Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Un Personnage Obscur"

Axel Poniatowski not only accuses Valérie Pécresse of being a party to the leak of Ali Soumaré's criminal record (3/5 of which was actually someone else's criminal record), he also admits to error but manages to turn his apology into a further smear by asserting that "il n'en reste pas moins que M. Soumaré est un personnage obscur." This statement belongs in the same category as Frêche's "tronche peu catholique."

UPDATE: Poniatowski denies Le Monde's account.


MYOS said...

RTL indicates that it was premeditated by Axel Poniatowski.

MYOS said...

BTW, notice how Raoult continues to outdo himself by saying "Valerie" is not in control of anything and her campaign should be "taken over" by someone with "a strong hand".

Anonymous said...

"obscur" ou pas clair ?

Anonymous said...

Soumaré is reaping the benefits of the publicity given to him by this "affaire". Some luminary said "there is no bad publicity", or something like that. Kind of rings true, in a mundane wisdom sort of way.

My scepticism may be moreso of the Humean variety (the pain-in-the-ass devil's advocate kind) but even when I try to muster some of my Montaignesque scepticism (the jaded-but-not-misanthropic kind), I'm still drawn to ask WTF? who is this clown the Socialists put at the head of the list in the neighboring departement?
There may be prescription (whatever that means) concerning Soumaré's past deeds. And one may say that, vis-à-vis the law he has paid his debt to society. But he's running for a public office. I say open the closets and see what skeletons lie therein. Were I a voter, I would feel under no obligation to think that his slate is clean.


MYOS said...

CP, I disagree. I don't see how you can defend what is blatant racism.
France has had many people who were convicted for far more serious crimes than what Soumaré did. Offhand, I'd name Pasqua, Jupé, Tibéri, Emmanuelli, Devedjian, Huchon. I am sure there are plenty more. However all of those are from an established group - well off and caucasian - so past deeds are not dredged up. Soumaré was treated in an unusual way for a French politician and this, obviously, because he's of African descent and comes from Villiers le Bel.

Poniatowski was playing with this foulest idea: Black man = criminal.
It's disgusting.

While I think criminal pasts should be known, the law states that once rehabilitation has taken place, the person is cleared. If Soumaré is to be taken to task for what he did in his youth and since, then EVERY politician who's on a list in IDF should reveal their record.
-with perhaps the exception of embezzlment of public funds: that should be a circumstance barring one from being a candidate to public service.

Something that happened 12 years ago and is sealed should not have leaked and been used against Soumaré. (My position would have been different if the misdemeanors had been recent or had escalated to crime.) As for the false accusations, they're slander, and I hope the lawsuit results make sure that never again a person of color is made to look like a criminal to pander to the basest prejudices.

Even Jean Michel Aphatie thinks it's a scandal and he usually only gets that riled about about the deficit. :)

Unknown said...

Chris, I take your point, but as the great George W. Bush once said, "When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible." I think France needs more representation of its ethnic minorities in the good American "communautariste" sense, and therefore I think it was a good idea to run Soumaré, who represented the Villiers-le-Bel community in its conflict with the police. He may be a firebrand, but why not bring him inside the system and see what he can do for his constituents. You need a bagarreur. Now, if it were true, as the UMP apparently believed, that he was a multirecidivist, that would be another kettle of fish. But his story--and of course it's HIS story--is that he had a youthful brush with the law and learned his lesson. By rights, the record of the crime should have been sealed. Since then, his only trouble seems to have come from mouthing off at the cops, but somebody's got to speak up for the harassed and beleaguered, even if it means having a loud mouth. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as a politician. Whereas Delattre and Poniatowski are playing on racial stereotypes--the Willy Horton card, in US terms. It's rotten--I'm with MYOS on that.

Unknown said...

ever since I understood in the seventies that "les jeunes" was a codeword, I lost any illusion about conservative pols in France in this respect. And, well, the name Poniatowski brings back a great deal of memories in this respect. Shoot, do I have the wrong Poniatowski? Must be an homonym. Sorry, Art, couln't resist it.