The triple health, economic and social crisis that our country is going through exacerbates tensions and, as is often the case in times of crisis, contributes to reinforcing prejudice and discrimination. We see this, for example, with the outpouring of hatred against people of Asian origin in France and around the world.
No, racism and anti-Semitism have not been eradicated in our society. The news reminds us regularly that the rejection of others because of their skin color, their origins or their beliefs is not yet a thing of the past.
Yes, the fight against racism and anti-Semitism remains more than ever a contemporary struggle. Because in addition to being a reality for thousands of our fellow citizens in metropolitan and overseas France, racism and anti-Semitism know no geographical, cultural or social boundaries. They spread through all the pores of our society and are inscribed, to paraphrase Hannah Arendt, in "the void of thought".
We must remain lucid. Because times change, hatred has also metamorphosed. It has changed its face. It has taken on new practices. But it has not diminished in intensity. Social networks have thus become an outlet for hateful comments. A receptacle of racism and anti-Semitism matured into a sounding board. These are not opinions, but crimes that are often expressed. Crimes under the cover of anonymity. Crimes that must be punished and anonymity that must be lifted. Because if hateful words, death threats or insults are virtual, the collateral damage and injuries they inflict are real.
This hatred, which advances with a masked or uncovered face, spreads everywhere. A hatred that always hurts; and sometimes kills. Because racism and anti-Semitism concern us all, our republican duty is to collectively lead the fight to eradicate them. Because it is no longer possible that in 2021, in our country, some people are guilty not for what they do but for what they are.
It is no longer possible that in 2021, in our country, some people are guilty not for what they do but for what they are.
This fight is a priority for the President of the Republic and the Government. It is reflected in the implementation of the anti-discrimination platform that we have entrusted to the Human Rights Defender and which has been operational since February 12 via www.antidiscriminations.fr and 39 28. This fight is also reflected in the major citizen consultation on discrimination that we will launch in April in order to debate together - citizens, associations or companies - and to develop concrete proposals to move our society towards a real culture of equality and fraternity.
Racism and anti-Semitism are much more than violations of our republican values. They are the negation of them.
Finally, this week I launched the work on the next National Plan to Combat Racism and Anti-Semitism, which I hope to co-construct in close collaboration with associations working on these issues, such as - among others - the LICRA, SOS Racisme, the UEJF and the Jeunes Chinois de France, and which we will present before the summer.
Racism and anti-Semitism are much more than violations of our republican values; they are the negation of them. As part of the Week of Education and Action against Racism and Anti-Semitism, yesterday I visited the Rivesaltes camp, a symbol of the dark and painful hours of our history, and, by an unfortunate coincidence of the calendar, this week we commemorated the murders of Mireille Knoll and Arnaud Beltrame, two innocent faces of the flame of hatred that remains present in our society.
"Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it. It is up to us to fulfill it.
I am convinced that it is together and through concrete actions that we can extinguish this flame. As Frantz Fanon said: "Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it. It is up to us to fulfill it.