France’s colonial misconception resurfaces with the appointment of Pap Ndiaye

That was to be expected. The attacks did not take long. Barely appointed, the new Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, suffered the plasters of his new ministerial function. Marine Le Pen and Éric Zemmour, reconciled for the occasion, joined their voices to denounce an appointment which brought, according to the first, “the last stone in the deconstruction of our country, its values ​​and its future”while the other boasted at the microphone of BFMTV: “Emmanuel Macron had said that it was necessary to deconstruct the history of France. He goes to practical work with Mr. Pap Ndiaye.

The now Tropezian candidate regained its verve “substitute” of the presidential election to castigate the new Minister of National Education, “an indigenist, wokist and race-obsessed intellectual”going so far as to denounce the entry into government of “deconstruction in person, deconstruction in motion”. It’s like reading Gogol! Waving big words supposed to frighten public opinion, the cantor of the “great replacement” was inquisitive: “He participated in meetings prohibited to whites.”

Marine Le Pen, short of inspiration, repeated almost word for word the argument of her presidential rival, namely “the terrifying choice of an intellectual who defends indigenism, racialism”. All that was missing was the “big replacement” for their courtship to begin (nothing to do with the Nupes!). Hastily summoned by Jean-Yves Le Gallouold grumbler from the RN who went to Reconquête!, he arrived all out of breath: “With Pap Ndiaye at National Education and Rima Abdul-Malak to Culture, the great replacement of future generations will be well prepared!” Phew!

The unthought colonial

Rather than crying out loud in the face of the resurgence of racism, our virtuous Republicans would do better to question themselves on the colonial unthinking which, for lack of being analyzed, haunts French society and has been expressed for fifteen years. years uncovered. The list is long of these Republican transgressions. It was the law of February 2005 evoking, in its first version, the “positive aspects” colonization; the Dakar presidential speech on the African man “who did not go down in history”; the creation of Ministry of Immigration, Integration, National Identity

These were the attacks of the Catholics of the institute Civitas who demonstrated in the streets of Paris against the law on marriage for all, to cries of: “There is good Banania, there is not good Taubira”; the racist insults of a candidate of the National Front who stated on her website that she preferred to see the Keeper of the Seals “in a tree hanging on branches rather than the government”… Not forgetting this 11-year-old girl accompanied by her parents came to demonstrate against the same law, who shouted as the Keeper of the Seals passed: “Who is the banana for? It’s for the monkey!”joining the gesture to the insult.

Racist speech excludes “the humankind” the one it animalizes. It is a system of signs that determines a certain language, a form of humor that stigmatizes, infantilizes, animalizes others, whether they are black, Roma, foreigners.

It’s not just a joke in bad taste, it’s a scalpel that draws a line between human and slave, settler and colonized, civilized and savage. And when the insult is staged through colonial exhibitions and human zoos, racism becomes a collective performance, a ceremony and a ritual. His function? Redefining the contours of the national community.

Recipes from the far right

Jean-Marie Le Pen accused Christiane Taubira of being «antifrançaise»echoing the rhetoric of theanti-France used by the right and the extreme right since the Dreyfus affair. As for Marine Le Pen, she euphemized as usual, but speaking this time as a sociologist: “Taubira was first of all a Guyanese separatist, it is an essential element in his political construction.”

But who wonders about “political building” of Marine Le Pen, fed on the milk of xenophobia and colonialist resentment, the two breasts of the French ultra-right? Who wonders in the media what the reconfiguration of the political landscape brought about by the Le Pens is no longer based on the right/left axis, but on the patriot/globalist polarity, which emerged thanks to the Dreyfus affair?

The racist attacks against Christiane Taubira were not accidental. They were both a symptom and an instrument: the symptom of an unthought colonial, and the instrument of a recomposition of the political field. In the same way, the racist insults against Pap Ndiaye are the symptom of a dangerous fusion of three series of heterogeneous phenomena that the uninhibited right and the extreme right have managed to reassemble in a fatal illusion: the unthought colonial France , the repressive neoliberal policy towards foreigners, and a delegitimized power that is content to play with symbols.

Well-integrated racism

Marine Le Pen can poach at her leisure on the lands of both left and right, borrowing from the left her criticism of neoliberal globalization and from the neoliberal right her denunciation of profiteering immigrants, lawless Roma, fraudsters of the Welfare state.

Far from fighting these themes, the entire political class has validated them, from the so-called “good questions” posed by the FN in the 1980s on immigration, to the little music rehashed ad nauseam by the entire political class on the theme “Let’s not leave the National Front the monopoly of identity, of the nation, of security, of immigration”. Should they be shared with him?

The “racialization of minds” and “the animalization of the other” now cross the entire political spectrum.

We should not look elsewhere for the inspiration of all the speeches of Grenoble, Dakar and elsewhere, and their effects of legitimizing racism and xenophobia; it is not just a question of a populist or fascist drift, but of an ideological construction making it possible to reconfigure society, by drawing a “border” between the honest contributors and the profiteers of the French social model, between the insiders dedicated to to integrate and the outsiders who are only destined to stay on the sidelines or go away.

In his test The Black ConditionPap Ndiaye drew attention to the return of a “biological racism, strongly racialized, with banal animal references to the colonial era… which belong to a register which seemed to have disappeared after the Second World War and decolonization”.

Far from disappearing from the collective unconscious, the “racialization of minds” et “the animalization of the other”which are political passions mobilized by the extreme right – as we have seen during the presidential campaign – now cross the entire political spectrum and are congruent with an effort to redefine national identity, national rearmament.

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This is why it is not enough to rebel against racism, it must be deconstructed. To oppose it not only with “values”, demonstrations and concerts of SOS racism as we have done since the 1980s, but to carry out a patient work of deconstruction which consists in undoing the colonial imagination, its bestiary, its imagery , his jokes, and to make another state of mind contagious.

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