By: V4 Agency
People of colour feel unsafe in the country, according to the leader of an anti-police and anti-racism movement, who recently gave an interview. A white teenage girl, however, refuted her claims by citing her own example. She says she has been receiving death threats for over a year now for daring to express her views freely.
Assa Traore has launched yet another scathing attack against France in a carefully crafted interview. She is the sister of Adama Traore – sometimes referred to as the French George Floyd – a repeat offender of Malian descent who died in 2016 after arrest. Apparently, Ms Traore tries to seize every opportunity to go against the French Republic. Undeterred even by France’s strict coronavirus restrictions and bans, she organised a mass rally in the summer of 2020 attended by twenty thousand people in Paris, where she publicly incited violence against police.
This time, in an interview with the jeuneafrique.com magazine, the head of the Traore Committee claimed nothing less than France being unsafe for its black and Arab residents. The interview, primarily designed to discredit France, was recorded in the activist’s home. Revisiting the old theme of the country’s colonial past, she claimed that the consequences of colonisation were still palpable. Assa Traore said she felt the need to raise awareness in the French population about the fact that those with an immigrant background are not allowed to contribute to the country’s growth, even though France describes itself as a democracy and champions the idea of liberty, equality, and fraternity. She said she also finds it intolerable that they receive no recognition from the country, and that the president of the republic refuses to apologise for the consequences of colonisation.
Assa Traore continued by pointing out that they still struggle to cope with the after-affects of slavery and colonisation. Her statement, however, seems controversial because her own family belongs to the Soninke ethnic group and her grandfather was governor in the western city of Kayes in Mali, where slaves are still being held to this day. Although there’s no evidence, it cannot be ruled out that the Traore family also owned slaves.
Adama Traore, also referred to as the French Floyd, is of Malian descent. The activist’s grandfather was governor of Kayes not so long ago….
The anti-racism activist said she believed France’s black and Arab residents were exposed to a hightened risk of police violence, something that also applies to all immigrants, whether of Asian or any other origin. She said she was also concerned about her own children, fearing that one day they may run into a violent police officer on the street. Ms Traore believes that prevention is important, so young people must be taught how to behave properly during a police inspection. They have to know that they need to stay calm and hand over their documents and, most importantly, that they must never run away.
Assa Traore’s statement triggered a response from Mila, the French teenage girl who received thousands of death threats because she had criticized Islam in a video. The young girl’s case has received extensive media coverage, and several public figures – including a number of politicians – spoke out in her support. They say no one should be intimidated for their views, because everyone has a right to freedom of expression, even if their statements are blasphemous, which is legal is France. Opposition politician Marine Le Pen also weighed in on the issue, saying it was not Mila who had to apologise, but those who threatened her, adding that these bullies should be tried in court.
Mila is fully aware of what it means to be threatened and live one’s life in constant danger. Since her video in January 2020, the 17-year-old girl has received around 50 thousand death threats. To raise awareness of that, she sent a public message to Assa Traore on Twitter, writing that it was not only people of colour and immigrants who were in danger in France, but also young white girls. “I know what I’m talking about,” she added.