France

Head of the department of education appointed in France faces systemic racism for being black

Since his appointment rue de Grenelle, the historian has been awash in criticism from the far right and from part of the intellectual world for simply being black.

Pap Ndiaye is appointed Minister of National Education and Youth on May 20, 2022.

After entering the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud in 1986, Pap Ndiaye is an associate professor of history. A specialist in the social history of the United States, he continued his studies across the Atlantic and graduated from the University of Virginia (1992).

Back in France, he completed his doctorate in history at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (1996), where he was a lecturer. His work focuses on issues of racial discrimination in France and the United States. He obtained an HDR (habilitation to direct research) at the Panthéon-Sorbonne University in 2011.

Having become a professor at Sciences Po Paris, he headed the history department there until his secondment in March 2021 as director general of the National Museum of the History of Immigration at the Porte Dorée.

He is the author of numerous works on the black question in France, in particular “La Condition noire: essay on a French minority” published in 2008.

But apparently his references and resume were not enough, and his only burden for the very outspoken racist France is to be “not enough french” meaning you cant be black and french.

“A real indigenist intellectual, a real woke”, who will revisit the history of France “in the light of indigenism, woke ideology and islamo-leftism”, according to Éric Zemmour. An “assumed indigenist”, for Marine Le Pen, coupled with a “racialist militant” for the president of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella. Since his appointment to the Ministry of National Education on Friday, Pap Ndiaye, an academic specializing in the social history of the United States and minorities, has been the subject of criticism from the far right.

Strange right wing forked tongue jargon used is appaling. Isn’t racism at the core of this white french society is being “indigenist” in itself ? Any one has been sued for these dirty talks. Absolutely not, Islamophohia and racism have a white card in the french society since the rise of the Sarkozy president and right-wing ideas are flowing freely and re-used frequently by all parties.

We find words that regularly appear in the French media debate, according to the controversies. Concepts that are difficult to understand, because they do not cover the same meaning depending on who uses them – supporter or detractor, researcher, activist or columnist; and because they are the subject of debate among intellectuals. Here are the key areas to know to see more clearly.

France is often ticklish when it comes to looking at his abominable colonial history and Pap Ndiaye’s appointment might just be a reaction to this deep disease inside the system that refused to be cured.

Adama Cissoko

Reporter Afrique de L'ouest et Sahel @ Aldjazair.org

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