Some flowers for Charlie

12 thoughts on “Some flowers for Charlie”

    1. Hi John – thanks for commenting. Of course this is just my opinion! We are reeling with events here, but perhaps it has, at the very least, afforded an opportunity to look at the issue of racism in French society.

  1. A lovely post. The response of the French people is heartening. You may be interested in what the African American writer Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about living in Paris. He loved Paris and was struck by the lack of racial animosity towards himself as an African American – but noticed a very different attitude towards Black and North Africans. It is always much easier to have social solidarity when you have ethnic and religious homogeneity. In the modern world all countries have to struggle to extend genuine equality to a diversity of peoples. I strongly believe that the racial divide is the single biggest obstacle to social progress here in the US.

  2. Interesting about Coates’ observation – thanks for that. Personally, I would put this down to a long French love affair with jazz! It is a national passion, with frequent, regular slots on the radio station France Musique (mostly for classical music). And, of course, the image of the black American is the very image of jazz. African Americans playing jazz have been welcomed with open arms and adoration in the clubs of Paris for decades.
    Racial divides are threatening but fascinating – they manifest themselves in different ways in each country, but we all suffer from them. I think what France has tried to do is to pretend to the kind of cultural homogeneity you mention. But it’s not the reality.

  3. Such sad days both for France and the rest of the world Cathy. It was interesting to read your comments from the point of view of somebody who has chosen to live in France, rather than live there as the result of being born in the country.

  4. Well done Cathy for expressing your views on this sad event and for giving us some insights into the French mind. It is hard to see anything positive about such terrible events, but it is my hope that they will lead to a drawing together of the religions with a greater understanding and acceptance of difference.

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