did entrench a lot of self-loathing, self-deprecation and a reluctance to be “BLACK” or African in those who were of mixed heritage because socially and politically, blackness was stifling and disenfranchising. HOWEVER, I don’t believe that just because someone chooses to identify as mixed or bi-racial over a black identity, that he is self-loathing or is trying to distance himself from his blackness. Because technically, a bi-racial person should have the choice to identify as black, mixed, or white and in some countries, cultures and societies, that is perfectly ok and plausible but in America, it’s out of the question. At one point, to “pass” as white in some places in the US, even if one obviously had substantial white blood, was illegal. America forced anyone with any African descent to be black, and that, in and of itself, was racist and unfair. And as a counter rallying point to strengthen and form solidarity amongst non-whites with African descent, BLACK became the default and eventually, preferable identity regardless of phenotype for anyone of African descent in America. That unique and very localized history does not inform the social and cultural politics of other nations and so I don’t think it’s fair, in this case, to expect Europeans of African descent to CHOOSE blackness over other identities. I do think that having a solidified, unified, specific cultural/racial voice, as was done in the US, can be powerful politically but I don’t know if it should be an imperative.

    5. I take this particular "Anonymous" is Truth 2011? Well, I agree 100% with everything you have said here!

      It's a very touchy, uber sensitive subject to tackle, but experience shows, time and time again, that many Black Africans in Europe (and especially in the United States), HAVE acted in ways that would cause them to be labeled sell-outs!

      In the United States, I have observed how many Nigerians, especially, (my brother-in-law was Nigerian so I know this immigrant community well) seem to gloat in a perceived "better acceptance" by white Americans than native African Americans. They receive the idea from whites that black Africans are a "cut above" native African-Americans and literally go out of their way to accentuate their "differentness" in order to gain approval from whites.

      Very, very rarely have I seen Nigerians (or continental Africans in general) at protest rallies with African-Americans---protesting against common oppression and a common oppressor,--- but that's the way it is. They enjoy the "privilege" of believing that white Americans like them better, and so that's enough for them.

      I've observed the same behaviors with Haitian immigrants and Black West Indians vis-a-vis Black Americans and their status in the American racial caste system. The liberating teachings of Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Queen Mother Moore, Leopold Senghor, Aime Cesaire and so many, many other Black men and women who have preached Black unity---economic and social, are ignored by these foreign-born Blacks. I guess Divide and Conquer is in full swing at the cusp of 2013. And who "wins" in this destructive agenda? Sigh......

    6. Hi John, what happens between “African-Americans have such a rich culture” and “I don’t want be called an African-American”. I’m just curious.

      Of course I know that black people from other countries tend to stay within their own group in the US, although I know of black European and African-American marriages, but I always hear the same stereotypical reasons.

      And what do you mean with "their status in the American racial caste system"? I also have African-American family, but I never bring up this issue, so perhaps you can help me out on this issue.

    7. Oh, Afro-Europe, you really want to get into the nastiness of America's racial insanity, don't you? Well it's not for the fainthearted, I'll assure you! LOL!

      What I meant by the American racial caste system is the following: Even though the African-American community, collectively, is the wealthiest, most highly educated and globally-influential of all "African" peoples, these pluses are ALWAYS intentionally ignored and trumped by the loud, overbearing rhetoric that African-Americans are all criminals, will shoot and kill you, don't take advantage of educational opportunities, don't value their families, are lazy and only want to live off of government monetary assistance, and all other anti-social accusations ad nauseum. Often this comes with an addendum: Black foreigners_____fill in the blank; it can be ANY group of Black foreigners, East Indians with coal-black complexions, all Asians, and you name it, are "promoted" to be "Better Citizens" and model success stories compared to native Black Americans. Again: This in the face of the reality of thousands of African-Americans with multiple college degrees, large bank accounts, stable families, and, truly exemplary Americans, but their voices and images are ALWAYS drowned out!

      So what happens is that the powerful American media, stealthily and very-much-knowing what it is doing, projects the image of the African-American as being the "lowest of the low" on the social totem pole---IN SPITE OF our collective and individual achievements! No matter how much one attempts to argue that there is a large Black American middle class, there are numerous Black American elected officials, politicians, doctors, lawyers, and all facets of "advanced" civilized life, the image of the Black underachiever overshadows everything else.

      So the Black immigrant comes to the U.S., enrolls in an engineering program at college, graduates, manages to live the "American Dream", he/she concomitantly becomes aware that White America makes a clear distinction between he and the "native". He becomes aware that many white Americans, who have a very uneasy relationship with their African-American compatriots, actually feel more comfortable and at ease with this Black foreigner. Therefore it is so common to hear so many Blacks from other countries declare as if proclaiming an emancipation proclamation: "Don't confuse me with an African-American! I do not act barbaric like them!" (By the way, I have heard this from many, many Haitians in South Florida; the people from the poorest country in all the Western hemisphere; from Ethiopians; people from one of the poorest countries on the entire planet and living under very few human rights; and, being able to speak, read and write Spanish fluently, eavesdropping on Spanish-speakers' conversations I'm hearing it out of the mouths of starving-poor Mexican immigrants.

