Thought Don Lemon was the only outspoken newscaster in the world? Meet Harry Roselmack – a man who is actually using his words to fight injustice.
Roselmack is France’s first black newscaster and he recently commented on his country’s “deep-seated racism”. Roselmack did not become the only non-white news presenter on TF1 until 2006 and that was after the president Jacques Chirac begged media outlets to hire more ethnic minority journalists following the race riots.
Angered by comments about the furious monkey chants targeted towards black justice minister Christiane Taubira, Roselmack penned an opinion piece in Le Monde.
“Racist France is back,” Roselmack said in response to a massive increase in the growing social conservative nationalist group the National Front. “What saddens me is the background of racism that resists time and slogans, not only within the FN, but deep in the French society. This is a legacy of ancient times, a justification for a supreme and criminal domination slavery and colonization.”
“While it is false to say all FN voters and sympathizers are racist, it is equally false to say that there is no racism in this party. Xenophobia and racism are the essential glue that binds it. And it is not unhelpful to see its republican veneer crack from time to time.”
Christiane Taubira has reportedly been racially abused by FN members several times within the last month. One FN electoral candidate, who is now suspended, said she would “rather see [Taubira] in the trees than in the government”. Young children protesting against gay marriage in France were also filmed waving banana skins at Taubira while shouting, “Who is the banana for? It is for the monkey.”