Feb 28, 2003, 12:54 PM
Post #18 of 23
Pat...LePen, the extreme-right-wing French presidential candidate, was perceived by the French to be a threat to freedom and dignity. He espouses many of the same philosophies and theories of 'racial purity' that Hitler espoused in the 30s and 40s and propounded many of the same ideas for racial cleansing that the Nazis did. LePen was in favor of mass deportations of Muslims and other perceived undesirables. The march in which I participated was the largest political march in Eastern France since the 1940s...and the march in the 1940s was in protest against exactly the same extreme-right-wing politics.
These ideas are anathema to the French, with the exception of some who were swayed by LePen's rhetoric: his constant haranguing about crime (Muslim crime, of course), fear of crime (Muslims against French, of course), and the detriment to the economy that the influx of people of color (Muslims, of course) pose to the French.
These ideas are not so far removed from those people and parties in the USA who would have some of us believe that certain populations are somehow lesser people than others; that certain segments of the population of the USA are less worthy than others of living within its boundaries, that certain populations take jobs away from certain other populations, that the majority of crime is committed by certain populations, et cetera. Please feel free to insert the names of populations that YOU choose in those phrases. The pendulum of politics is swinging farther and farther to the right in most countries of the world, and the same changes are happening in the USA...and it is up to the individual to ensure that they do not happen wherever we might be. We must pay attention: an election has been engineered in the States, personal freedoms there have been eroded, the Constitution there has been ignored, and we sit dazed in front of The Bachelor and Survivor and the NFL/NBA/NHL et cetera. We must wake up and examine what it is we truly believe, and what is truly happening in the world.
The reason I am proud to have marched in the French march is that for those three hours, I put one foot in front of the other to make a difference in our world: to do a tiny part to ensure that there will not be another Hitler in our children's or our grandchildren's lifetime...your children and grandchildren as well as mine. For three short hours on a sunny French Saturday, I did something that I truly believed in that in fact did make the world a safer place to live. For three hours I felt joy in joining together with old men and women, young men and women, and children to say: NEVER AGAIN. If we fail to remember our history, we are doomed to repeat it. As I said before, God forbid.