Posted by horsservice on January 4, 2010
« You ask me what does it take to be french? It will take me 5 seconds to answer. To be french is to have the french nationality. »
Jean-François Copé, french Chief of the House Of Representatives (right wing – centered)
« There are two categories of french. Those who think that there are two categories of french, and the others. »
In France there is at the moment a great debate about National Identity. We have colonised, received arab, african, asiatic and european immigrants from all countries, gone through a few revolutions, been under the law of religious and non-religious extremists, dictators, and today the french government is asking the question: What does it take to be french? Who are the french people ?
A website has been opened, and some very vigorous debate is going on in the whole french society, heated by the recent « Swiss minarets » stuff, the debate over the right to wear a burqa (a full islamic veil) or not, various antisemitic as well as anti-french (well, white french) acts, and an old debate about affirmative action.
Further information: in France, it’s forbidden to take statistics based on ethnic or racial origin. Affirmative action or any discrimination of any sort is forbidden, but there is a racist background. Religions are traditionally non-proselyte. Left and Right-wing extremists are quite strong. France was traditionally born around the 7th century.
So I wondered: what does it take to be american? What defines americanship? When you get right down to it, why do you feel particurlary american? Is it a place where you are born? Is it a state of mind? As a nation built by immigrants and based on the extermination of the previous inhabitants (i’m not making a judgement: it’s a fact. France was also built on various ethnic and religious slaughters). What would your criteria(s) be for someone to be considered american?