She said British newspaper The Times, Monday 15 March 2021, The attempt by French President Emmanuel Macron to promote examples of immigrant communities has been criticized. Given that she included white personalities, to indicate a new chapter of “racism”, although her goal is to combat it.
Nadia Hay, Minister of Cities Politics, had published an official list of 318 people designed to represent the “diversity of France” in street names, after Macron said that current street and building names discriminate against ethnic minorities.
Where the 318 French personalities of foreign origin will be honored, by launching their names on some French streets, buildings, squares and public spaces.
This step comes in the midst of international demonstrations and anti-racism protests that have been in solidarity with the case of the young black American George Floyd, and in light of the many accusations that have followed Macron and his country are racist.
Belonging to the traditional Parisian establishment
Louis-Georges Ten, president of the Representative Council of Black Associations in France, said, “The idea was good in principle. But in practice, the list seemed more like a call to names from the traditional Parisian establishment. Many of the names were white people, 79.” % Of the names were men, and all of these names appeared on the list, because they immigrated to France from other European countries.
While “Ten” admitted that “there aren’t actually many Arabs and people of black skin on this list. It is clear that even when they try to promote pluralism, they practice discrimination,” noting that “minorities were excluded from the selection process. And if the message is supposed to say” They are trying to promote pluralism, no one will assimilate it. “
The list included the Irish writer Samuel Beckett, Italian fashion designer Pierre Cardin, the Spanish artist Picasso, the singer of Armenian origin Charles Aznavour, and the famous Belgian artist Annie Corde, in addition to some fashion designers, including Cardin and Nina Rich, were born in Italy, and Cristobal Balanciaga , Who arrived in Spain from Spain, and Eugene UNESCO, the playwright coming from Romania.
The list also included some minorities, such as the American brown dancer Josephine Baker and the Algerian Ahmed Bouguera Al-Awafi, who joined the French army to fight in World War I and won a gold medal for France in the Olympic Games Marathon in 1928.
However, among the honored personalities as well, African personalities and about 40 Algerian personalities, including artists, writers, thinkers, as well as politicians resisting French colonialism.
Enriching French history
Macron had recently promised to present a list of about 500 French personalities of foreign and foreign origins, who contributed to enriching French history, in the fields of thought, literature, art, music and politics, to be presented to the mayors and the French elected; To help them rename some streets and public buildings or build statues commemorating these figures.
Indeed, Macron commissioned a few weeks ago, a scientific committee made up of historians, writers, sociologists and heads of societies, to propose to him a list of late or still-living personalities of various foreign origins.
One of the advisors of the French president saw that this work falls within the framework of the French reconciliation with their history, and is evidence that the French state has a diverse view and does not exclude anyone, he said.
It is noteworthy that in 2019, the mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppe, froze a decision to name a street after the fighter against racism and slavery Franz Fanon, after protests and threats from the extreme right.
In another context, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has expressed her concern about the negative impact of the “comprehensive security” bill on Muslims, people of African descent and other minorities, pointing out that for a long time, they have noticed a kind of racism in the security forces. French, calling on officials to intervene to curb this phenomenon.