Alain Finkielkraut: the latest Lawrence Summers
A devastating development. Alain Finkielkraut, the French philosopher who earlier this month gave the first really strong and truthful response to the Muslim riots in an interview with Ha’aretz, was threatened with a suit for incitement to race hatred, and, as recounted by Jared Taylor at American Renaissance, he instantly apologized for any hurt he had caused, distanced himself from the interview by saying he did not recognize himself in his quoted statements, and declared he would not give interviews again unless he had control over the published article. (Le Monde has a story on Finkelkraut’s retraction.) Thus it is a total victory for the left and the Muslims. But what did Finkielkraut say that could be remotely construed as incitement to racial hatred? That the rioting Muslim youths hate France? That is manifest in their rap lyrics that he quoted. That Muslims can say the most vile things and be applauded as revolutionaries, but if whites say anything critical about this, they are called racists? That is a true statement. That “to see the riots as a response to French racism is to be blind to a broader hatred: the hatred for the West, which is deemed guilty of all crimes”? But this also is true. Is calling attention to this massive pro-minority, anti-Western double standard an incitement to racial hatred?
That a man could be threatened with a court action for making such statements would be inconceivable in America. France and Britain are under a genuine tyranny of political correctness of which we have no parallel. If the people of those countries don’t rise up against it they are finished.
I don’t know what’s going on with this Finkielkraut. He seems to be suffering from the “Lawrence Summers Syndrome”—making a well-thought-out, very politically incorrect statement, and then instantly and extravagantly retracting it out of fear of being politically incorrect. The mystery in both cases is the same. If Finkielkraut, like Summers, had such an overwhelming fear of offending PC sensibilities, why did he make his bold statement in the first place? Also, Finkielkraut gave a long interview on television which a French-speaking VFR reader described as follows:
It is a lengthy interview with Jean-Pierre Elkabach of Europe 1 and it is incredible. It is more than intimidating. Elkabach pounds away at him mercilessly, cruelly and Finkielkraut dissolves into gibberish. It has the aura of a KGB-style interrogation and it’s a wonder they didn’t just execute him then and there.The reader will be translating excerpts of this interview for us.
Another reader writes:
There is no mystery or contradiction in the actions of Alain Finkielkraut. He is a broken man. As he says at the end of the Haaretz interview, “This struggle is lost. I’ve been left behind.”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 29, 2005 12:03 AM | Send