On the same day, France celebrated the induction of American-born singer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker into the Pantheon, far-right xenophobic writer and pundit Éric Zemmour announced he will run for president of France in the upcoming April 2022 election.
Many have pointed out the contradiction in these opposing events, even in President Emmanuel Macron’s speech that painted Baker as a model of colorblind unity, when in reality she was outspoken about racial justice.
“Celebrating Josephine Baker who was an immigrant … while making things difficult for immigrants of today to access to France is a contradiction,” says French journalist Rokhaya Diallo.
“France attempts to use the fact that it has been very welcoming to African Americans throughout the 20th century to picture itself as an open and welcoming country.”
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Human Rights and Equality
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