Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The Truth That Is, Benoît Assou-Ekotto


"Me playing for Cameroon was a natural and normal thing. I have no feeling for the France national team; it just doesn't exist. When people ask of my generation in France, 'Where are you from?', they will reply Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon or wherever.
But what has amazed me in England is that when I ask the same question of people like Lennon and Defoe, they'll say:
'I'm English.'
That's one of the things that I love about life here."

...mmm wish I could co-sign 100, my dear Benoit, but for many normal people, when one's Englishness is questioned it's sometimes with the implication that one is not quite English (White) and they have to mention roots from elsewhere. Nevertheless he speaks the truth about France and when one thinks of  the reception of the French soccer team rite now, there are some quarters who see them as Caribbeans and Africans with French citizenship not Frenchmen with Caribbean and African roots....

4 comments:

Kunline said...

YESsss!!! Thanks for this post!!!I have so much to say about that French I am or I am not!

KonWomyn said...

Hey Kunline,

Welcome to the blog.

Yea the whole thing about French identity is based on the notion of inclusive exclusion, citizen of the state, but not quite. And this incident will, for all the wrong reasons, be connected to the riots, tension with the Africans and all of that, like these players aren't patriotic bec some of them are Black and some grew up in the poorer areas of France so have 'no sense of what it means to be French'. At least those are the implications in the articles by the French tabloid press.

Kunline said...

Inclusive exclusion, classicism and institutional discrimination and segregation..and more. I do not like when the race card is used to show us as not patriotic enough. Always too African never French enough. Football has all the fears and dreams of the french projects. Zidane was the perfect "French" until the incident. However for many of us, he did something that we often wanted to do. He was always quiet and rarely talked about him being African. It is the unspoken consent of being "french". Anyway in all sports like politics and life when you are wining colors does not matter but when everything goes sour...it does...However we did learn some about "frenchness" and the strike of the national team was soooo French!!!!:)Well I love "my France" and that is OK if I not included as "French". The worst is that the dialogue about race is taboo. The proof: Anelka refusing to apologize incited a wave of anger in France. The anger is fear to see or talk about the"real issue" The truth is that France does not want the truth. Not yet, not yet. I have hope.. may be in 2014:)
Ciao KonWomyn

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