In French Politics, Minorities Need Not Apply

Despite large African population, no black politicians hold high office
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2008 7:40 PM CST
In French Politics, Minorities Need Not Apply
The suns sets over Paris in this undated file photo. "In France? Never," said one Senegalese-born student. "In France, it is impossible for a black man even to be mayor. They think it is enough that we are on their football team."   (

Eying Barack Obama's run for the US presidency, some in France are wondering why their own politics are so lily-white. Despite a large population of African immigrants and their descendants, no black or Arab mayors are in office, Bloomberg reports. "In business, sports, music, entertainment, you find diversity in France. Not in politics," says a French sociologist.

Things may be moving forward, however. President Nicolas Sarkozy—himself of immigrant stock—has appointed several people of non-native descent to high-profile jobs in his administration. And some think an Obama victory in the US could bring about change in France. "His election would mean that barriers and prejudices will fall, maybe here, too," says a French economics teacher. (Read more France stories.)

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