Saturday, January 27, 2007

Socialists tell Freches goodbye

Perhaps Socialist candidate Segolene Royal is hoping that eventually, no matter what happens, one must hit rock bottom.

From CNN:

The French Socialist party threw out one of its leading members on Saturday for having said there were too many black players in the national soccer team, adding to the woes of its presidential candidate Segolene Royal.

Georges Freches, president of the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south and a founding member of the party, is a supporter of Royal.

She has backed his expulsion from the party but it comes at a bad time for her as she faces criticism for a series of gaffes on foreign policy and domestic issues. (...)

"If he had not said what he said, we would all ... be in a much more agreeable situation," said Patrick Mennucci, deputy director of Royal's campaign.

Freches got in hot water just this past November, when, referring to the fact that 9 out of 11 of France's soccer team was black, he said "I am ashamed for this country. Soon there will be eleven blacks." To top matters off, Freches has been fined for calling Algerians who fought with the French "sub-human". From an amateur's perspective, Freches deserves what he got. A few years ago a top US Republican lost his leadership post just for implying that the US would have been better off if a segregationist had become president in the early 1900s. Freches was blatantly racist, and he paid the political price. The court fine, on the other hand, seems ridiculous. As long as someone isn't encouraging violence, freedom of speech should be final.

For Royal and the campaign, this is frankly unfortunate. However, because Sarkozy has consistently been identified as an enemy of minorities, especially because of last year's race riots, this distraction is unlikely to change any votes.

As a side note, I considered titling this post "A Fresh start for Freches", but after "Bayrou the Brave", the alliteration might have gone a bit too far.

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1 comment:

major tom said...

Have you seen that?