Academic Musings, Life Musings, Race & Ethnicity

The French Approach to “Anti-racism”: Pretty Words and Magical Thinking

I first came to France twelve years ago during my junior year abroad. I was the first person in my family to get a passport and I could barely contain my excitement. In the winter of 2003, two years before the riots that followed the untimely deaths of 15 year old Zyed Benna and 17 year old Bouna Traore, I landed in Paris bright-eyed and bushy tailed, armed with a very shaky grasp of French and a naive fascination with this beautiful country.

As an African-American, I was vaguely aware that France did not deal with issues of race the way we do in the United States. And when I happened to forget, French white people were keen to remind me. In one of the sociology classes I took at a university in the south of France, I hesitantly raised my hand to ask a question. The white French professor had been lecturing on youth and delinquency. I asked, in my broken French, if the dynamics he described had any relation to racial or ethnic belonging. “We don’t have that kind of problem here,” he said, adding: “This isn’t the United States.” Embarrassed and flustered, I nodded and continued taking notes. After class, one of the only other black students pulled me aside: “We do have those kinds of problems here. Hang out with me and I’ll tell you about it.”IMG_7291

My new friend was from Cameroon and had moved to France along with her sister and brother several years prior. Over the course of the semester, her family basically adopted me, inviting me to dinners, showing me the area and telling me about their lives. I learned that despite the fact that each of them had white French partners and white close friends, they nonetheless experienced racism. But, as I learned in that sociology class that day, many French people denied that racism was actually a problem in their supposedly colorblind society.

Zyed Benna and Bouna Traoré, two teenagers who died on October 27th in 2005 after being chased by police officers. Photo courtesy of Le Monde.
Zyed Benna and Bouna Traoré, two teenagers who died on October 27th in 2005 after being chased by police officers. Photo courtesy of Le Monde.

Twelve years later, I am now a sociologist and professor finishing a book on racism and the legacies of slavery in France. And while some things have changed here, many French people are still in denial. Over the past decade, French minority groups have made important gains. 2005 was a water-shed year for raising consciousness about the weight of racism in France. In addition to the riots sparked by the death of French minority youth fleeing the police, new anti-racist groups emerged, such as the Representative Council of Black Associations and Indigenes de la République. There is now a national day of memory for slavery and the slavey trade (May 10th) thanks to a law proposed by Christiane Taubira, now France’s first black (and female) Minister of Justice. New, powerful minority voices have emerged in the public sphere, including filmmaker, TV personality and activist Rokhaya Diallo and scholar-activist Maboula Soumahoro (who spearheaded France’s first “Black History Month” in 2012).

Ten years after the riots, the police involved in chasing Zyed Benna, Bouna Traore and their friends are finally being tried for negligence. Ten years later, it is more difficult for the French to deny the plight of ethnic and racial minorities — though some, especially conservatives, deny this reality daily.

Yet, despite these transformations, the French government seems to have almost entirely abdicated its responsibility for dealing with racism. In terms of policy, French “anti-racism” is a total disaster. Instead of formulating anti-racist policies and collecting anti-discrimination statistics, the country contents itself with anti-racist discourse and magical thinking. In 2011, the U.N. issued a report condemning France for its “racist climate” and lack of “real political will” to address racial discrimination. In 2013, French politicians took steps to remove the word “race” from its laws, apparently guided by the magical belief that changing words is enough to fight racism.

In France, it is illegal for the government to include race or ethnicity on the census, as doing so is framed as a violation of so-called “Republican” values, which insist that the French Republic is “indivisible” and should not be distinguished in terms of race or ethnic origin. The problem with this is that the majority population fails to acknowledge that the Republic has been making racial and ethnic distinctions for a very long time. This, too, stems from denial and ignorance. The truth is that French people who cherish dominant interpretations of “colorblind” Republicanism help maintain the racial status quo. By refusing to support the collection of statistics that could be used to generate policies and measure their effectiveness, they undermine the work of minorities and activists who are working hard to counteract the tide of Republican denial.

While some argue that France doesn’t need more data to fight racism, this almost argument is never made concerning sexism. Most people are aware that sexism exists, but it would be absurd to say: “We already know sexism exists and therefore don’t need data on gender discrimination..”Yet, this is the same kind of magical thinking that prevails in much of the so-called “anti-racist” discourse one encounters in France.

