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France and the Race Taboo

On the night of July 30, 2018, a white man shot at a group of Arab teens in the suburbs of Beaune, a city in eastern France, and injured seven. According to the U.S. magazine The Nation, French media downplayed the incident as gang-related violence instead of portraying it for what it is: a hate crime. But France does not see race, argues the article. Racial and religious statistics are illegal there, and the French parliament voted last month to remove the term “race” from the Constitution.

The Beaune attack “came at a time when the French attitude toward race — and racism — is coming under increasing scrutiny both at home and abroad,” writes the journalist. “France likes to see itself as colorblind, and aspires to be a universal community of citizens in which French identity trumps any other allegiances.”

Read more at The Nation.

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