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black french feminist rokhaya diallo evicted from advisory body for denouncing institutional racism

December 21, 2017
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America has a reputation for being well behind the times of the rest of the western world, especially when it comes to treatment of marginalized people. If Brexit and far right successes in recent elections across the continent didn’t disprove that this belief (where do people think such racism came to America from, after all?), another example has just manifest in the form of a high-profile Black feminist being forced off of a government body for her activism.

Journalist Rokhaya Diallo has been speaking out against sexism and racism in France for some time, recently documenting how the two combine in the journalism world in a powerful video calling out manterrupting.

Diallo was one of 30 people appointed last week to CNNum, France’s national digital council and independent commission of digital experts formed to advise president Emmanuel Macron’s government on a new, more inclusive digital policy, according to the Guardian.

After the appointments were approved by the digital minister Mounir Mahjoubi, whom the publication notes is “one of the few faces of ethnic diversity in government,” and the prime minister, the government swiftly backtracked following attacks against Diallo by far-right commentators on social media.

The attacks eventually culminated when the mainstream right-wing party Les Républicains wrote an open letter complaining that Diallo is outspoken about “institutional racism” and had supported Black women who attended closed meetings to speak among themselves about racism and sexism. These are all fireable offenses, according to some of the leftwing Socialists who supported evicting Diallo, and the government quickly kicked her out claiming an effort to work more “calmly.”

But this ridiculous example of misogynoir hasn’t been taken lightly. Marie Ekeland, the head of the digital advisory body, resigned in protest, followed by scores of other members. The French Human Rights League also slammed the decision, stating. As for Diallo, the From Paris to Ferguson filmmaker told the Guardian: “I think it shows there’s a great tension. Marie Ekeland, who appointed this committee, is ahead of the game and very optimistic about the capacity of the French to discuss and talk to each other. What you can see today is there are topics which are very hard to discuss in France, namely race issues.”

Never forget that these issues are worldwide!

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