Dieudonné - God's Gift?
He is in the news regularly in France. And now a plethora of English-speaking websites are aware of his influence. His name is Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala, a Frenchman of mixed French and Cameroonian blood. He gained fame as an entertainer, an actor, a comedian, but he has achieved possible immortality as a professional Jew-hater, using subtle, seemingly clever, and fallacious arguments in his stand against the "Zionists" as he often calls them. Here are the opening paragraphs of an excellent article that appeared in the Israeli paper Haaretz a few months ago:
Haaretz Last update - 17:22 19/01/2006
By Roey Cohen
PARIS - Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala, a popular stand-up comic in France, is being ostracized by a large part of the French public, which is staying away from his shows. He is also no longer being invited to appear on television there. It's not because he's not funny. On the contrary - everyone agrees that Dieudonné is a superb comic, a very funny man. But this week he went on trial in Paris for things he said in an interview about a year ago in the French weekly Le Journal de Dimanche, in which he attacked - with typical vitriol - the people he thinks are trying to shove him to the margins of the sociopolitical discourse in France. He has no doubt whatsoever about their identity. "These are the same slave traders who became bankers and media moguls and who currently support Ariel Sharon's policies," he said. "Those that are attacking me have built empires and fortunes thanks to slavery and the black slave trade. But it's Israel that has financed apartheid and its final solution projects."
This isn't the first time that Dieudonné has got into trouble for such statements. Thanks to his big mouth, he is frequently in and out of courtrooms. His name is mentioned as one of the wildest and most influential inciters of the black youth who rioted in the streets of Paris this past October. There's no question that he likes to kick up storms and enjoys the attention. Generally speaking, this man, who cuts a big figure, is hard to miss. Dieudonné is "metis" - of mixed race, tall, strong and bearded, with a wild mane of curls on his head. He will turn 40 next month. During his shows, he has the audience in the palm of his hand and has been one of France's top stand-up artists for close to 15 years now. He can slay an entire audience with just a facial expression or a simple physical gesture. Financially, he's pretty well set. His solo shows were a big success, he has acted in more than 10 films and he owns a small theater in Paris where he directs and produces fringe productions.
Dieudonné, or Dieudo as his fans call him, was born on February 11, 1966 in Fontenay-aux-Roses outside Paris. His mother, who is white, is a sociologist and painter, and his father, also named Dieudonné, is an accountant who immigrated to France from Cameroon. He has one brother and 12 half-siblings from his parents' previous marriages. Dieudonné himself is married to a white woman. He has three small children and lives in Paris.
On the face of it, Dieudonné appears to have achieved the great French dream. His path to the top wasn't paved with long, frustrating years of performing in dingy bars and clubs. In 1990, he teamed up with the French-Jewish comedian Elie Semoun and the two quickly became a very successful comic duo. Dieudonné played "the black," Semoun played "the Jew," and together they mocked all the cliches about racism. Their collaboration lasted until 1997, when they parted on good terms. Each went on to a successful solo career. Yet Dieudonné's life and career up to that point were no preparation for the sort of remarks he began spewing in the year 2000.
Freedom of speech
In an interview with the France-Soir newspaper in March 2000, Dieudonné said that "in the eyes of the enslaving white man, the blacks in France are considered overgrown children and clowns." He added: "The baka (a derogatory term for whites) are finished and I'm watching from the sidelines and smiling at the downfall of the white man." An extreme right-wing organization took him to court and he was ordered to pay damages in the amount of 5,000 euros, but the ruling was overturned on appeal two years later.
And so it has continued ever since. Despite his sometimes very strident and extreme statements, Dieudonné somehow always manages to tiptoe between the raindrops without really getting wet. He knows how to exploit to the fullest the freedom of speech so sacred to the French and has not really paid much of a price for his provocations up to now.
Dieudonné stretches the patience of French society to the limit, and this reached a peak in 2004, when he was invited to appear on a talk show on the France 3 network. Taking advantage of the live broadcast, he appeared dressed as an ultra-Orthodox Jew, advised French Muslims to convert to Judaism if they wanted to improve their lives and finished off with a shout of "Isra-Heil!" accompanied by the Nazi straight-armed salute.
Read the rest of the article here. Note: the title is in French, but the article is in English.
This morning FrontPageMagazine published another excellent summary of Dieudonné's influence by Steven Plaut. Here is an excerpt:
And Dieudonné does not limit himself to verbal attacks on Jews. This April, for instance, he was walking down a Parisian avenue with his two kids when two Jewish passersby, one aged 19 and the other 25, recognized Dieudonné and walked up to him to express their dislike of some of his more openly anti-Jewish remarks. They told him that they believed that his bigotry lay behind the recent torture and murder of a Jewish teenager in Paris, Ilan Halimi.
Dieudonné did not take their criticism well. After walking his two kids home, he took out a tear gas canister and went back out to the boulevard, searched out his two Jewish critics, and sprayed them with the tear gas. It was obviously a pre-meditated assault; the victims reported the attack to the gendarmerie and Dieudonné was arrested. But his publicist told the French media that Dieudonné had himself been attacked by "two right-wing Zionists from the Extremist Right," adding that their verbal "attack on him" proved how "extremist Jews and Zionists are."
Read the whole article here.
Finally, a brief excerpt from a comment by Laurence Thomas at a website called MoralHealth that compares Dieudonné to Farrakhan:
What do Farrakhan and Dieudonné have in common? The answer is that they both attribute to Jews extraordinary powers of control and, by consequence, they both blame Jews for the evils of the world. In particular, there would not have been the slavery of African blacks but for Jews who orchestrated it all, or nearly so.
Read the rest here.
The first photo was taken during his trip to Martinique. It and others appear at the Africa Maat website. The second photo is from LesOgres, one of several megalomaniacal websites operated either by or on behalf of our hero. If you are curious and decide to visit, you will see the ubiquitous word CRAN: an association of black organizations: Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires.