Ethnic Diversity in Democratic States Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :



Ethnic minorities that were previously discriminated were provided with more chances of experiencing success in integrating the French society as a result of this measure. "The president also proposed requiring 100 large companies to experiment with recruitment based on anonymous CVs, to combat rampant discrimination against names revealing an immigrant origin" (Galliot, 2008). Even with the fact that Sarkozy appears to be determined about creating equal opportunities for ethnic minorities, conditions in France are critical because the president's set of programs are ineffective and particular groups are still discriminated on a daily basis. Considering that there was only one black individual in the French National Assembly in 2008, it is obvious that France was not prepared to deal with one of its main values-equality-at the time. "France officially has no minorities-everyone is by definition equal. The law prohibits statistics based on race or religion" (Harriss 2006). Although the general public might be inclined to believe that it is because of the French masses that discrimination continues to exist in the country, matters are in point of fact different, given that the people of France have openly expressed their desire to have equality in their country. In contrast, the political elites continue to support a system that favors French individuals.

It is uncertain whether Sarkozy supports the French public in the ethnic minority matter or if he supports those closer to him-politicians. Judging from the president's actions, it appears that he is actually interested in bettering the way ethnic minorities are treated in France. Sarkozy has gone through great efforts with the purpose of putting ethnic minorities on public display through having them appear on TV programs, enter political groups, and having the chance of entering elite educational institutes.

By appointing Yazid Sabeg, an influential individual in France who was born in Algeria, as High Commissioner for Diversity and Equal Chances, Sarkozy promoted a concept he appears to respect-that concerning how no one should feel like a stranger in France, regardless of their background.

In spite of the fact that Sarkozy's efforts appear to be constructive, it is difficult to determine if the French president is actually interested in changing the whole system or if he is just concerned about changing surface details in order to look as if France is a democracy.

It is apparently normal for particular ethnic groups in France to be discriminated by the police, as they are considered to be suspects on account of their ethnicity. Moreover, numerous police officers are generally inclined to consider that anyone who belongs to a certain ethnic group is likely to be a criminal. Even though this does not apply in most cases, conditions are nonetheless worrying and serve as evidence that France is yet to experience advance, regardless of president Sarkozy's efforts.

In spite efforts performed by the French government in addressing the ethnic minority problem, conditions escalated in 2006, when numerous individuals belonging to ethnic minorities could no longer accept their position in the French society. "It's a social crisis. It has to do with jobs. It has to do with recognition, with people feeling not part of this society. They have seen others who worked hard, had gone to school and never been given any chance to do what they want to do and it's hard for them" (Nguyen 2006). Whereas the international public was rather surprised to see that a strong democracy like France could be responsible for triggering such a movement, people in the country were apparently aware that something was about to happen and that it was only a matter of time before ethnic minorities would rebel against the system. Individuals supporting the French political left were apparently unwilling to accept that discrimination was present in their country and preferred to ignore the subject, further contributing to the social tension.

It would appear that the French political elite is reluctant to recognize ethnic diversity and that it would rather influence individuals in abandoning their ethnic identities in favor of being assimilated by the French. This would virtually mean that people would have to abandon their backgrounds and concomitantly accept being discriminated by a French white-dominated society. At the time when ethnic minorities in France were determined to achieve justice through every means possible, Sarkozy was minister of interior and in spite of the support he expressed toward the cause, he was not recognized as an ally and rebels were reluctant to accept any form of support from him.

Ethnic groups struggled in 2006 with the purpose of detaching themselves from some of the traditional values in France, marking a beginning in change, considering that this was proof that discrimination would no longer be accepted in the territory and in society as a whole. Most people in France are still unable to understand why it was not until 2006 that ethnic minorities came to rise against the system. Conditions were previously similar and people were obviously uncomfortable about how the French government treated ethnic minorities, but it appears that they were until that time not prepared to launch an operation of the magnitude of that from 2006.

As if conditions were not already critical when concerning France and its standpoint in regard to ethnic minorities, the recent acts involving French authorities and Roma individuals make it clear that the country has trouble employing an effective policy on the matter. Although the French government has motivated its actions through claiming that it actually assisted Roma individuals through helping them move from the substandard conditions they were living in, a number of Romanian individuals believe that France is doing nothing else but to display xenophobic feelings. Romas being expelled from France are apparently doing so because they want to, or at least that is what French authorities like to say. "The Roma are EU citizens, mostly from Romania or Bulgaria, but French law requires them to have a work permit and prove they have the means to support themselves if they intend to stay for more than three months" (BBC News Europe 2010).

