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 Pseudoscientific Bigotry in France

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juju41

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Féminin Nombre de messages : 42846
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Date d'inscription : 12/05/2007

MessageSujet: Pseudoscientific Bigotry in France   Lun 22 Oct 2007 - 12:18

NewYorkTimes

Editorial
Pseudoscientific Bigotry in France


Published: October 21, 2007
Immigration issues bring out the worst instincts in politicians who should know better. Congress showed that earlier this year. Now it is the turn of France’s Parliament. It is moving toward final approval of an ugly new law that would introduce DNA testing as a potential basis for excluding prospective immigrants hoping to reunify with family members already living in France.

DNA testing can be a useful tool in establishing criminal guilt or innocence. But it has no rightful place in immigration law. Modern French families, like modern American families, are constituted on many bases besides bloodlines and genetics. This is something most French politicians and voters should be aware of.

They should also be aware of the cautionary lessons of modern French history. Under the Nazi occupiers and their Vichy collaborators, pseudoscientific notions of pure descent were introduced into French law with tragic consequences.

The DNA provision, proposed by a member of Parliament close to President Nicolas Sarkozy, has been angrily denounced by the center-left opposition, principled members of the center-right majority and a member of Mr. Sarkozy’s cabinet. As a result, the legislation has been hedged with some cautionary language, but not enough. Meanwhile, Mr. Sarkozy, who could have intervened to stop this bill at any point, and still can, has not, and is not very likely to.

Though himself the son of a Hungarian immigrant, Mr. Sarkozy has made his political name with harsh criticism of more recent immigrants, especially North African Arabs. His pandering on this issue helped win him votes that used to go to far-right extremists like the perennial presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Immigrant bashing is an effective vote-getter. Unfortunately, it leads to bad laws, bad policies and needless human suffering for the individuals and families it targets and exploits. Mr. Sarkozy wants to be seen as a statesman. He should act like one.
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