World Cup: Ambassador Araud Answers Trevor Noah

“Africa won the World Cup!” exclaimed Trevor Noah, the host of the satirical nightly news series, The Daily Show, on Tuesday. The joke shocked the French Ambassador, Gerard Araud, who responded to the comedian in a letter.

“A great majority of the players (all but two out of 23) were born in France”, wrote the Ambassador. “They were educated in France; they learn how to play soccer in France; they are French citizens.” In stating that the team is African, argues Araud, Noah negates their “Frenchness” and legitimizes “the ideology which claims whiteness as the only definition of being French.” 

Trevor Noah, a South African citizen, quickly rebutted the Ambassador’s assertion. “I love those players, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté,” he replied in a video segment released on Wednesday. “I love how African they are and how French they are […] Why can’t they be both? […] In America, people can still celebrate their identity in their Americanness.”

  • Very well said!!! Congratulations to the French Ambassador! It’s about time we cease to cling to an ancestry which, as generations pass, is no longer our primary heritage. We grow by learning and absorbing the goodness of our nation, whichever it is, and by moving forward.

  • So the ambassador was “shocked”? I was shocked by the ambassador’s letter and sent him an email telling him so. I lived in Paris for three years. My daughter-in-law is a Lyonnaise. I love France and the French, but am well aware of how the French regard immigrants. We have many many problems in America, especially now with our dreadful president, but the ambassador has no business, via Trevor Noah, in tutoring us on inclusiveness.

  • Ces célébrations de la prétendue nature cosmopolite de la France, surtout si liées à la variété ethnique de l’équipe nationale de football française, sont tout simplement ridicules. La France demeure un pays ultra-raciste, qui continue à mener partout dans le monde des politiques néo-colonialistes, voire, comme on a cité l’Afrique ici, colonialistes tout court, ce qui est bien le cas de la relation entre la France et ce qu’on continue à appeler la Françafrique, où la France détient toujours des droits de veto fondamentaux sur la politique monétaire de ces ex-colonies, ce qui les assujetties à une situation de dépendance éternelle. Monsieur l’Ambassadeur, regardez la vraie histoire de la France, du “burkini”, de ce qui se passe toujours dans les banlieues françaises, avant de vous exprimer sur cette magnifique société française multiraciale. Les plus grandes et victorieuses équipes sportives américaines sont en fait pleines de joueurs noirs. Ça veut dire que la société américaine d’aujourd’hui est un modèle d’émancipation raciale ? Lisez-vous jamais la presse américaine ? S’il vous plait.

  • This Comedy Central host is an ignoramus… However we might pardon him for his blunder because of where he comes from. In America, Black people insist on being called Black or African-American. If one is born in France, that person is French and proud of it! Period.

  • Absolutely brilliant response from Trevor in the video. He’s probably the most articulate, educated, reasoned speaker who gleans humor and truth from difficult subjects today, and has humility and compassion based on his background (read Born A Crime), if you bother to research. And like he mentions towards the end of the video, if you have problem with that, it’s on you.

  • So South Africa never won a rugby world cup, but Europe did. And the US never had a basket ball team, but Africa did. Warped and silly.

  • Bravo la République française et l’Equipe de France. Here’s my take on this, being neither American nor French. France, despite all what it can be critized for, is a great place with exceptionally good people. The winning of the World Cup is an act of gratitude towards all the good French who have adopted so many ‘colon’ people to its land–with all the richness and complexities and unresolved issues they brought with them. I have lived in the US for many years as an international. They tell you diversity and things, but that is not what comes across. In Francs, they tell you integration, and they mean it. The educational system of France is so intelligent and critical. Being critical of oneself is not a weakness when one has the aptitude to be critical in the first place and that is a characteristic of the French. Of course work needs to be done in France as it needs to be done in the US, but the fact is France is a generous and eclectic country. The first film-maker French; the first world explorer French, the first airplane creator French. Et j’en passe. That is what is meant by being French–it’s an attitude of being better than the ‘crowd’. You can celebrate in the US and in many other likewise countries walks, but if it is just to have a shelter, good clothes and be able to shop, then it’s not that uplifting. Being French is finding things that make you step out of the comfort, mundane, everybody’s comfort zone and making a difference in the world. Bravo! And hopefully we’ll see other wins.

  • Honte à vous, Dario, vos propos sont très révélateurs de votre racisme et de votre ignorance. Ce sont les soldats français qui se font tuer pour sauver la population malienne des djihadistes, et donc pour sauver des milliers de vies maliennes. Et ce sont les civils français qui ont subi des violences et des crimes racistes atroces en Côte d’Ivoire en 2004. En France ce sont majoritairement des individus issus des banlieues (exemples “le gang des barbares”, Mohamed Merah, etc.) qui commettent des crimes racistes et des crimes antisémites. Je ne pouvais pas ne pas réagir face à des propos aussi haineux et mensongers. Francophobie, intégrisme (l’allusion au burkini ?) et racisme vont souvent ensemble.

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