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Some of France’s most visible “anti-racist groups” have continually opposed anti-discrimination statistics. Just this week, I appeared on France24 to debate the issue with Hadrien Lenoir, a representative of SOS Racisme — one of the most vocal critics of ethnoracial statistics. During the lively debate, Lenoir presented SOS Racisme as supporting such statistics “in research” — as long as they’re not collected by the government. What he did not admit is that SOS Racisme virulently opposed the cutting edge work of French scholars who produced, for the first time, a large scale study of discrimination in France using ethnoracial statistics. Even if the group claims to have changed its position, the reality is that most French research is sponsored by the government. Thus, expressing support for ethnoracial stats “in research” as long as the government is not involved is nonsensical in a nation where most research is funded by the state. These are the kinds of mind-boggling contradictions that anyone studying French racism has to confront–contradictions that, for many years, made me never want to study race in France again.

It is true that some French people still deny that racism exists–despite the many studies that have documented discrimination. But other groups, like SOSRacisme, actually use their fear of racism in the government to argue against the collection of ethnoracial statistics. They point to the racism of the government during the Vichy regime of World War II as proof that the state cannot be trusted. Most recently, when Robert Menard, a far-right mayor of the town of Beziers, admitted to ethnoracially profiling Muslim children, groups like SOSRacisme argued that this, too, was proof that the government had no business counting people by race or religion. Of course, in making this argument, they draw a false equivalence anti-racist and racist usage of statistics.

In my view, the lesson gleaned from Menard’s racism is simple: People in power will gather data to profile minorities whether or not the government calls itself colorblind. Indeed, 13 Black and Arab men are currently suing the French state itself for engaging in racial profiling.

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The more time I spend in France, the more it seems to me that some French people (especially politicians) are extraordinarily skilled at talking about principles that they have no intention of doing anything about. Perhaps the French are stuck because they are far too philosophical and not at all practical when it comes to anti-discrimination. I don’t doubt the sincerity of most anti-racist groups that oppose policies that would actually expose and address racism. I have not always had the policy positions I have now. Certainly when I started my research in France, I did not have strong opinions. While I always saw myself as anti-racist, I was not informed enough to have a clear sense of whether ethnoracial statistics or “American-style” policies were needed in France. But after spending nearly three years living in France and interviewing over 100 French activists and ordinary people, my views began to change. It became increasingly obvious that the French population is mired in ignorance about the social and historical reality of race. Even moreso than in the United States, French discourse “about race” is incredibly superficial, asociological and ahistorical. Of course they don’t know how to fight racism.

I denounce white supremacy in the United States on a daily basis and I have no illusions that numbers will save the day. But it matters that activists and scholars in the United States can point to statistics within communities, organizations and institutions to measure just how much has changed — and just how much has not. It matters that we can use these numbers to inform policies and measure their effectiveness (or lack thereof). No, these statistics are not a panacea. Yes, black people and other minorities continue to experience the on-going racial tyranny of white supremacy. But the numbers help combat the denial and magical thinking frequently found among white people and other dominant groups — denial that would have you believe that centuries of race-making can be undone with beautiful principles and kumbaya colorblindness.

For a country that presents itself as secular, France nonetheless asserts religious conviction in the power of words to erase social and historical realities. In terms of dealing (or rather, not dealing) with racism, France is like a country that prefers faith-based healing over modern medicine for its ailing children. To take the analogy even further — the French political establishment is like a parent who infected their own children with an illness — only to refuse diagnostic tests and treatment.

It’s amazing, really — this intransigent, irrational belief that the language of “colorblindness” can actually undo centuries of race-making. The French seem to believe, that through the magical power of language alone, they can talk racism into oblivion. Nevermind the fact that France spent centuries establishing racial hierarchies at home and in its colonial empire for the purpose of enriching the state. Some truly believe that words like “Republic” and “citizenship” and “indivisible” can suddenly undo processes that were produced and institutionalized over the course of four hundred years.

