French magazine slammed for sketch depicting lawmaker as slave

A French right-wing magazine has been slammed for publishing a sketch that depicts a black socialist MP as a slave.

French magazine slammed for sketch depicting lawmaker as slave

(African Stand) — The Paris prosecutor said Monday that an investigation would be launched into far-right magazine Valeurs Actuelles after it published an illustration depicting Black politician Danièle Obono as a slave.

Obono, who is of French-Gabonese origin and has been a member of parliament since 2017 for the far-left France Unbowed, posted a photo on Twitter of one of the racist illustrations that appeared in the magazine and wrote: “The extreme right: odious, stupid, and cruel.”

The depiction — in a piece of political fiction that has Obono living in Chad during the 18th century — was widely condemned by French politicians.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said, “This shocking publication calls for unambiguous condemnation. I share the indignation of deputy Danièle Obono and assure her of the support of the whole government.” He added: “The fight against racism will always transcend all our divisions.”

According to the Élysée, President Emmanuel Macron called Obono on Saturday to express his support for the lawmaker and to condemn all forms of racism. In late 2019, Macron was criticized for agreeing to an interview with Valeurs Actuelles and for describing it as a “very good paper.”

The magazine was also criticized by members of the far-right. Wallerand de Saint-Just, a high ranking member of the National Rally, tweeted, “The cover of [Valeurs Actuelles] is in absolute bad taste, the political fight does not justify this type of humiliating and hurtful representation of an elected representative of the republic.”

Valeurs Actuelles apologized to Obono in a press release but rejected accusations of racism. “Our text is not racist,” the magazine’s editors wrote. “It is convenient for our opponents to throw that accusation at us.”

Obono said in a tweet that she is using the scandal as fuel for her activism, saying: “I am more determined than ever to fight racism, and for freedom, equality and fraternity.”

Hassan Juma

Written by Hassan Juma

Hassan Juma is an international reporter who graduated with a degree from The United States International University where he majored in Journalism and International Relations and he is currently working for African Stand as a senior reporter covering the Middle East, US, Asia, and Europe.

Ethiopia demands clarification from US over aid cuts

Ethiopia demands clarification from US over aid cuts

Zimbabwe investigates deaths of 11 elephants