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Friday, August 03, 2012
Anti-White Racism, 1961
Above is a video from a French television documentary entitled "Faire face" made in 1961 by Igor Barrère and Etienne Lalou. The purpose of the documentary is obvious: to instill in people a horror of racism, even when there is no racism. For example, it is not racist to want to be like those around you. It is not racist to prefer the color white to the color black. The children in the video are exploited for this purpose, and yet, despite the manipulative leading questions from the journalist, it is the children's honesty that shines through, not their "racism". On the other hand, the malicious intent of the journalist cannot be disguised by any pretext of concern for humanity.
At what moment in our lives do we put our fingers in the diabolical? The most natural and most innocent action, that of a child who clings solidly to the category to which he belongs, who doesn't want to be different from the others - is this not already a racist reflex?
At 14" the conversations with children begin:
- Do you like colors?
- Do you like white?
- Yes, sir.
- Why do you like white?
- Because I find it's pretty.
- Do you find that white looks clean?
- Do you like black?
- No, sir, I don't.
- Because it is too dirty.
- Do you like stories about the Indians?
- Who do you prefer in the stories about Indians? The whites? Or the Indians"
- The whites.
- Why? (The child hesitates.)
- When you prefer something there has to be a reason. Why do you prefer the whites?
- I like them better because they are like us.
- In this school there are pupils who do not have the same color skin as you do. You like them?
- They're your friends?
- Would you like to look like them?
- No. I prefer to be white.
- And if you were in Africa, in a school where all the children were black and you were white. Would you like that?
- No, I would want to be black.
- If I'm in a school where the others are black, I prefer to be black, and if I'm in a school where the others are white I prefer to be white.
At 2'01" the second child is questioned:
- Imagine you are in a school in Africa where all the children are black and you are white.
- Oh no.
- Because there would be only one white, and that would be me.
- That would annoy you?
At 2'17", the third child (arms crossed):
- If you woke up one morning and found you were a little black boy. Would you like that?
- I would sometimes like it.
- And if you were in Africa in a school where all the children were black and you were white, would you like that?
- I would be ashamed.
At 2'42", the fourth child :
- Would you like to be in school in Africa, as they are here, that is to say, you would be in a school where all the children were black and you were white.
- I would prefer to be like the others.
At 2'57" the fifth child (buttoned-up shirt):
- In this school, there are little boys of color, some who are black, some who are Asian. Do you like them?
- Are some of them your friends?
- If you wake up in the morning and find you have become black, like them, would you like that?
- No? Why?
- Because I don't like the color black.
- And if you were in Africa in a school where all the children were black, and you the only white, would you like that?
- Because I wouldn't be like the others.
The scene switches to WWII and the roundup of Jews, a totally different topic from what preceded, as readers' comments have noted. The narrator forces a comparison:
From those happy children to this terrified child, from those candid comments to the horror of the death camps, there is less distance than one might think. The truth is, we are all, more or less, in some way or another, racist. And it's only by being conscious of this that we can avoid becoming the accomplices of crimes against humanity like those committed in our country less than twenty years ago.
The video is posted at François Desouche, with over a hundred comments. Here's a sampling:
- In 2012 there's no need to go to Africa to find a school with just one or two whites.
- The journalists of 1961 were already idiots!
- And would Igor Barrère and Etienne Lalou prefer to be white or black?
- What's fascinating is that all of the children's responses prove their total absence of racism: they are friends with blacks and Asians, and they have nothing against the fact of being black (but it has to be in Africa). And yet, the commentary says that these responses are not far removed from the death camps, and that we are all racists. (…)
- This interrogation of children is unbearable.
- Poor kids, back against the wall, faced with an interrogation from the Soviet era.
- So this all started with the early days of television. I thought the brainwashing was more recent.