Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/25 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/25 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/25 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/25 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/24 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/24 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/24 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/24 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/24 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/24 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/24 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/22 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/24 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/22 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/24 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/24 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/24 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/22 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/24 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/24 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/24 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
France

Man prosecuted for anti-white racism in French court

media UMP leader Jean-François Copé claims anti-white racism is on the rise in France Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

For the first time a French anti-racism group is supporting a legal case of racism against a white person. The case, due to star on Friday, involves a man accused of attacking another man in Paris's Gare du Nord railway station and prosecutors say it was racially motivated, even though the victim was white.

The International league against racism and anti-Semitism (Licra) is supporting the prosecution.

"I think it's a very strong case," says Licra vice-president Philippe Schmidt. Not only was the attack very violent, he says, but the violence was clearly more intense because the victim was white.

Witnesses said they heard the attacker say "sale Français" (dirty Frenchman) and use a term in Arabic for dirty white man.

"He was insulted because he was white," says Schmidt. Several people were reportedly involved in the attack; only one is on trial, as the others have not been identified.

"Globally, they came after him because of the colour of his skin," Schmidt insists. "The guy is white, the guy is French, and that's why they came after him."

Schmidt admits that this is not the kind of case Licra usually gets involved in.

"The majority of the people in France are white and the vast majority are French, so obviously those kinds of cases are much less frequent," he points out.

Less frequent, but not nonexistent, insists Tom Lanneau, 18, a political science student at the University of Paris who lives in Seine St Denis, a racially diverse area north of Paris with the highest percentage of immigrants in France.

Lanneau grew up in a cité (housing project), where he says he was the only white kid. Most of the time he has no problems, he says, but he has been insulted for being white.

"One time, I didn’t want to give someone a cigarette because I don’t smoke, and they called me ‘sale blanc’ (dirtywhite)," he says.

He has been roughed up six times, not unusual in his tough neighbourhood. And, though he did hear the term during one of the attacks, he is not sure the attacks were racially motivated.

"Maybe it’s because I am white but maybe it’s because I am little, or I was alone in the street. I don't know."

Lanneau wrote an article about anti-white racism in the Bondy Blog, an online news site written by young people in the suburbs.

In it he says he gets called a fascist - or worse - when he brings up the concept of anti-white racism. But, he says, even if it’s rare it does exist. And it puts him in the strange position of agreeing, at least on the surface, with politicians he would not otherwise agree with, like the far-right Front National, whose supporters talk of keeping France French.

Even on the mainstream right, Jean-Francois Copé, the head of the UMP party, claimedin a book last year that anti-white racism is on the rise.

By backing this prosecution, Licra finds itself, if not agreeing with the Front National, at least using some of the same language.

"At the end of the road they want the same thing, but not for the same reason," says Schmidt.

The far right "wants to harass non-French, non-Catholic people. They have a very archaic and extremist view of society. They think it should be French, white and Catholic. That's not the way I see the world," he says.

Licra is associating itself with the case because it wants to fight racism, in whatever form it takes, Schmidt insists.

"It's not because you are white that you can't suffer racism," he says. If someone is insulted because of the colour of their skin, "that's racism".

Tom Lanneau is quick to point out, though, that even if he has been the victim of anti-white slurs, he does not see anti-white racism as being as widespread as some right-wingers would believe. It depends on the neighbourhood, for one.

"It’s clear that in a big city where there are a lot of immigrants and where white people are minority, like where I live, there will be some racism against white people," he says.

But most of France is not like Seine St Denis and discrimination against black or north Africans is a much bigger problem, Lanneau declared.

"Some of my friends cannot find jobs because they are black. It's a bigger problem than racism against white people. But I disagree with people who say that racism against white people doesn’t exist. I think it’s minor but I think it exists."

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.