Friday, March 24

Macron’s government diverts attention from pension protests with a plan against racism

Élisabeth Borne, Prime Minister of Emmanuel Macron’s government, presented yesterday a plan to fight against racism, antisemitism and discrimination, to try to combat a spectacular increase in crime and racist crime. According to statistics, in France (67.75 million inhabitants), more than 1.2 million people suffered discrimination or racist attacks last year.

Between 2019 and 2021, racist crimes and crimes grew by 13%. Black French and/or Muslims are the main victims of this “leprosy” (Emmanuel Macron’s expression) that threatens French society. national racism that has very deep roots. This racist “oil slick” has another dramatic dimension: only 1,382 racist crimes were legally convicted that occurred last year. The project conceived by the Macron government promises to address the problem in all its dimensions.

Élisabeth Borne presented the government project in a symbolic place, the Institute of the Arab World (IMA), an institution conceived as a meeting point between European, French and Arab or Muslim cultures, accompanied by a significant part of the participants in the conception of the project, which has had the work of fifteen ministries, thirty-five associations and numerous associations for the fight against racism and the defense of human rights.

The project of the Government of Emmanuel Macron has five great chapters: «Name and denounce the reality of racism and anti-Semitism», «systematically evaluate the evolution of racist actions», «educate better, from childhood», «punish the perpetrators of racist offenses and crimes», «accompany the victims”. From the outset, the Prime Minister announces new forms of collaboration “at the base”, between the Ministries of the Interior and Justice, to avoid the alarming impunity from which racist criminals of the most diverse conditions have benefited up to now.

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Penal Code

The basic police collaboration, at the root of the announced repression, should be accompanied by a review of the penal code, in order to justify and adapt new penalties to the new modalities of racist crime. The analysis and legal classification of new and “old” racist crimes will take a long time, and may require reforms and possible bills.

In the background, the project promises to “combat more effectively” the new forms of discrimination… an easier problem to denounce than to persecute and “punish.” In practice, a black or Muslim Frenchman looking for a flat has problems that a white Frenchman does not always encounter. Access to the real estate market has been, for years, a minefield where discrimination can take place with obvious simplicity, very difficult to fight. How to “force” an owner to sell or rent an apartment to a potential client who does not meet his personal criteria?

Élisabeth Borne presented the government project in a symbolic place, the Arab World Institute (IMA)

Thirdly, the plan promises to address the underlying problem in schools, from many perspectives: through pedagogy, through training and information, trying to promote “dialogue and understanding between languages, cultures and religions.”

Isabelle Rome, delegated minister, responsible for Equality between men and women, Diversity and Equal opportunities, will be directly responsible for managing the implementation of the project fight against racismcoordinating the practical work of different ministries, Interior, Justice, Education, among others.

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