'White people must keep quiet on racism!' Paris deputy mayor sparks 'US woke culture' row

The proposal has sparked fury across France, with many stating that “American woke culture” was invading the nation. Left-wing deputy mayor of Paris, Audrey Pulvar, has said white people should “be asked to keep quiet and be silent spectators” when issues of racism are being discussed. She added: “People who suffer discrimination for the same reasons and in the same way feel the need to meet among themselves to discuss it.”

The comments have led to intellectual debate within France, with politicians, prominent intellectuals, and academics arguing the nation is being contaminated by American ideas on race, gender, and post-colonialism.

The debate has focused on the inroads made by the Black Lives Matter movement and other US cultural movements and the fear they are undermining French society.

Now the former socialist Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls, has argued that Ms Pulvar’s announcements have betrayed French values.

In an interview on Europe 1 Radio, he said: “This rhetoric, always justifying the victim, leads to disaster.

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Macron warned against leaving ‘the intellectual debate to others’ as he cautioned over the rise of ‘social science theories’ imported from the US.

Mr Macron has said US “woke culture” is a threat to France’s national identity.

Prompted by the Black Lives Matter protests in the US, widespread demonstrations occurred across Paris in mid-June 2020.

The protestors organised under the banner, “Justice for Adama”.

This referred to Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who died in French police custody in 2016.

Mr Traoré’s family and friends said he died of asphyxiation.

Assa Traoré, Adama’s sister, joined the protest and called on people to “denounce social, racial, and police violence”.

Ms Traoré said: “What’s happening in the United States is happening in France.

“Our brothers are dying.”

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