I have always been a Leftist – a Gauchist, as French people like to put it. As a French citizen born of Malian parents and brought up in a working-class district of Paris, I had very few possibilities to vote otherwise. The French Socialist Party was de facto known as the only political party Ethnic minorities, and consequently the poor could vote for in France. The Right, it was known, only defended the rights of the wealthiest, the rights of the privileged; those whose parents were most often not seen as immigrants. It is thus that the nineteenth district of Paris, mainly populated by immigrants and their descents, had since the mid-1990s always been a stronghold of the Socialist Party. President Francois Mitterrand, elected in 1981 and again for a second mandate in 1988, was, to some extent, seen as the father, or the uncle of the party, and of all those who defined themselves as Leftist.
After the 1983 riots, and in the same year, the historic March that became known as the March for Equality, it was the Socialist Party, through the association SOS Racism, that first started to put on the table questions linked to the experience and living conditions of the children of immigrants in the Hexagon. In the mid-1990s, it also became obvious that the first and second generation of children born from immigrant parents were about to make the difference in terms of votes, as they represented an important electoral body whose aspirations had to be dealt with. The Socialist Party also presented itself as the party that could best defend the rights of this new section of the French population, to the point that the vote of these immigrant descents became too often granted for the French Left.
I will never forget that French comedian who, imitating the racists in the early eighties, used to say, in one of his skits: “People say I am racist, but my dog is black”. The comic or hilarious side of his comment -which, by the way, could have been pronounced by any ordinary white French citizen at the time- relied more on the fact that one might show uncontested love for his dog; yet, there will always be a difference between a dog and a human being. No matter the relationship between the two, one will always be the master, while the other one will always remain the dog. Here is also, in other words, a perfect illustration of the relationship between the French Socialist Party and the ethnic minorities it pretends to defend.
The paternalistic attitude of the Socialist Party, and its false efforts to remedy racism and discrimination, while maintaining it in a status quo, in reality, enabled the French left to be seen as the only voice and choice for Ethnic minorities. The fraud was, however, progressively dismantled and challenged by the sons and daughters of immigrants. In the nineties and in the first two decades of the twenty-first century, many were those Ethnic minorities who after criticising and denouncing the hypocrisy of the French Left were more convinced that setting up their own pollical movement and agenda was the solution to break free from the Whiteman’s submissiveness.
The last legislative elections with the disappearance of the Socialist Party and the increase of the representation of ethnic minorities as independent candidates, candidates of the unsubmissive France party, or again the Republique en Marche is, therefore no surprise. I will also not shed the least tear for the job loss of all these local representatives of ethnic minority cultural background who for decades associated themselves with the Socialist Party and openly supported it when it was crystal clear that these politicians were building their political career on the misery of the non-whites. Every slave plantation has its own uncle Tom, ready to sell his peers for the sake of his masters.
I hear today that Benoit Hamon, the official candidate of the Socialist Party in the last presidential election, is leaving the political formation; which also clearly announces the end of the Political Party. In the nineteenth district of Paris, many of the few Blacks and Arabs who proudly clad themselves in the outfit of the Uncle Tom, serving the interests of the Socialist Party at the stake of their own peers, will finally have to find themselves a real job. Them experiencing the hardship of life of other Ethnic minorities is, for sure, not a bad thing. I have always been very conscious of a sense of History. But, let me put it this way: “No nostalgia is to be expressed when the blood suckers of the 19th district of Paris are finally sent back to their graves”.