About four times annually, Emmanuel Macron just pops out with something that blows your mind, one way or the other.
I used to think that if I was French, these things would not phase me. But apparently, the French are being phased.
Politicians, prominent intellectuals, and academics in France have voiced concern that ‘out-of-control leftism and cancel culture’ from the United States is threatening French identity.
They are arguing that American ideas on race, gender, post-colonialism – especially those coming from U.S. universities – are undermining French society and are an attack on French heritage.
The collection of intellectuals arguing that France is being contaminated by the leftism of America was buoyed on last year after French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to side with them.
In a speech in October on the ‘Fight against Separatism’, Macron warned against leaving ‘the intellectual debate to others’ as he cautioned of the ‘certain social science theories entirely imported from the United States’.
His education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer also warned in October that there is a ‘battle to wage against an intellectual matrix from American universities’.
The debate came to a head this week after the new director of the Paris Opera, Alexander Neef, released a 66-page report on diversity at the company in which he vowed to diversify staff and to ban blackface.
It came after five black members of the ballet company circulated an open letter among the Paris Opera’s 1,800 employees last summer, calling for greater diversity.
Neef was targeted for the decision by far-right leader Marine le Pen and by French newspaper Le Monde which said he ‘soaked up American culture for 10 years’ while he worked in Toronto.
This month also saw the publication of a book by social scientists Stéphane Beaud and Gérard Noiriel in which they claimed that race is a ‘bulldozer’ that destroys other subjects.
They added to the New York Times that they did not believe race should not be studied as an academic subject in France, as the secular government does not recognize it.
It follows tension over protests against police violence last summer in France, sparked as they were in the U.S. by the death in police custody of George Floyd.
The wave of protests sparked further backlash in universities, as students began to put pressure on institutions to disinvite well-known speakers.
Activists also targeted a play at Sorbonne University where white actors were to wear masks and dark make up.
Yeah I mean, there is no way that anyone could ever explain French people protesting by the thousands against the cop who arrested George Floyd.
There is still no explanation as to what the Americans were protesting – the guy was swiftly arrested for the crime of arresting a multiple felon who was in the process of committing multiple crimes, who then subsequently died from a drug overdose.
Let me just tell you what this is: this is a situation where they are showing off that they can make people all over the world do anything they want them to do using this now completely pervasive digital communications apparatus.
Somehow, no one thinks to look at the thing that everyone is looking at 75% of their waking hours.
This is actually deforming women’s spines.
Furthermore, somehow no one notices that the only place this isn’t happening is where the American social media companies are banned.
Here’s how it goes:
Anglin: Look around this public place, what do you see?
Anglin: Right. What are they doing?
Everyone: Just standing, walking…
Anglin: What’s the other thing they’re doing?
Everyone: I dunno, breathing?
Anglin: The other thing.
Everyone: Ohhhh. The phone! Sure! But everyone does that.
Anglin: Yes, yes! What are they doing with the phone?
Everyone: They’re looking at it. Looking at the screen.
Anglin: Yes. Now here we are: what is on the screen?