French Education Minister blasts US ‘woke culture that birthed Donald Trump presidency’

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Blanquer, 56, has worked for the Education Ministry under both conservative presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy before his appointment as Education Minister by Macron in 2017. As the country prepares for its 2022 presidential elections, Mr Blanquer has just started his own think tank called Le Laboratoire de la République.

By inviting thinkers like conservative feminist Elisabeth Badinter or writer Rachel Khan who is promoting a colour-blind fight against racism, the think tank wishes to share ideas as counterattacks to what they call US-imported “wokeism.”

“In America, this ideology birthed the Donald Trump presidency through a knock-on effect,” Blanquer told Le Monde.

“France and its youth have to avoid that scenario.

“Our laboratory will have a republican vision that is fully opposed to the devising and fragmenting woke doctrine.

“Wokeism has infiltrated a number of French political, mediatic and academic grounds by promoting a victim culture which goes against all the pillars of our democratic society.”

In the US, woke is a neologism synonymous with the new forms of action against all discriminations.

A new wave of feminism, social justice, decolonial thinking and political antiracism at the intersections of complexion, religion, gender and sexual identities, the woke movement is targeted by conservatives as a war on free speech and the cult of cancel culture.

“Our country has become a target to the woke movement,” Pierre Valentin, an expert at the think tank, said at its launch last week, Politico reported.

“If there was a vaccine against the woke virus, it would be French and the leaders of the movement know that.”

“We are receiving signals of alert from university staff who tell us funds are being channelled towards a certain number of theories,” said MP Aurore Bergé, Politico reported.

“There’s the feeling here that [freedom of] thought is being narrowed to a vision that is not ours.”

Several members of Macron’s government have also shared anti-woke views, including Elisabeth Moreno, the French minister delegate for gender equality and diversity.

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“‘Woke’ culture is something very dangerous, and we shouldn’t bring it to France,” she told Bloomberg News in May.

Jean-Michel Blanquer also claimed that the 2020 Islamist terrorist attack that killed teacher Samuel Paty is the reason why his think tank is a necessity.

“This tragedy created a consensus within our national education system.

“We need to be clearer on the values of our République.

“The best homage we can pay to Samuel Paty is not to betray those values.”

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