Friday, 9 September 2016

Frenchmen of various colours


Austria's Freedom Party has been accused of racism for seeking to celebrate the lifting of the Turkish siege of Vienna 333 years ago. The Freedom Party said disingenuously that the event was purely educational, rather than an attempt to make a comparison between the Muslim invasion of Central Europe in the last 17th century and today's Muslim migrants.

Meanwhile a French National Front mayor, Robert Ménard, the Mayor of Béziers, will be taken to court by an anti-racist organisation for saying on television that being French means,

“in the words of Charles De Gaulle, being European, white and Catholic.”
Saying that Jews, Protestants and Muslims cannot be French is offensive, racist and certainly opposed to the principles of the French Revolution (principles I detest, by the way, but that's another story). I wonder if he really meant to say this or he 'misspoke'? Probably he wanted to get in the papers, and the Huguenot vote isn't important, but more and more Jews are supporting the FN. 

Ethnic Frenchmen are white, but they need not be Catholics and non-whites are French citizens too.

What is sad, however, is that in a free, democratic society elected politicians (and the rest of the population) are no longer free to say what they like, however reactionary,

illiberal, sexist, homophobic or racist, without fear of legal consequences. Until recently people could say anything, provided that they avoided defamation or encouraging crimes.

What did De Gaulle have to say on the subject? Something somewhat more nuanced than the Mayor's remark.

It is very good that there are yellow French, black French, brown French. They show that France is open to all races and has a universal vocation. But [it is good] on condition that they remain a small minority. Otherwise, France would no longer be France. We are still primarily a European people of the white race, Greek and Latin culture, and the Christian religion.
M. Menard also wrote on Twitter that
the French are predominantly white and Catholic. Without excluding anyone, I hope that this will always be the case in the future.
That sounds a much more reasonable statement, though even that will offend some.

De Gaulle's words
We are still primarily a European people of the white race, Greek and Latin culture, and the Christian religion
still apply to Europe generally and could be a basis for a common EU immigration policy, one intended to foster a sense of European identity. But this is the opposite of what most EU leaders, commissioners, functionaries and opinion formers want.


  1. What is so Greek about French culture? There might have been some Greek colonies in Marseilles, I am not sure (but that part is not even French ethnically) - but it is delusional to think the French have anything Greek in them.

  2. Luckily, in the US, freedom of speech and expression is still protected by law, and nobody can be prosecuted or sued for expressing an opinion in public. Europe is too authoritarian for that - even the UK, a past bastion of the Enlightenment, has completely abandoned its principles of liberty.

    1. It is desperately sad. Europe is very decadent now and the EU has proven to be part of that decadence not a cure for it.

    2. You don't think the individual European countries would restrict free (political) speech even in the absence of the EU? I think this sort of censorship is a cultural norm, and the EU in its current form is only a symptom of pan European values, which are fairly authoritarian in comparison with the rest of the civilized world.