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Posted by on Jul 28, 2008 in Politics | 8 comments

‘Where is the French Obama?’

It’s already a cliche to say it, but the impact of the Obama campaign just keeps on going.

It seems that some in France have begun to wonder why minorities are so poorly represented amongst its political class.

Guy Numa writes for France’s Rue 89 newspaper:

“There is something hypocritical in the ‘Obamania’ that is sweeping France: Obama, Black, young and un-cunning, is the archetype of that which the French political class invariably fails to produce. This is typical for France, where one likes to extol the merits of recipes from abroad without doing anything to concoct them ‘at home.’

So how poorly represented is France’s minority population?

Numa continues:

“How to explain that a ‘phenomena’ like Obama still hasn’t occurred in our country? It’s been 160 years since France definitely abolished slavery, and yet one must note that the effective integration of “minorities” in the economic and political sphere is infinitesimal. In the National Assembly, the large majority of Black members represent the overseas territories. Out of the 577 elected MPs, there is just a single exception: George Pau-Langevin [She is the MP for 21st district of Paris].”

By Guy Numa, Professor and Researcher at Paris-Dauphine

Translated By Sandrine Ageorges

July 22, 2008

France – Rue 89 – Original Article (French)

There is something hypocritical in the “Obamania” that is sweeping France: Obama, Black, young and un-cunning, is the archetype of that which the French political class invariably fails to produce. This is typical for France, where one likes to extol the merits of recipes from abroad without doing anything to concoct them “at home.”

The impact of the Black Senator’s candidacy on France is hardly ever discussed – and can even be characterized as silence. How to explain that a “phenomena” like Obama still hasn’t occurred in our country? It’s been 160 years since France definitely abolished slavery, and yet one must note that the effective integration of “minorities” in the economic and political sphere is infinitesimal. In the National Assembly, the large majority of Black members represent the overseas territories. Out of the 577 elected MPs, there is just a single exception: George Pau-Langevin [She is the MP for 21st district of Paris].

Where is the French Obama? The courageous Christiane Taubira had merits in her time. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm generated by her candidacy didn’t reach beyond the first round of the 2002 presidential election.

READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US along with continuing translated foreign press coverage of the U.S. election.

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