In my view, French magical thinking about race is reinforced by the near total ignorance of the population with regard to its racial past. The French are struggling, in part, because they do not have widely read sociologists or historians of race. During my time in France this spring, I’ve met young French scholars of race who are doing really important, desperately needed work. But the political and intellectual landscape in which they must work is absolutely depressing. Not only does the French academy lack serious programs in race, but it is also overwhelmingly white and elite. One does not need statistics to see this. Enter any French elite university and you will find very few minority professors, chairs of departments or administrators. There are only a few books that could fall under the umbrella of “Black Studies” in France. Not only is there nothing even approaching “post-colonial studies” — the history of colonialism itself is mostly a non-lieu de memoire : barely taught in schools, mostly forgotten and marginalized in the nation’s collective memory. There is no French equivalent of W.E.B. Du Bois (who essentially founded urban sociology in the United States and pioneered studies of race, racism and whiteness). And there has not yet emerged a French equivalent of Kimberlé Crenshaw or Patricia Hill Collins — scholars who have revolutionized entire fields of thought through their contributions to Black Feminist scholarship and critical race theory. Yes, the Nardal Sisters and Cesaire and Fanon exist, but French scholars of color are still mostly ignored by white French people. Indeed, negritude was far more influential outside of hexagonal France than within it.

The only thing most French people seem to know about race is that racial categories were used against the Jews during WW II. That’s it. If you ask French people to tell you about racism in French colonialism, racial exclusion in the metropole prior to WW II, most probably would have little to say. Most French people can’t explain in any degree of detail where the concept of race came from, how racism perpetuates itself over time or how it is institutionalized. How could they? They do not (and, with few exceptions, cannot) learn about these things at school. But they think they can “fight” racism in a context of near complete social and historical ignorance about what race means and where it came from.

If there was ever a case study in the epistemology of ignorance — and its relationship to white supremacy — France is it. As I argue in the book I’m finishing now, white supremacy and racial ignorance are both key to understanding race in France. Already in the United States, racial ignorance and denial run wide and deep. And yet, despite these challenges, we have intellectual resources and minority networks the French can’t even dream of. And I don’t say this to brag — it’s not like these intellectual resources have saved us. They haven’t. But they matter. They help.

I don’t think most people (French or otherwise) understand that it takes centuries of diligent activism, statistical tracking, policy making and scholarship to even begin to address the damage of racism. The U.S. case shows that it is extremely difficult to confront and combat racism, even when you have the intellectual resources and data. But the French case shows that it is impossible to effectively identify and challenge racism without these things.

Further, French chauvinism prevents many people here from actually embracing a global understanding of racial processes and white supremacy. References to race in the United States or the UK are portrayed as too foreign — imposing an “anglosaxon” lens. White French people will sometimes say that their country can’t learn anything about race from the United States because the two societies are so different. And yet, the same people point to the continued existence of racism in the U.S. as “proof” that our approach to using ethnoracial statistics “hasn’t helped”. But if the U.S. is “too different” to teach anything to the French about race, then it cannot also be used by the French as “evidence” that ethnoracial statistics are a bad idea. It is intellectually dishonest to claim that one can’t learn anything from another society, yet also use that same society to justify one’s position. Further, the fact that France does not collect ethnoracial data means that it is impossible to seriously compare the situation of minorities in most spheres of life (e.g. housing and employment discrimination, political representation and so on). But the French think that they don’t need data to say that their society is less racist than the U.S. — all they need are Republican words. Thus, instead of learning from other nations that have a much longer history of studying race, many of the French prefer their colorblind ignorance.

The bottom line is that from what I have seen, the French majority population does not think racism affecting people of color is important. The reason the French majority population doesn’t think racism is important is because they have not been made to believe it is important. French people of color currently lack the political power and internal organization to compel the majority population to care about addressing racism. And, the French government’s role in suppressing ethnoracial statistics continues to undermine people of color who are organizing to fight racism.

The irony of all this is that the French are currently moving forward with an intelligence law that rivals the Patriot Act in its blatant disregard for civil liberties. The French government wants to collect data on almost everything French people think, write or say but – no data on racism! When it comes to fighting terror, the French know very well that knowledge is power. But when it comes to fighting racism? Data? Knowledge? Not necessary.

Too many French people seem to imagine that if they close their eyes to race, click their heels three times and repeat the words “Liberty”, “Equality” and “Brotherhood”, the boogeyman of racism will simply vanish and disappear. No systematic data or policies necessary. Only pretty, magical, colorblind words.

