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'France remains most racist country in Western Europe'

SPEAKING OUT: French TV newsreader Harry Roselmack

DON'T MEAN to crow, but how many times have I said in these very pages that France is the most racist country in the West (Western Europe)?

Now France’s first ever black TV newsreader says he agrees with me.

The fact that Harry Roselmack only became the first person of colour to front a television news programme seven years ago should tell you just how backward France is in race relations.

Considering that Trevor McDonald started doing that in Britain over 30 years ago.

It’s a shame that in all those years and more as a frontline TV news presenter, Trevor didn’t ever think it necessary to stand up and be counted the way that Harry Roselmack is doing in France.

Roselmack’s intervention comes after a black French politician was confronted by the usual monkey business of white men acting like apes and sounding like them as well. Some of these lunatic racists need to take a look in the mirror.

I feel sorry for my French brothers and sisters who do not enjoy those liberating words of the revolution ‘Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite.’ Unlike here, the intervention of such a high profile television journalist such as Monsieur Roselmack, will make little difference.

If Trevor McDonald had spoken up about the deep-seated racism in this country back in the 1970s and 80s and even 90s when he was top ranking, people would have listened and it would have made a difference. Questions would have been asked in parliament and laws would have been changed. And Trevor would be a champion in the black community.

For whatever reason, he didn’t. We should not demonise him for that. Each person has to make a decision to raise their head above the parapet or to stick their heads in the sand. Standing up and being counted has its consequences and you’ve got to be a veritable lion to endure them.

On the other hand, nothing will change in France. I guarantee you. To understand why, you have to look at the relationship between France and its colonies.

As far as the country is concerned, black people there are still its colonial subjects, no matter about independence. Or in the case of the Antilles they are so-called ‘departments’ of France.

Not until there is a black revolution in France will the deep-seated racism of the country that Harry Roselmack talks about be tackled and perhaps even eradicated. Until then, if you’re holidaying in France don’t be surprised if you’ve got a hairy white monkey on your back.

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