The French government chose to repatriate numerous Roma persons because of an earlier event involving French authorities and ethnic minorities. This action has also been motivated because of the fact that Romas were suspected to support illegal activities such as exploitation of human beings. All things considered, France has a long way to go before it can claim that it acts in accordance with democratic principles.

Works cited:

1. Azouz Begag, Ethnicity and Equality: France in the Balance trans. Alec G. Hargreaves, (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2007).

2. Esapzai, Samar. "True democracy or pseudo-democracy?" Retrieved December 5, 2010, from the Online Journal Website: http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_6125.shtml

3. Galliot, Lorena. "Promoting ethnic diversity through social criteria." Retrieved December 5, 2010, from the france24 Website: http://www.france24.com/en/20081218-promoting-ethnic-diversity-through-social-criteria-france-sarkozy-yazid-sabeg

4. Harriss, Joseph a. "Riots? What Riots?," the American Spectator, February 2006.

5. Nguyen, Tram. "Lessons from France," Colorlines, Spring 2006.

6. Verkuyten, Maykel. The Social Psychology of Ethnic Identity (Hove, England: Psychology Press, 2005).

7. "A blow to religious freedom in France." Retrieved December 5, 2010, from the Affairs etrangeres Website: http://affairesetrangeres.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/a-blow-to-religious-freedom-in-france/

8. "France sends Roma Gypsies back to Romania." Retrieved December 5, 2010, from the BBC Europe Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11020429

9. "French President Promises Greater Racial and Ethnic Diversity at Elite Universities," the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Winter 2008, 40.

10. "Sarkozy pushes ethnic diversity in France." Retrieved December 5, 2010, from the New Europe Website: http://www.neurope.eu/articles/Sarkozy-pushes-ethnic-diversity-in-France/91182.php

11. "United Yet Still Divided; While Britain Can Be Proud of Its Racial Harmony Compared with France, There Is Still Some Way to Go before We Can Claim True Integration," the Evening Standard (London, England), 17 November 2005, 13.

Esapzai, Samar. "True democracy or pseudo-democracy?" Retrieved December 5, 2010, from the Online Journal Website: http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_6125.shtml

Idem

"A blow to religious freedom in France." Retrieved December 5, 2010, from the Affairs etrangeres Website: http://affairesetrangeres.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/a-blow-to-religious-freedom-in-france/

"A blow to religious freedom in France." Retrieved December 5, 2010, from the Affairs etrangeres Website: http://affairesetrangeres.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/a-blow-to-religious-freedom-in-france/

Galliot, Lorena. "Promoting ethnic diversity through social criteria." Retrieved December 5, 2010, from the france24 Website: http://www.france24.com/en/20081218-promoting-ethnic-diversity-through-social-criteria-france-sarkozy-yazid-sabeg

"French President Promises Greater Racial and Ethnic Diversity at Elite Universities," the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Winter 2008, 40

Galliot, Lorena. "Promoting ethnic diversity through social criteria." Retrieved December 5, 2010, from the france24 Website: http://www.france24.com/en/20081218-promoting-ethnic-diversity-through-social-criteria-france-sarkozy-yazid-sabeg

"Sarkozy pushes ethnic diversity in France." Retrieved December 5, 2010, from the New Europe Website: http://www.neurope.eu/articles/Sarkozy-pushes-ethnic-diversity-in-France/91182.php

Azouz Begag, Ethnicity and Equality: France in the Balance trans. Alec G. Hargreaves, (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2007).

Tram Nguyen, "Lessons from France," Colorlines, Spring 2006.

Joseph a. Harriss, "Riots? What Riots?," the…

Online Sources Used in Document:

Cite This Research Paper:

"Ethnic Diversity In Democratic States" (2010, December 05) Retrieved September 26, 2017, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/ethnic-diversity-in-democratic-tates-6117

"Ethnic Diversity In Democratic States" 05 December 2010. Web.26 September. 2017. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/ethnic-diversity-in-democratic-tates-6117>

"Ethnic Diversity In Democratic States", 05 December 2010, Accessed.26 September. 2017,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/ethnic-diversity-in-democratic-tates-6117