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114 thoughts on “The French Approach to “Anti-racism”: Pretty Words and Magical Thinking”

  1. I’m French, I’m white and you have totally nailed it. We are a society that is profoundly ill and refuses to see things for what they are. Yes we have Cesaire, Fanon, and I love Diallo, but the fact is: I had never heard of Fanon nor Negritude until I moved abroad, despite having a BA in philosophy from a French Uni, and while we studied Césaire at school, we certainly didn’t talk about the political background of his work. The Benna/ Traoré verdict shows once again that ethnic minorities are treated as second class citizens no matter how ‘integrated’ they are, and police abuse will continue unchecked. I’ll be reading your book with interest.

  2. I’m glad I came across this blog. Honestly, I’m quite ignorant to my own country, let alone, another country. Though, I do know that United States still struggles in the face of racism. I, however, did not know that other countries did or do for that matter. So, it was much to my surprise to learn that France does have the same social issues we do here in USA. Thank you for your opinions and research on the matter. Now I can research some on my own and form my own opinions about the subject. I can learn and grow with the power of knowledge. Thank you for opening this unbeknownst door for me.

    1. I appreciate your comment – I’m glad to have opened this door for you and hope you will continue to learn about how oppression works globally..

  3. Reblogged this on everybodybrown and commented:
    A first-hand example of how despite reported, “fluidity” in France’s outlook on race, the turmoil boils just beneath the surface. In a package nice and neat designed to make us buy it. I want my money back, now!

  4. I’ve been speaking with some ppl recently about the number of problems that exist in WESTERN countries with blacks and the ling ruining issue with equality, whether overt or subtle acts of abuse by a system, and if it would be wise for blacks to begin embracing -again- Garveyism. Do you believe that blacks should disconnect from the western nations and begin making a trek back to Africa or should blacks continue to fight for their idea of equality?

    1. I believe that you should do what resonates with you, as long as its guided by a spirit of compassion, understanding and wisdom. That said, no. I do not personally perceive the non-western world as some kind of utopia. People experience oppression everywhere. Of course it can be a really great thing for some folks to embrace the aspect of Garveyism that calls for a return to Africa. There’s no reason why some people can’t follow that path while others continue the struggle for a less harmful society in the Western world. Everyone isn’t called to do the same thing at the same time.

  5. Thanks for the information. The French movie “Avant l’hiver” said the same thing in a creative form.

  6. Great article! It’s always annoyed me that the EU seems to pride itself on being ‘better than America’, especially on these issues, when it’s simply not true. Being an ethnic minority that has travelled to both Europe, including France, and the States, I can definitely say I felt more welcome in the land of, according to Europeans, lower breeding and burgers. You keep fighting the good fight!

  7. I am reminded of the situation in Cuba by this article. Both “Colour-blindness” and “Colour-consciousness” are essentially conservative approaches, neither of which will ever do away with “racism”. “Colour-blindness” as used by the “White” elite seeks to preserve “White” culture by assimilating non-“Whites” into it. Like-wise “Colour-consciousness” as used by non-“Whites” seeks to preserve non-“White” culture by differentiating themselves from “Whiteness”. Thus neither can transcend the essentially racist castes of “White” and non-“White” that were imposed by the West Europeans during colonial and slavery days. This is the essential failure of the U.S. anti-racists who advocated taking ownership of these distinctions, it does not transcend them, though the so called “inter-racial” dialectic may change. Cuba also pursued a policy of “Colour-blindness” following the Revolution that was deemed to be successful, with Cubans of all colours proudly saying for many years that there was “no racism in Cuba, we are all Cuban”. Even today I meet Cubans who are of the darkest hue, who say “I am not Black, I am Cuban”. However the reality is that Cuba’s success in eliminating racism was nothing to do with “Colour-blindness” and everything to do with Revolution. Re-distribution, the repeal of racist laws and the provision of free education and healthcare all created an environment whereby “racial” categories lost their significance. This allowed for the essentially revolutionary development of a new identity “the New Man” or “Revolutionary” that transcended the old identities of “Black” and “White”. With the loss of its benefactor, Soviet Russia, and the forced partial reintegration into global capitalism, these “racial” differences started to emerge again, and the “Revolutionary” identity began to lose its meaning. Now “Colour-blindness” is being rejected, most notably by Cuban scholar Esteban Morales, for the very reasons I stated, it is conservative. However, the danger is such a rejection will be accompanied by an adoption of the opposite conservative extreme. What the Cuban experience demonstrates, is that genuine Revolutionary change can force a transcendence of “race” by creating a new Revolutionary identity. France is holding on to its old “Revolutionary” identity, but that Revolution, despite inspiring people all over the world, including Haiti, failed to extend its revolutionary nature to the colonies, instead, as with Haiti, Algeria or Vietnam, reacting forcibly against them in counter-revolution. Thus what is needed is a new revolution, both in material conditions, and culture. Until that time, the dialectic between “Colour-blindness” and “Colour-consciousness” will continue to provide conservative non-transcendental entrenchment of “racial” identities, until the synthesis of revolution is achieved.

