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François Hollande’s misguided move: taking ‘race’ out of the constitution

An article I wrote with Valerie Amiraux on the plan to take the word ‘race’ out of the French constitution.

It’s become something of a commonplace to speak of the US as having entered a post-racial age. Both the right and the left have heralded the end of race, either triumphantly or as a way of dismissing talk of racism as so much political correctness. However, in Europe, the debate about race – post- or otherwise – is virtually non-existent compared with North America, where race never really goes away as a topic no matter how much people wish it would. Which is why it is surprising that the issue has become a significant part of François Hollande’s term in office. During the French presidential elections last spring, the Socialist candidate pledged to remove the word “race” from the French constitution. Currently, it states that “France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social republic. It guarantees equality before the law for all citizens without distinction of origin, race or religion.” He is promising to effect that change before the summer. Read more on The Guardian website

Alana Lentin