No Discernment Allowed
There is a lengthy video posted at François Desouche of lawyer, law professor and member of the CNESER (National council on higher education) Anne-Marie Le Pourhiet. In the video, which is for French-speakers only, she addresses the French National Assembly and responds to several issues including laws on memory and memorials, i.e., laws on hate crimes, laws on discrimination, laws on legislating historical events, etc... The best known of these is the Gayssot law making Holocaust denial a crime, but there are others. The video is very difficult for anyone not well-versed in these matters. A reader of mine, who is technically proficient, may attempt to add some English subtitles, but in the meantime, among the readers' responses there is this one that puts into print some of Le Pourhiet's views on related topics. It is comment #6 posted by "Crocop". A reminder that in French "positive discrimination" is equivalent to "affirmative action":
"First of all, it is no longer certain that the ability to discern is still regarded as a desirable quality in our society. To distinguish gym clothes from school clothes or to show surprise when a pupil comes to school in a jogging outfit now constitutes a "humiliation", just as it is a humiliation to return students' tests by grades in descending order; to qualify a certain piece of contemporary art as "excremental" is a scandal; to distinguish sex and age is legally reprehensible, while distinguishing the legitimate child from the illegitimate is civilly unacceptable; to give a dictation or assign an essay to pupils is a "way of reproducing social inequalities"; to try to be selective in the choice of students accepted at universities is an unforgivable mistake. In general, to select, to prefer, to put into a hierarchy or merely to judge has become a sign of a "phobia", i.e., a mental illness requiring appropriate emergency care. In such conditions, the word "discrimination" is obviously doomed to limited usage and the High Authority (Note: she is referring to HALDE) in charge of the fight against this infamy has a fabulous future as Big Brother. "Physical appearance" having been made grounds for punishable discrimination by French law, one wonders how modeling agencies and Miss France competitions are still tolerated.
It is henceforth forbidden to discriminate except... when it concerns attributing privileges to those lucky enough to belong to the exclusive club of the "dominated". Women, handicapped, African and Maghrebin immigrants, homo-bi-trans sexuals, those from regions with a "strong identity", etc... have the right to benefit from advantages refused to males, whites, those physically able, heterosexuals and those originating from regions of France i.e., regions with a weak identity. That is exactly what positive discrimination means: a free pass granted to members of ethno-cultural or sexual categories that have managed to forge for themselves the status of victim of domination. This domination having been perpetrated by a category of executioners not empowered to complain about being so designated.
To prefer a woman over a man is not reprehensible, it is, on the contrary, a "positive" discrimination that is greatly encouraged. To prefer hiring a Frenchman over a foreigner reveals a "populist xenophobia", but to reserve jobs and professional positions overseas for natives is a judicious realization of the "conditions of local employment." The above-cited "High Authority" ought to be called " High Authority in the fight against certain types of discrimination only."
Note: A reminder that HALDE was created in 2005 during Chirac's administration, when Sarkozy was minister of the interior. You can review articles here and here, among others, or click the HALDE label below.
Finally French readers may want to check out a long response to Le Pourhiet's remarks by Eric Keslassy, an apologist for positive discrimination. It is posted at a website called Communautarisme (communalism) that specializes in lengthy essays and interviews on the topic of ethnic groups. Keslassy's point of view is that a voluntary rupture with the principle of equality is necessary in order to accelerate the integration and social ascendancy of underprivileged populations. An interview with him, posted at the same website, is entitled Positive Discrimination: does the end justify the means? His answer, in a word, is yes - for the general good of the Republic. This is reminiscent of Danton, isn't it? "L'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace et la France est sauvée!"
Note: In 1792 Danton cried: "Audacity, more audacity, forever audacity, and France will be saved!"
The photo of Le Pourhiet above is from a 2008 interview posted at Riposte Laïque, in which she gives her views on changing the preamble of the French Constitution, on positive discrimination and on the feminist movement:
I have only a bad opinion of feminism, that I call "gynecocentrism". I don't understand why we would care more about one human group than another on grounds that we belong to that group. A man who is tortured moves me as much as a woman who is tortured, and it wouldn't occur to me to feel more solidarity with women hostages than with men in the same situation. What do I care about the number of women in the National Assembly. What I hope for is that the majority of deputies have good ideas and a genuine concern for the common good. I couldn't care less about the sex of the deputies or of CEO's, any more than I care about the sex of angels.