  8. As a (white) French person, it is very interesting to read your views on the state of racism in France. You have more distance than any of us, since you’re an ‘outsider’
    An to be honnest, I learnt a lot when I read your article – so I must be a typical, lambda French citizen. This makes me a bit ashamed, as I have lived on different continents and was in romantic relatonships with people of different ethnies.
    I am now married to an Indian and we have a daughter, and I really wonder HOW I am, as a white mother to a brown child, going to give her the tools to fight racism when she grows up.
    My husband insisted that she has both our family names “to show that she’s also French when she’ll be looking for a job, and face less discrimination”. So she has a super long family name, half Indian, half French. Just in case.
    Thanks a ton for your work. Keep going!

  9. Hi Crystal,

    Thank so much for sharing your mind, I truly loved reading your article and although, sadly, none of it shocked me, it simply made me realise the different ways in which various countries and cultures try to hide from the issue of racism and the responsibilities they have for eradicating it from their societies. In most European countries with majority white populations it’s all about power and you don’t have to be a genius to realise that the very people that own it now, are the exact same ‘types’ of individuals that have owned it in every generation dating back to the very beginnings of Caucasian societies. The ‘intellect’, the ‘superior’ mind, owned everything and who with their higher sense of perceptive ability could see and understand things that the rest of the masses couldn’t. It would be intuitively obvious to these individuals how easy it would be to manipulate and use to their own ends such ‘inferior’ minded masses of people and it’s completely logical to predict that, especially in the early and brutal ‘dog eat dog’ societies where life was cheap and resources scarce that, any human ability you had that would help you survive or thrive it would be used to its fullest potential. The very highest of ‘intellects’ would skilfully recruit from the masses his ‘muscle power’ and go on then to be declared the leader of that society. From there and ultimately he’d gather together all the appropriate types of other ‘intellects’ to form his, ‘Elite’ back up team, his counsel, his army of ‘enforcers’ that would have the task of ‘educating’ the masses, physically, psychologically, intellectually, philosophically, scientifically and religiously, to their new leaders ideals and way of thinking. This process of mass conditioning by the ‘intellects’ has been happening now since the very beginning of European societies and by now it’s so generationally engrained into the psyche of the masses that they have nothing or little else to believe in but what they’ve been ‘taught’, previously. Racism comes directly from that ‘teaching’ and is nothing else but an ‘intellectual’ lie formulated from a, personally contorted one dimensional sense of the, ‘Supreme Ideal’, The Source of Life, Nature, God, whatever you choose to call IT and it was spawned into ‘thought’ because its perceiver could sense only its ‘Supreme’ aura and hey presto, ‘thinking’ that HE must have been some kind of ‘special one’ to have even sensed this divine aura, the ‘Supremacist’ ideal was intellectually born. Consequently and in every single and possible way humanly imaginable, that ‘ideal’ was forced on the masses so that it become theirs and every generation ever since has obviously, never stopped believing it. Of course there are many people today who intuitively reject and oppose its every presence now but, there’s as many more who don’t and as many more again that do, but don’t.

