June 24th, 2015

toon

France, and the issue of race identity

Although in April 2014 the French Apellate Court recognized the presence of aggravating circumstances, and the validity of the accusations in acts of racism directed against the white French community, a year later the term "anti-white racism" continues to cause problems and controversy. Thus, in March this year the Criminal Court of Paris reached the conclusion that according to the French law, "the so called white French" do not constitute "a separate group of people", and in this relation it dropped the charges against two defendants, a rapper and a sociologist, who had been spreading "a racist narrative directed against the white people of France". Granted, that didn't prevent one of them from serving time for a brutal assault, though.

These controversial decisions reflect the complexity of the situation in France (and in a large part of West Europe). On one side, the elite is evidently feeling diffident when it comes to handling "racial categories", especially when we're talking of the racial characteristics of the majority of the country's population. Because, as per its republican principles and values, France cannot be categorized along ethnic or racial criteria. But in the meantime, there's a very real social phenomenon: there's an increasing drive in the French society toward self-determination, exactly on the basis of those same ethnic and racial categories.

This self-determination is generating strife and even hatred. Which, by the way, is quite logical, since such sort of self-identity is inherently based on a confrontational logic (i.e. "us vs them"). In any case, it's becoming increasingly clear that despite the mythology that has taken shape in the post-colonial epoch, prejudice and racial hatred is far from being the sole monopoly of Europe alone.

Collapse )