Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Black MP Depicted as a Slave

A French weekly magazine triggered a nationwide outcry after it published images depicting a black woman MP, Danièle Obono (left), as a slave. 

Prime Minister Jean Castex promptly labelled it a "revolting publication that calls for clear condemnation" and told Obono that she had the government's backing. And the French presidential office said President Emmanuel Macron called Obono and "expressed his clear condemnation of any form of racism". 

The article in Valeurs Actuelles had accused Africans of colluding in slavery, and carried a sketch of Obono with a chain fixed to an iron collar around her neck. 

Obono, born in Gabon, represents a Paris constituency and is the deputy in the National Assembly for the France Unbowed party, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon. 

She tweeted the image with the words “L'extrême – droite, odieuse, bête et cruelle. Bref, égale à elle-même” (In English, “the extreme right – odious, stupid and cruel. In short, being itself”). 

"This image is an insult to my ancestors, my family and my political movement", she said, adding she was "more determined than ever to fight against #racism, for liberty, equality and fraternity" – repeating the most famous slogan of the French Revolution. 

The magazine apologized to Obono but denied the article was racist. 

Still, French prosecutors have rightfully opened an investigation into allegations of racism. 

Yesterday, New Zealand children went back to school and offices reopened in Auckland. Face masks are mandatory on public transport across the country of five million people though.

Meaning, the country has quietly abandoned its elimination strategy. The lockdown in its largest city that was imposed to contain a sudden spike of coronavirus cases in August is now lifted. 

This is in spite of cases being reported daily. Note in the last seven days, the daily cases were as follows: AUG 25 – 7; AUG 26 – 5; AUG 27 – 7; AUG 28 – 12; AUG 29 – 13; AUG 30 – 2; and AUG 31 – 9. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (left), of course, had to change her tune. Now, she’s saying the outbreak is under control. Contrast this with her June 08 declaration that New Zealand was free of Covid-19. 

But no matter, the country's coronavirus numbers are smallish anyway:

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