    This, intellectually controlled government of the masses, was and is nothing else but a blatantly personal misuse of a natural human function and although completely logical in the primitive circumstances it would be to use it in this way, it is without question an unnatural use of a natural function nonetheless. The ‘Intellect’ is a ‘superior’ human function and logically if you want the highest and best intellectual results from it then you have to ‘use’ it as it was naturally designed to be used, naturally. If you were to ‘use’ it like this and follow its natural principles it would show to you levels of life perspective and understanding truly beyond the unimaginable to most people and also, it would mean that the very fact you were able to ‘use’ it like that, would mean that you had a natural understanding of its, ‘Positively Superior and Natural Principle’ and would be intuitively compelled then to ‘use’ it positively, right, good and for the betterment and benefit of ALL, as nature intended. As soon as you ‘use’ it personally for the benefit and betterment of, yourself, it becomes an unnatural ‘use’ and there’s all the negative evidence in the world to prove this unnatural consequence.

    It may seem as if I’ve went way off point with regard to the subject of your article Crystal, but I absolutely believe that the ‘cure’ for racism is not an ‘Intellectual’ one, but that it has, unquestionably, a truly natural ‘Solution’ that sadly, unless or until, we learn to understand exactly how it is that the human being ‘works’ and first and foremost from a purely natural perspective, then this personally unnatural behaviour of the human being will continue to negatively manifest itself, especially in the ‘white’ man, for many many many centuries to come. The ‘white’ man has been more or less in charge of this planet since day one and if, more than 2,000 years later, we still treat the majority of our ‘own’ people like shit, what chance is there for the black and ethnic minority peoples? The French intuitively know that racism is wrong, but they don’t want to look at themselves because they know that ugliness is inside them and although they truly don’t want it to be there, it is and they don’t know how to get rid of it, so they deliberately lose themselves and everyone else in fanciful ideal, intellect, philosophy, romance and, they’re so damn imaginative and profoundly perceptive at it that they end up completely convincing themselves how true it all is! I absolutely adore the French and how they love to dream but, at some point they have to wake up and realise that unless EVERYONE is included in their beautiful dream, it’s nothing but an ugly nightmare! Most other majority white countries and societies aren’t quite so dreamy or philosophical about racism although, in effect, they do the exact same thing and lose themselves in their own brand of culturally conditioned and intellectual, bullshit. Pardon my, French! The end result is all the same however in that, racism, becomes an ‘intellectual’ possession owned and controlled by the ‘white’ man and for as long as it suits them that way they’ll continue to peddle that age old fallacy that a cure for racism, for any social disease, will be found by the use of the ‘superior’ intellect, one day! 2,000 years later and the black man is still waiting for, one day! Most black people are still waiting that is, some have got it, some have it now but, believe you me it’s concessionally given and conditional on the ‘white’ man’s terms and just so that those black people know, if the ‘white’ man finally does achieve his secret ambition of world control and domination, if he doesn’t destroy the world first in doing that, you better all find out where your nearest ‘ghetto’ is because it won’t be long before you’re back there when that happens, trust me.

    The cure for racism or for any other socially expressed ‘disease’ will never be found by intellectual endeavour because, the ‘Intellects’ ‘use’ is in fact the cause, or more specifically the ‘misuse’ of the intellect, is the cause of all and every type and form of social ‘disease’ known to mankind!
    When you understand the human being from both a natural and material perspective you realise that there are two ways that we, the human being, can ‘use’ all of the ‘Natural’ functions of the human body and mind and they are, naturally or personally. Most of the time we ‘use’ them we’re not even consciously aware that we are and the only material evidence that proves we are is when we either behave in a right, or a wrong way. When we behave right we’re ‘using’ them, naturally and when we do something wrong, it’s personal and it truly IS that simple. Racism, as a socially evolved ‘white’ human disease, happens directly as a result of the personal misuse of the natural human function of ‘Intellect’. The ‘user’ has an intuitively felt natural sense of the potential power of this ‘superior’ function but, due to the fact that they intend to ‘use’ it for personal gain and self profit the true power of its potential is naturally denied to them because, they’re obviously not fit or capable enough of ‘using’ such natural power responsibly or safely. Even this relatively insignificant level of personal ‘use’ however, in and from a one dimensionally material perspective, is unimaginably powerful and its ‘user’ still has the ability of having ‘superior’ human perspective that gives it an incredible advantage over most other human beings. The most noticeable thing that a personal ‘user’ of the ‘Intellect’ would intuit would be its ‘superior’ and ‘higher’, ‘Feel’ and which would then because of personal ‘use’ instantaneously make them feel as though, ABOVE, everything and everyone else, ‘superior’ and ‘higher’, divinely ‘elite’ and then inevitably follows all of the logically obvious and personally ‘inferior’ implications for everyone else below that! That is the cause of racism and the intellectual lie of it all has been conditionally perpetuated ever since.

