Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

We Interrupt The Hatestorm For Some Good News

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 18, 2008

This is a week old, but I thought I’d pull it out now in a vain hope of putting a fire hose on the hatestorm going around the blogs right now:

PARIS – Inspired by Barack Obama, the French first lady and other leading figures say it’s high time for France to stamp out racism and shake up a white political and social elite that smacks of colonial times.

A manifesto published Sunday — subtitled “Oui, nous pouvons!”, the French translation of Obama’s campaign slogan “Yes, we can!” — urges affirmative action-like policies and other steps to turn French ideals of equality into reality for millions of blacks, Arabs and other alienated minorities.

“Our prejudices are insidious,” Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, a singer and wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy, said in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, which published the manifesto. She said she hoped the “Obama effect” would reshape French society.

[…]

Grass-roots groups in France and Britain are trying to turn Obama’s election into electoral gains for minorities at home. Sunday’s manifesto suggests France’s elites are taking notice, too.

“The election of Barack Obama highlights via a cruel contrast the shortcomings of the French Republic, and the distance that separates us from a country whose citizens knew how to go beyond the racial question and elect a man who happens to be black as president,” the appeal said.

“What a lesson!” it went on. “We French … should listen to it well.”

The manifesto was written by Yazid Sabeg, a French self-made millionaire whose parents were Algerian immigrants, and signed by politicians from the left and right and other public figures.

Obama is extremely popular in France, yet blacks and other minorities are nearly invisible in national or local politics here. The lower house of parliament has 555 members from the French mainland; just one is black.

“We shouldn’t be surprised that Obama’s popularity is so high here: It testifies to the aspirations of all the children of France who are experiencing by proxy a recognition that France does not give them,” the manifesto reads. “It also betrays the bad faith of those who welcome the victory of modernity outside our borders, in order to tolerate the status quo here.”

The manifesto calls for affirmative action policies like those the United States used years ago to encourage greater minority representation in the workplace and in universities.

One Response to “We Interrupt The Hatestorm For Some Good News”

  1. Charles II said

    What hatestorm?

    If you’re talking about the right-wing blogs, who can tell the difference?

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