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Discussion in 'In the News...' started by sethii, Oct 26, 2010.
well I mean he's saying that black people work hard, isn't that busting down sterotypes??
but in all seriousness, white people, especially smarmy frenchmen, should NOT use that word.
he knows that, you know that, I know that. it's just common sense, J-P.
im sorry, but what exactly is an 'anti-racist group?' wouldn't that just be humanity?
Is there precedent for this type of lawsuit in France?
I'm surprised to hear someone would be sued over this, unless there are strict hate speech statutes (perhaps resulting from WWII).
^ I'm surprised, isn't it the same in other western countries? French aren't the lawsuit type like in US but this kind of legal actions aren't rare. Perhaps you heard of Brigitte Bardot? I don't know if it's a cultural thing resulting from WW2 but antisemitism is indeed taken very seriously by french Justice. Considering the laws against racism a person who says things that are considered by some as racist or stigmatizing might get sued by the person insulted or an organization fighting racism (whether it's about race, religion... works the same way for homophobia).
In the present case the french expression "to work like a n*gg*r" ("travailler comme un nègre") is a set phrase. It used to be popular among the people from J.P. Guerlain's generation. That's why to me this first phrase wasn't really surprising or having a racist connotation in the mouth of someone this age, though it was not one to use on TV. The shocking thing is that he adds something along the line of "... admitting n*gg*rs ever worked." He's no longer using inappropriate language but the racist stereotype of lazy black people. The word "n*gg*r" is not used in a set expression anymore but in a quiet, casual way.
The interview aired 13 days ago, on a friday, on one of the biggest TV channel. Internet reacted instantaneously aswell as anti-racist organizations but there was only little reaction from the mainstream medias. It got bigger after the weekend and was much talked about last week, leading to a debate about ordinary racism in France today and how a racist speech on a big media almost went unnoticed. J.P. Guerlain apologized on the evening but the Guerlain company thought about it for a while before condemning the words 3 days after...
I don't kow if J.P. Guerlain is a racist or not, even though he's well educated he does belong to an old generation. I believe it's less about him than about the actual climate in France and it's just the straw that broke the camel's back.
Thanks for the explanation. The US is certainly more litigious, but legal action is rare over heavily-publicized racial slurs. Someone may be sued for comments/harassment directed at a specific person or organization, but never for a broadly focused statement like Guerlin's.
I was aware of Bardot's views, but somehow I hadn't realized she was fined for them. Free speech is more of an absolute right in the US, even if it is discriminatory or hate speech. Generally, the only legal restrictions are for obscenity, defamation, and inciting a riot.
Typical... Not surprised...
Wow , that's ridiculous
All white old men are racist, everyone knows that...or what are you getting at?
They've already caused damages by getting the press to show Guerlain's photo. And I used to think of Bianca Balti when I heard the name Guerlain...
Does the French word "nègre" really mean "n****r"? I thought that the n word was strictly an English-language colloquialism.
^ Yes. The french words "noir" (black) and "nègre" (n*gg*r) come from the latin word "niger" (just like "negro" in spanish). Since english is a german language I would assume the english word "n*gg*r" is derived from the language of the european colonists. But well, as much as I love linguistics I'm not an expert lol.
They tend to be the least sensitive when it comes to racial matters. Just my experience.
Am I going to hell for laughing at that?
The reason I asked is because in Spanish there is a similar old saying, which translates as "I worked like a negro". In Spanish there is no word that means "n****r", and the word "negro" simply means "black" or "black person".
And I would guess that the saying itself derives from the days of slavery.
Uhm. You do know that what you just said is pretty racist? You know, generalizing an entire group of people strictly on their skin colour?
I love double standards
What I said was not even racist or a double standard. In my experience growing up in america i've found that generally white men tend to be the least sensitive to racial matters. I'm not saying every white man is a bitter racist. Its just they are not always attuned to appropriate behavior or language especially with the n-word. If I had a nickel for every time white people in general have thought it was cool to say it around me only to be horrified at my reaction i would be a very wealthy young man. This is no laughing matter... Its sad for those it hurts.
-But lets try not to delve too far into racial issues!
If I had a dime for every time I heard a black person say the N word I'd me much, MUCH richer than you were if you had a time for every time a white person said the N-word in this day and age, just saying.
I think he was just making a lighthearted comment, I bet he doesn't actually dislike black people. I mean, it's a bit dumb to make a racist joke when you're trying to sell perfume to as many people as possible, and I don't think he was thinking it through before he said it.
i can't believe he said that...just....-facepalm-
if he meant it to be "i slaved away at it" he should've just said that. please to be thinking before you speak, JPGuerlain?