From Mélenchon to Hidalgo, the left is divided on the Unef and its “non-mixed racial” meetings

We knew the left scattered but it is indeed fractured. The latest controversy over the UNEF is a further demonstration of this. Originally, the comments made by Mélanie Luce, president of the student union, recognizing, Wednesday during an interview on Europe 1, the organization of “racialized single-sex” meetings to “enable people affected by racism to be able to express what they are going through ”. At the beginning of the month, the UNEF had already relayed on the networks (before deleting them) photos of collages denouncing “Islamophobic remarks” that would have made two professors, designated by name, of the IEP of Grenoble.

If from the Minister of National Education to the boss of LREM deputies, from the right to the far right, these statements were immediately condemned – some even calling for the dissolution of the union – the left leaders reacted in the most total disorder . Proof that secularism is far from cementing on this side of the political spectrum.

Mélenchon compares these “racialized” meetings to “support groups”

From Friday, Jean-Luc Mélenchon posted a video on social networks denouncing a “trap interview” and comparing these “racialized” meetings to “support groups” reserved for women or anonymous alcoholics. “To discuss whether people are racialized is stupid, it is obvious that people are mistreated because of their supposed race”, hammered, Sunday, on France Inter, the leader of rebellious France, adding that “the students, their problem is hunger, the difficulty of studying, the fact that they no longer have an income. “

Ecologist MEP David Cormand also defended necessary meetings, according to him, to “raise awareness” of victims of racism. He denounced, on Public Senate, “a kind of inversion of values” in which “the people who fight against racism are accused of racism” and which “plays the game” of “the extreme right”. This Monday, several personalities who cut their teeth as activists within the student union – including Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Benoît Hamon, Clémentine Autain or the feminist Caroline De Haas – published on the website of the World, with nearly three hundred other signatories, a text denouncing the calls to dissolve the youth organization.

“The values ​​of the Republic really allow us to live together”

Conversely, voices are rare to denounce the union and its management. “Fetishizing the race, as the president of the UNEF does, is racism!” Disgusting. To be fought, ”Socialist Senator Rachid Temal tweeted. The PS mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo considered that it was “very dangerous” and that “secularism (was) a treasure”. “The values ​​of the Republic really allow us to live together, in a peaceful way, while all the attempts, which are moreover behind a certain number of these philosophies, aim on the contrary to mark the different identities, (…) to be in differentialism and to no longer allow dialogue, ”she said on Sunday on Europe 1.

While adding that “the republican promise, for example of equality, is not real”, with discrimination according to “their social origin or their skin color”. “We must not be simply in the incantation of republican values” but “very concretely, in social policies which fight against these inequalities, which recognize the rights of all”, concluded the mayor. On the other hand, Olivier Faure, the boss of the PS, yet very anxious to place secularism at the heart of his political project, had not yet reacted on Monday. The Communist Party sent him a press release denouncing the “attacks against UNEF” which it describes as “authoritarian and undemocratic drift”. But at the same time, the Communist Party ensures that “it cannot recognize itself in the practices” of the union and considers that this goes “against the universalist and unifying values ​​that have always been defended by the left and unionism” .

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