We have heard this all before. A naked power grab and population displacement masquerading as anti-racism and freedom of movement. Here it is pretty much spelled out by French “activist and author” Rokaya Diallo. We will let her words speak for themselves:
Al Jazeera: In her campaign, Le Pen denounced immigration as a menace and rallied against the European Union. She won more than 30 percent of the vote. What does this mean for France, and what is Macron’s greatest challenge?
Diallo: To pull people together, there is a deep divide here. To make people in the same country feel as though they share the same destiny. People should not feel like there is one part of the population threatening the other.
We need to reframe the way we think of us as French people. It’s not a white Christian country any more and this is something that really needs to be thought about. The narrative should be changed.
We need to reframe the way we think of us as French people. It’s not a white Christian country any more … the narrative should be changed.
Al Jazeera: From immigrants who became citizens decades ago, to citizens born in France whose parents or grandparents have roots in other countries, being universally recognised as French seems to be a challenge. Why is this?
Diallo: The country sees itself as a white country. Everything that is produced as French, in films and television, is white.
I take part in many TV debates and I am always the only minority, mostly the only woman. There is never another minority to take a seat at the table to discuss French issues. There is no political will, or will in the media, to change the image.
France has a deep problem of institutional racism that has its roots in history. We need to face it and address it really clearly.
Al Jazeera: What comparisons can you make between police-led racism in the US and France?
Diallo: I think here, there is denial. If you read the newspapers in the US, you will have very good coverage of police brutality. You know the victims’ names. Here, you won’t read anything. Even when it’s covered, the victims’ race is not mentioned.
A complete inversion of reality. One can read more here if you have the stomach: