Sunday, January 5, 2014

Taubira Statement on Dieudonné

This blog has been inundated in recent days by hundreds of inhabitual readers directed here by a mention of my previous post in The New York Times. Many of these new readers have left comments, most of them in defense of Dieudonné and derogatory of my characterization of him. Quite a few have suggested that I am quite ignorant of French realities and presume to grace me with their intimate and visceral understanding as members of an oppressed "people" subject to an all-powerful "elite" in control of the media and other forms of public expression.

From long experience of the Internet, I know that it's useless to respond to trolls, so I won't. In their own minds their logic is ironclad, and I'm quite sure that no argument from me is likely to penetrate. Since Dieudonné is a comedian, I think it might be more profitable to respond with humor, for example, as a friend of mine suggested, by organizing a "quenelle cooking contest." Nevertheless, I think it's worthwhile to cite the response of the minister of justice, Mme Christiane Taubira, to the Dieudonné affair. Since Mme Taubira has herself been the object of very public attacks that the elite Establishment allegedly in control of the media in France has been powerless to suppress, perhaps her testimony will have some value, though I suspect its import will be lost on Dieudonné's defenders. Her statement can be read in full here. I single out the following passage for your edification (h/t KJS):

Il est triste, infiniment triste, d'achever une année sur les pitreries obscènes d'un antisémite multirécidiviste. Faut-il que son talent soit stérile pour qu'il n'ait d'autres motifs pour faire s'esclaffer des esprits irresponsables ou incultes ou pervers, qu'une tragédie, un génocide, un indicible drame, de ceux dont on sait qu'on ne guérira pas, car rien ne nous consolera jamais des enfants dont la destinée s'est interrompue, brusquement ; et avant même cette violence de la mort industrielle, qui ne distingue pas, frappe sans rien connaître de ses victimes, la violence de l'arrachement, de la malnutrition, de la maladie, du désarroi, de cet inconnu irrationnellement hostile, la violence de la révélation de parents démunis qui ne peuvent protéger que par l'amour. Faut-il frayer avec les monstres pour trouver quelque plaisir à se faire complice, après coup, de ce crime contre l'humanité ?