    The fact is that the whole world now trusts almost entirely in it’s one dimensionally intellectual side and to the point now that we simply ‘think’ too much and in doing so have near completely shut off our truly natural ‘Source’ and potential. The ‘Intellect’ is a truly incredible and powerful human function and the only person to have ever ‘Used’ it as Naturally as it was designed to be, that I can ‘think’ of, is Jesus Christ and if you believe it as I do that he performed all of those human ‘miracles’, well, now you know exactly how that he did, at least from a human perspective anyway. The ‘Intellect’, if ‘used’ personally will never have any greater potential than its one dimensionally superficial, ‘user’. ‘Used’ naturally, however, there actually is NO such thing as a miracle. Look, we can’t have it all ways. Every intelligent person on this planet knows that ‘Something’ is responsible for the creation of Life, the world, the Universe and that whatever THAT is, it is an ‘Intelligence’ so Omnipotently Superior it is quite simply beyond the capability of the material ‘Intellectual’ function to comprehend IT. And this ‘Something’, whatever it is, everyone knows that it’s the very Source of the Life that we have inside us and which means, if you have the capability to believe it, that we have that exact Source of Omnipotently Superior Intelligence sat, ‘unused’, right inside us. This Source however is beyond the ‘Intellect’ and past that point it is truly indescribable and the one and only way you can ‘touch’ IT or ‘know’ ITS ‘Intelligence’, is to ‘Feel’ it naturally, as Jesus Christ him Self did and look what he achieved as a natural result. Any human being alive has the natural ability to do exactly as Jesus did, we ALL have the exact same human functions and Source of natural potential to ‘Use’, as he did . It’s about simply acknowledging the duel potential ‘use’ of the human beings natural functions and then recognising which one of the two has the most, potential. It should be obvious to most which it is, but if it’s not ask yourself this, which source of intelligence would you trust the most if your life was dependent on it, a natural or personal one?

    Racism doesn’t naturally exist, we just personally ‘think’ that it does. If everyone learned how to ‘use’ their ‘Intellect’ naturally instead of personally, there would be no such disgusting thing as racism in this world, end of and that so very simply put is a natural fact of Life.

    Jaii

  10. Reblogged this on Anne Skyvington and commented:
    When I lived in France as a young woman, I was inspired by the French slogan linked to the French Revolution, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité: Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood. But in light of more recent movements and events in France, I have begun to wonder whether these words really reflect the reality of attitudes among the majority of French people today, especially in regard to the aspect of equality. This reblogged post that caught my attention seems to express my own concerns about the shift in France towards political conservatism, xenophobia and downright racism.

  11. This is so interesting. I have never been to France but I tend to think (ignorantly) that Europeans don’t have these problems. Great lesson in this post. I’ll be reading more.

  12. Very very good analysis of France. You say history of colonialism and post colonialism in France is largely absent in France. It is true. Nonetheless, there is some researchers that have worked on these issues. You may already now them. For my Master degree about The national museum of immigration (a museum that is settled in a former place of glorification of the colonialist french republic, Le palais de la Porte Dorée), i came across a research group about colonialism, immigration and post colonialism., the ACHAC. Among the authors, Pascal Blanchard, Françoise Verges and Achille Mbembe. The book, “la frcature coloniale” is really intersesting, and among this book there is an article of Achille Mbembe about french colorblindness that made me think about your analysis.
    http://achac.com/colonisation-et-post-colonialisme/
    As a white woman in France that have been raised with these magical words you talked about ” libérté égalité fraternité”, it was a shock , a necessary one, to discover (scandalously late unfortunately) while i was writing my master degree, the fact that it was the french republkic, the same that proclamed free school and all, that also organise colonialist crimes and racist regulations. Another shock was to discover the concept of colorblindness, and the fact racism and colonialism is still a major “point aveugle” of french history.

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