As France approaches its eighth week under lockdown, the covid-19 pandemic has thrown the nation’s divisions and inequalities into stark relief. One of the most palpable is the stigma directed toward residents of the poorest neighborhoods and suburbs, where many minorities live.
“Lockdown in the suburbs challenged by violence and trafficking,” read one sensationalist headline. There are “young men with hoodies with a menacing look, who seem to use masks for the sole purpose of protecting their anonymity rather protecting themselves from an infection,” the piece complained. Another piece about Seine Saint-Denis — the poorest department, or regional division, in France’s mainland — was titled “Coronavirus in Seine Saint-Denis: record number of fines, police and justice get tougher.”… Seguir leyendo »
Last week on French television, two doctors sparked anger with their comments. While speaking about finding a cure against the novel coronavirus, Jean-Paul Mira, the head of the intensive care unit at the Cochin Hospital in Paris, asked, “If I could be provocative, should we not do this study in Africa where there are no masks, treatment or intensive care, a little bit like it’s done, by the way, for certain AIDS studies or with prostitutes?” He was addressing the research director of France’s national health institute, Camille Locht, who promptly agreed.
Although they were speaking about putting human lives at risk, the two doctors sounded totally casual.… Seguir leyendo »
Black lives matter” was the slogan chanted last July at a demonstration against police violence in Paris. While the world’s eyes were on the US, where two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, had been killed by white police officers, thousands gathered in the French capital to protest about the death of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old Frenchman who suffocated after being arrested by gendarmes during an identity check.
In recent weeks, another young man from a Paris banlieue has made the headlines. It’s alleged that on 2 February in Aulnay-sous-Bois, Théo Luhaka, 22, attempted to intervene when a friend of his was the victim of a violent identity check.… Seguir leyendo »
L’horreur qui a frappé un incroyable nombre de femmes victimes d’une série d’agressions sexuelles perpétrées en pleine rue à Cologne a déclenché un déferlement de commentaires racistes pointant du doigt les origines ethniques et géographiques des agresseurs. Et un profond malaise au sein des mouvements militants. Entre la nécessité absolue de dénoncer ces atrocités en série et la crainte de désigner une catégorie de la population déjà victime de préjugés et de rejet, comment lutter contre les violences sexistes sans alimenter le racisme ? Dans ce contexte, l’analyse culturaliste proposée par l’intellectuel Kamel Daoud – selon laquelle ces violences trouveraient leurs sources dans les cultures musulmanes – a déclenché une nouvelle controverse.… Seguir leyendo »