Racial Gaslighting in a Non-Racial France


Based on ethnographic research in the Parisian metropolitan region, I use the term racial gaslighting (Davis and Ernest 2019) as an analytic to understand racism and anti-racism in France. Specifically, I focus on mobilization against police violence towards Black and Maghrebin-origin individuals and how activists have to mount anti-racist struggle in a non-racial and anti-racial society. This includes challenges that racism is a concept imported from the United States and that France is a true colorblind society. In doing so, I build upon David Theo Goldberg’s notion of Racial Europeanization, or the idea that race is a problem everywhere but in Europe, where it is instead framed as an exception. Such racial gaslighting is indicative of the continual struggles between the ideology of French Republicanism, and its actual implementation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *