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The BLM movement in France is sponsored by the US State Department. Photo: Unsplash
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US State Department recruited and trained French race activists

The United States began to reach out to ethnic and racial minorities in France with the blessing of the American embassy in Paris.

Published: July 17, 2020, 5:59 am

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    The New York Times revealed that after September 11, 2001, the US became interested in sponsoring the global race debate.

    With the death of George Floyd in the United States, the race movement quickly spread around the world. In France, the family of Adama Traoré, took advantage of this racial focus on Africans to relaunch the 2016 affair of the young black man’s death.

    More broadly, France has seen the emergence of many figures claiming to be “anti-racist” and “anti-colonialist”. According to the New York Times, this new racial policy in France is in fact directly imported from the United States, with the help of the State Department.

    The American daily explained that in recent decades, “many black French people have gone through a racial awakening, helped by the pop culture of the United States, its thinkers, and even its diplomats based in Paris, who have spotted and encouraged young black French leaders”.

    To exploit this potential, the US State Department has been involved in training young French activists in the making by recruiting them and sending them to the United States to take courses on “managing ethnic diversity”.

    In Paris, the New York Times revealed that “the embassy even organized educational programs on subjects like affirmative action, a taboo concept in France”.

    This initiative has riled many French conservative elected officials, according to the daily, who fear an “Americanization” of French society and a “fragmentation of the country”. In addition, this American maneuver is not new. The New York Times highlighted that “the US embassy in Paris began to reach out to ethnic and racial minorities in France after the September 11, 2001 attacks, as part of a global campaign to ‘win hearts and minds’”.

    But winning hearts and minds – an American campaign that has failed miserably in Afghanistan – seemingly entails inventing racial narratives that do not exist.

    On Thursday, July 16, the relatives of Adama Traoré, filed a complaint with the Paris prosecutor’s office for “false testimony” against a key witness, reported French tabloid le Parisien. The witness in question is the man with whom Traoré had taken refuge during his escape. As recently as on July 2, in the presence of family and defence lawyers, Adama’s sister Assa had described his testimony as “essential”.

    She explained on Twitter that the witness “made important statements” during his interrogation, but when she found out what he had really said less than two weeks later, Assa Traoré changed her mind.

    Legal experts believe that Adama died before his arrest. “Expert” reports ordered by the family claim the opposite. The key witness has now confirmed that Adama Traoré “made no noise” when he was on the threshold of his apartment and said he “guaranteed” that “he [Adama] was not well at all”. In particular, the witness stated during his last hearing that Adama Traoré told him “I am going to die”. There were no police officers present at that time.

    Therefore, Adama could not have died at the hands of the police as his family members have claimed. But the Traorés have been receiving US funding to advance the notion that French police officers killed Adama.

    According to several US polling organisations, US senior military staff officers voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential elections, while rank-and-file soldiers voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.

    Thus, on Columbus Day, the United States Army sent out an email to all of its civilian and military staff denouncing “white supremacism”. The thrust of the message was that celebrating Columbus Day, denying “white privilege” and claiming that there is only one human race, are only concerns of the far right.

    The email was sent by the Army’s Equity and Inclusion Agency as part of its Operation Inclusion, and was signed by Casey Wardynski, the Assistant Secretary of the Army in charge of Manpower and Reserve Affairs. But because the email contravened the Hatch Act which prohibits any form of political engagement, the Pentagon quickly retracted it.

    Hillary Clinton has meanwhile expressed her desire to see African-Americans and Hispanics – including illegal immigrants – vote on the internet to ensure Donald Trump’s defeat. On 13 July 2020 during an interview on the Daily Show, Clinton brushed off objections about the security of the electronic system, claiming it was trustworthy.

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