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Lack of black


SaligoBay

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Accustomed as we are to wonderful Trevor Macdonald (has he got a knighthood yet?), it may be a surprise to hear that French TV has only just got its first black presenter:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/france/story/0,11882,1308232,00.html

Sorry, it's the Grauniad again, so it's a copy-and-paste job with the link.

Some interesting comments about the nature of racism in France.

Happy reading

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Is that solitary black presenter any good? It surely doesn't matter to me if you are purple with green spots as long as you are good at your job.  

I do disagree with giving jobs to any minority just because it is the done thing and politically driven. It would be a shame if there is an influx of black presenters just because they are black. That is an insult to everyone.   

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Jirac,

The article does touch on the problem of positive discrimination, and other issues.  She herself says she would like to be judged as a journalist rather than a black journalist.

I think the main point is that if you watched French TV, you'd never guess that 15% of the French population is of non-European origin.  With 10% Arab population, there are no Arab politicians. 

Read the article, it says it all much better than I could - that's why he gets paid to write there, and I don't get paid to write here!

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This is a real issue in France, where (as is stated in the article) 15% of the population are immigrants of non-european origins. It's noticably different from British T.V, although I'm not sure whether Eastenders truly reflects the ethnic make-up of east London.

It's not just in the world of television that this lack of representation exists, it's also in the world of politics and throughout the higher ramks of the public and private sector. It's important for young (non-white) children to to see members of the ethnic community represented across the media in order for them to believe that they to can aspire to such heights with the right support and dedication.

Everything has to start somewhere and although it's long overdue at least it's a step in the right direction.

The Troll

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Just tried to put it all in my own words, and got 'timed out' aaarrrrgh. Then I re-read the previous posts, always a good idea.

Cjb, I am in total agreement with your post.

I would add, I can't believe anyone would give a job to someone who was not the best candidate.

What equal opps practices hope to encourage, is that suitably talented, qualified people from all 'sectors' of society will apply.

Furthermore, that they will not have their application dismissed at the phone call/ written application stage by someone in admin who says "I can't be arsed having to spell that (name of African or Asian origin)". This is a real life personal experience, in a well known restaurant chain. The franchise I worked for had three restaurants, with two non white employee out of approx 260 staff, and one of their names was anglicised by the manager, "because no one can say it" which was absolute nonsense. (By the way, the manager was my brother, and here's another argument for equal opps practices - he squeezed me into a job for which I was completely unqualified, unskilled etc, and here I am slagging him off in cyber-space).

Finally, when they do get to be employed, they walk into the staff room, to be greeted by a wall sized St Georges Cross. I very much doubt whther any black Gordon Ramsays' will start their career in that chain.

I hope this woman succeeds in her job, if she's good at it. If she makes a positive role model for young women/non-white people even better. If she's not good at her job, she will be ditched, and rightly so.

 

 

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"I would add, I can't believe anyone would give a job to someone who was not the best candidate."

I agree with you, but I do believe that positive discrimination does happen. Look how in the Police they dropped the qualifications needed for Black and Asians about 20 years ago. Yet there was no need to do it. Black and Asians are just as capable of getting the same qualifications as white people and many do, just as many white people don't. You only have to look at the mix of doctors.

"What equal opps practices hope to encourage, is that suitably talented, qualified people from all 'sectors' of society will apply."

Exactly. The only problem that sometimes happens is that if they don't get the job, they have sometimes sued - just as disabled people can and probably do when they don't get jobs.

I would like to see everyone treated alike, but unfortunately there are too many racist people about.

Oh, and SB - I think it might be Sir Trevor actually! Perhaps Moira will become a Dame!

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"Black and Asians are just as capable of getting the same qualifications as white people and many do,"

Jill, I think statistics demonstrate that young people of Asian origin in Britain invariably perform better at school than their non-Asian origin counterparts.  This is certainly the case in the schools friends tell me about in the west London suburbs.  It's a cultural thing, Asian society encourages them to work hard.  However, French friends find this startling and say this is not always the case with the young maghrebins in France.  I accept many of you may regard this is as unwelcome generalisation.  But I don't think anyone with first hand experience can deny that there is, unfortunately, often a difference in the work ethic between young Arabs and young Asians. 

M

 

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In the school where I used to work the exam results were always looked at for differences between various ethnic groups and the sexes. For some years now the top performing group has been Sikh girls and worst performing group has been Moslem boys. All of these pupils had Asian origins - the Sikhs mostly originate from the Punjab in India and the Moslems from Pakistan.

Hoddy
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Hoddy, this is interesting for I couldn't help thinking this morning why are so many companies "offshoring" to Bangalore or Hyderabad (India) but none are moving business to Caire or Karachi?  And before anyone starts screaming, I certainly do not harbour any anti-Moslem (or anti-anything) sentiments.  It was just an observation.  M
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This is interesting because it highlights the stupidity of the whole colour, race or sex discrimination business. I got very confused this morning catching up on the BBC news (after a few days being out of touch, elsewhere in Europe). There was a row because a couple of West Indian-origin singers (rappers?) had been banned from an awards ceremony for black music (surely that in itself is ridiculous discrimination, is the BBC saying that black performers can't hold their own equally with other races?) for their homophobic lyrics. They in turn were saying that their songs represented their roots and their religious views, as Jamaica itself is homophobic and gay relationships are apparently still illegal.

So is it OK for black people only to be narrow minded? Or do we have to scrap all traditional views and cultures in case they offend other races? OK, I'm talking about GB in this case but France seems to be just entering a positive discrimination phase. Though it will be years before "l'homme sur l'autobus" says anything positive about the Arabs.

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Simple really. English is spoken almost universally in India. That's why English speaking economies are offloading work to India.

French and German companies would do the same if they could find a similar pool of well educated staff (then again, proably not. There's a little bit more employee protection in most of Europe)

 

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Simple really. English is spoken almost universally in India.

Good point, but I'm sure that's not the only reason. After all, most educated Pakistanis also speak excellent English.

I love Teamedup's reference to Pondi. Yes, it probably won't be long until French call centres appear there. 

M

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