The term institutional racism, which in French is called state racism, is seen by many as an affront to the colorblind ideal of a universalist French republic. In France, it is illegal to classify people by their race or ethnicity.
Incredibly, the French education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, said last month that he would sue a teachers union for using the words “institutional racism” during education workshops in ethnically diverse Seine-St.-Denis northeast of Paris. Mr. Blanquer has also threatened to sue Ms. Diallo. She has invited him to go ahead.
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