Didier Fassin (Le Monde, 14.12.10)

« Selon les statistiques des Centers for Disease Control [centres de contrôle sanitaire], entre 1968 et 2011, le taux de mortalité lié à l’intervention des forces de l’ordre a été en moyenne quatre fois supérieur pour les Noirs comparé aux Blancs, mais ces données prennent en compte la totalité de la population, indépendamment de l’âge et du sexe. Or, ce sont bien sûr les hommes jeunes qui sont le plus directement concernés. D’après une étude de ProPublica [site Internet voué au journalisme d’investigation] portant sur les années 2010-2012, un jeune noir a 21 fois plus de risques d’être tué par un policier qu’un jeune blanc entre 15 et 19 ans. »

“According to a study from ProPublica (a website dedicated to investigative journalism) concerning the period 2010-2012, between 15 and 19 year-old, a young Black person has 21 times more risks to be killed by a policeman than a young white person.” It’s not like we do not know about this. But every time I read something about this, it makes me angry. How is it possible that a country that proclaims itself as the Human Rights country lets this kind of things happen? It is the same in France, except we cannot officially show statistics about it, because ethnicity and race are taboo. We are having big talks about democratic governance in Iraq and the war against extremism, without being able to deal with horrifying social facts at home. I am not saying that we should let the Islamic State run the Middle East or that Saddam Hussein was a good guy (even though I think that the love from certain Western countries for neo-colonial interventions is freakishly annoying). Just that we should look at ourselves from time to time and try to solve some huge issues that could help our own population.

I was once told that as soon as you live in a country where you cannot trust the police, it means that democracy has vanished. It is the case in North Korea, where democracy in itself sounds like an insult. It is also the case in China, where bribery is part of the system. And it is the case in some parts of the US, if you do not have the right skin color. When you are part of the majority, o, top of the social pyramid (generally meaning you’re a white upper-middle class heterosexual male), there is nothing to fear. You do your life without really caring about other people. Your gestures and behaviors would not be analyzed in a negative way and the risks you face to be bothered by a policeman asking for your ID are quite low. For people who do not fit into those categories, life is harder.

Would there be any way to change this? How could we fight discriminations? I have attended a few classes about this, but I still haven’t found the answer, though I think that a possibility lies in young children. Or maybe we should all flee to Canada -laugh-?


Listening to: MBLAQ – 봄 여름 가을 그리고… (Spring Summer Autumn And…)


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