PARIS, September 28 — The phony expression “anti-white racism” has been getting endless media play in France following its use by Jean-François Copé, the general secretary of the right-wing UMP party. Copé is a candidate in the November election to choose a new president for the party. His rival, former Prime Minister François Fillon, hastened to say that anti-white racism is “a reality.”
By using an expression first circulated by Marine Le Pen, the leader of the fascist National Front party, both Copé and Fillon are currying favor with the far-right element in their party. But this is more than just a ploy in an internal party dogfight. First, it shows that the UMP is moving closer to an alliance with the National Front, making an openly fascist government here a real possibility.
Secondly, Socialist Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has chimed in, saying that “anti-white racism could exist” but that Copé should have been more careful using the expression. Ever since, the media has “debated” whether discussion of “anti-white racism” is politically correct.
The sterility of the media debate contrasts sharply with a comment posted by Mohamed on the Nouvel Observateur magazine website. Does “anti-white racism,” he asks, “lead to discrimination at school, unmotivated police ID checks and a hard time finding a job?” Mohamed says, “Copé is trying to advance racial solidarity (of ‘whites’) to attempt to overshadow class solidarity (of people on the minimum wage) who, in my humble opinion, are more and more aware that they are in the same boat, no matter what color their skin is.”
To understand why the bosses’ politicians and media are whipping up racism, check out the French unemployment figures: over 5 million people are jobless (counting part-timers who want to work full-time) — 16.8% of the active population.
In addition, the Socialist-Green Party governing coalition is about to push approval of the European Budget Pact through the French Parliament, imposing “the golden rule” of no government budget deficit. This will lead to more austerity: higher taxes and fewer government services. It will force the working class to pay for the capitalist economic crisis.
To head off an explosion of class struggle against that oppression, the bosses need to persuade “whites” that their enemies are people of Arab and Middle-Eastern origin (10.2% of the population) and black people from Africa and the Caribbean (3.6%). But communists point to racism as the bosses’ trump card, to reap super-profits from the resulting lower wages and to divide the working class, weakening its ability to fight the bosses’ exploitation.