News and Commentary

French Government Official: ‘Woke’ Culture Is ‘Very Dangerous, And We Shouldn’t Bring It To France’
French Junior Minister of Gender Equality Elisabeth Moreno delivers a speech during a "reversed conference" with victims of domestic violence (violences conjugales) and relatives testifying, at the Interior Ministry at Place Beauvau in Paris, on September 6, 2021.
THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images

French government officials, including President Emmanuel Macron, have publicly stated that America’s “woke” ideology is harming the European nation.

Fox News reported that a leading French magazine, Le Spectacle Du Monde, recently criticized America’s “woke” culture in a piece titled, “The Suicide of America.” In the article, the magazine blames America’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan on a “woke dictatorship.” It also wondered if the American “empire was collapsing.” More from Fox:

The article also took American universities to task over alleged extremism and censorship on campuses. The story cited Yale University, where school officials urged students to reconsider Halloween costumes that might be racially insensitive. 

Macron, who has been criticized by French progressives, told Elle Magazine this past summer that woke culture was “racializing” French society, Zenger reported. 

“I see that our society is becoming progressively racialized,” he said. 

Elisabeth Moreno, France’s delegate minister for gender equality and diversity, has also voiced concern over America’s spreading “woke” ideology. In May, she told Bloomberg News that “‘woke’ culture is something very dangerous, and we shouldn’t bring it to France.” In that same interview, Moreno blasted cancel culture, which she said had been used to “kick out people from ongoing debates because they think otherwise.”

“People are speaking up and that’s good,” Moreno added. “Everyone should fight discrimination. You can’t ask someone not to speak about a topic because the person doesn’t feel legitimate. It makes no sense.”

A panel at “Tocqueville Conversations,” a conference named after the late 19th-century philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville, also decried the move to limit free speech in the U.S.

“Our mantra is that we should talk even if we strongly disagree. Nothing prevents you from talking and exchanging and dialoguing,” Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville, a descendent of the late philosopher, said of the panel. “The French Revolution was an event that led to a bloody civil war because the people who were not in agreement with the new ideas, the really revolutionary ideas, were just killed and beheaded. It was not a good way to debate.”

Macron’s most recent comments about “wokeness” come as American-French relations are in decline under President Joe Biden. Last week, Macron suggested Europe distance itself from America.

“The Europeans must stop being naive. When we are under pressure from powers, which at times harden [their stance], we need to react and show that we have the power and capacity to defend ourselves. Not escalating things, but protecting ourselves,” Macron said during a press conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “This isn’t an alternative to the United States alliance. It’s not a substitution, but to take responsibility of the European pillar within NATO and draw the conclusions that we are asked to take care of our own protection.”

“For a bit over 10 years now, the United States has been very focused on itself and has strategic interests that are being reoriented towards China and the Pacific,” Macron added. “It’s in their right to do so … [but] we would be naive, or rather we would make a terrible mistake, to not want to draw the consequences.”

As The Daily Wire reported, relations between France and America have been frosty since the Afghanistan withdrawal. From the Daily Wire:

The press conference came after Greece agreed to buy three frigates from France, a deal worth billions of euros, which follows recent events where France was shafted by the Biden administration over its recent submarine deal with Australia. Greece had already ordered earlier roughly two dozen fighter jets from France.

Australia, immediately before signing the deal with the U.S. and the U.K, canceled a $66 billion agreement to purchase French-built submarines, which were not nuclear powered.

The event sparked a serious international incident as Macron ordered Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to withdraw France’s ambassador to the U.S. and to cancel a gala that it had planned with the U.S.

The New York Times reported that this is “the first time in the history of the long alliance between France and the United States, dating back to 1778, that a French ambassador has been recalled to Paris in this way for consultations.”

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