France: Fears of Anti-White Racism July 20, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in African-American, Anti-Semitic, Anti-White, Arab, Arabs & Muslims, Black, Card, Caribbean, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Death, France, French, Gendarme, Ilan Halimi, Jacques Chirac, Jewish, Kill, killed, Killing, Motorcycle, policeman, Racism, Racist, Raphael Clin, Saint-Martin, White.
The accidental death of a gendarme (French policeman) on the Caribbean island of Saint-Martin has plunged France into a new spasm of race-related angst after his widow claimed that youths refused to help after he was hit by a speeding motorcycle and later gloated at the death of a white.
With feelings already running high after the brutal murder in Paris of the young Jewish man Ilan Halimi, the events surrounding the death of 31 year-old Raphael Clin on February 12 have stoked fears of a festering anti-white hatred among the country’s black and Arab populations.
Politicians have rushed to condemn the alleged incident, anti-racist groups have pledged to file suit in the courts, three government ministers have said they will visit the Franco-Dutch island, and President Jacques Chirac has telephoned Clin’s widow Stephanie to offer his condolences.
But amid the media-driven frenzy, doubts have now emerged about the true circumstances of the death. And among the island’s 40,000 French population — many of them of mixed race — there is fury at the way they have been portrayed.
Clin was killed early on a Sunday morning when he tried to stop what he believed to be a “course sauvage” — an illegal high-speed race — on the French part of the island’s single main road.
Witnesses say he stepped onto the thoroughfare, but Cedric Hannicette had his head low over the controls and hit the gendarme at more than 100 miles (160 kilometres) an hour.
Clin was taken to hospital where he died shortly afterwards, and the 23 year-old Hannicette fell in a coma. There the story would have remained — a small-time local tragedy — had it not been for a statement from the Association for the Defense of the Rights of Military Personnel (ADEFDROMIL).
In an open letter to Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, ADEFDROMIL said that “at the scene of the accident the agony of gendarme Clin triggered a collective celebration by some 40 people. …. Shockingly not one of those present went for help or offered any assistance.
“The gendarme Clin died performing his duties surrounded by indifference, abuse, dishonour and racism,” it said.
And there was worse. According to Stephanie Clin, when she arrived at the hospital she saw a crowd of friends and family-members of the motorcyclist.
“They were insulting the gendarmerie and when news came out that my husband was dead, they were all smiling and saying it was a victory to have killed a gendarme who was to top it all a white man,” she said.
Taking place just a day before the murder near Paris of Ilan Halimi — a young man who was kidnapped and tortured to death in a crime widely seen as partly anti-Semitic in origin — the Saint-Martin affair took some time before hitting the headlines, but when it did many drew a clear link between the two incidents.
According to philosopher and writer Alain Finkielkraut, who frequently comments on social issues, both bore witness to a seething hatred of the white “establishment” and a horrifyingly callous attitude to violence and death.
“The (Clin) affair is unacceptable, but what is equally unacceptable is the official discretion. The prime minister should have been at the funeral! But the authorities and the media don’t want to make waves. Why? Because official anti-racism doesn’t like to speak of anti-French or anti-white racism,” he told Le Figaro newspaper.
But on the island itself — which has been divided into French and Dutch halves since the mid 17th-century — there is a widespread feeling that the events surrounding Clin’s death have been sensationalised, and many are incensed at the accusations of racism.
A doctor at the hospital told L’Express magazine that “there were no scenes of collective joy. It is ridiculous!”
“There are more than 100 different nationalities living on Saint-Martin. It would be very wrong to confuse what a few young people have said with the population as a whole. The incident has been blown out of proportion,” said Albert Fleming, mayor of the French part of the island.
According to local commentators, context is the key. Saint-Martin has passed through a destabilising period of change in recent years. With the arrival of thousands of immigrants from Haiti and other parts of the Caribbean, the population of the French part has multiplied by five in 15 years.
To the emergence of a culture of gangs and drugs, the gendarmerie has reacted with an at times unpopular rigour — for example by enforcing for the first time in the island’s history the rules of the road.
Source: Turkish Press