      Has White America constructed a racial/racist caste system that systematically deconstructs any type of meaningful Pan-Black and even less---People of Color unity? You better believe it! Sadly, that's where we're at in these UN-United States of America at the threshold of 2013, Afro-Europe. The agenda goes something like this: The closer one can get to gaining the pseudo acceptance of white Americans, (mentally, at best!) the more one can feel they're "really Americans", or are a "favored ethnic group". And the way to this is to distance oneself from the label of being "African-American" matter how black African the individual may be.

    8. John, thanks for the answer. I unfortunately have read and heard about these negative stories you mentioned. I luckily also know African-American families who are doing very well, so I know that there are two sides to this story. But have to admit that the image of African-Americans as dancers, rappers and criminals is an image which is broadcasted world wide. So your comment helps in changing that perspective.

  4. Blkviking: I think your situation is different than mixed race European's situations. Black Americans have an unmistakable bond that they don't have: slavery. You might have a white parent, but your black parent is a descendant of slavery and oppression and persecution is a powerful tool to keep people united against "the oppressors," even if one of "the oppressors" might be a parent.

    Swedish Americans don't call themselves Swedish Americans. German Americans don't call themselves German Americans. Both call themselves white. But Italian Americans and Irish Americans note their ancestry. Why is that? That's because, like black Americans, they were persecuted as a group and they hold onto their identities.

    Religions work this way too. Judaism especially with its belief that the world is against them; it works; it keeps Jews together if they feel like they're being persecuted.

    After all you are technically mixed race. I am technically mixed race. Malcolm X is technically mixed race. Obama is technically mixed race. Halle Berry is technically mixed race. Alicia Keys is technically mixed race. Vanessa Williams is technically mixed race. But why don't we classify ourselves as that? I'd say it has to do with our history in The New World as descendants of slaves in a recently-racist country.

    I was going to say this in the post above. My dentist is half-black and half-Iranian, like Obama's aide Valerie Jarrett. Both, my dentist and Obama's aide, were born in Iran and lived there when they were young. Both have fond memories of Iran. How is it that their world view has them classifying themselves as black (not "mixed" or "Iranian") and a lot of Africans in Europe behave as if they don't want to be known as being African? I don't understand that. And it's not all Africans. (FYI: The Africans I know in America are nothing like this at all. They don't have identity issues.)

  5. Sorry, it's not Lammy Davis. It's David Lammy and he's an MP in the UK. He aays he admires Obama. Obama, thankfully, is nothing like him.

  6. John:

    Thanks for the note. There's an Ethiopian on here that lives in America that chided a movie for cutting back on its racist dialogue. This dialogue was racist towards black Americans. She said that these racist comments were pulled due to "racial sensitivities" and that she'd like to see the movie in its entirety.

    Racial sensitivities!!!

    I told her the only thing that I thought was appropriate: she can take her ass back to Africa.

    1. Thank you Truth2011, your teaching is amazing!
      And you were so right to tell this girl to go back to Africa, event though you and her are black, meaning that you and her are supposedly coming from Africa and even if her mother is African-American like you "forgot" to mention.
      Now with all that you incredibly well observed, what are you conclusion on those Africans? Are they subhumans? Are African-Americans the best black on earth? Do you think every black person should be get some mixing in their lineage in order to advance the black race?
      Because just like you, I think those darkskinned black africans and all those who look like them are just ugly monkeys!
      And they are retarded. Just like you I think they should take example on Josephine Baker, Halle Berry, Tiger Wood and yourself. You all are great symbols of Black pride. I think we should go back to the paper bag test in the black community. What you think?
      I can wait to read your answer.

    2. Hey Truth2011,
      I remember the person who was at the blog "for a minute". You and she went back and forth about "appearances/physical features" of Omar Sy, I believe, and then Poof! she was gone. I hope she didn't feel uncomfortable here.

      Can I make a suggestion? Instead of using Anonymous why not just "update" your handle to Truth2012 or Truth2013, even? :-) Even though I can follow your posts using Anonymous, there are others who come to the blog with ill intention and say all sorts of improper disruptive things under the obscurity of being anonymous. Not good.

      The benefits of using a handle, or in my case I use my real name and never have or will use "anonymous", is that in doing so you let it be known that you proudly stand behind your comments and have the courage to let all know it. Anyway, just a suggestion.

    3. John: I'm having issues with my browser, Google Chrome. I csn't even log into my account that I usually post under.

      Can you imagine a black person telling us that we're too sensitive when a racist movie comes out? I can't. So, I told her to go back to Africa and she can talk about all the African movies she wants to.

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