Some prominent French figures, including President Emmanuel Macron, are rejecting "woke" ideology that has been imported from the United States amid a breakdown in relations between the two nations.
A cover story by Le Spectacle Du Monde, one of France's leading magazines, recently ran a piece titled "The Suicide of America" in which it blames the deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan on a "woke dictatorship" and questioned whether the American "empire was collapsing," Zenger News reported.
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The article also took American universities to task over alleged extremism and censorship on campuses. The story cited Yale University, where school officials urged students to reconsider Halloween costumes that might be racially insensitive.
Macron, who has been criticized by French progressives, told Elle Magazine this past summer that woke culture was "racializing" French society, Zenger reported.
"I see that our society is becoming progressively racialized," he said.
Several members of his government have also shared anti-woke views, including Elisabeth Moreno, the french French delegate minister for gender equality and diversity.
"The ‘woke’ culture is something very dangerous, and we shouldn’t bring it to France," she told Bloomberg News in May.
A panel at the year's "Tocqueville Conversations," near Normandy discussed the perceived decline of free speech and expression in the United States that some attribute to "woke" culture.
"Our mantra is that we should talk even if we strongly disagree. Nothing prevents you from talking and exchanging and dialoguing," Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville, the descendant of 19th-century liberal philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville, told the news outlet. "The French Revolution was an event that led to a bloody civil war because the people who were not in agreement with the new ideas, the really revolutionary ideas, were just killed and beheaded. It was not a good way to debate."
The French criticism of the U.S. comes amid a fracture in American-French relations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is slated to travel to France next week after Australia canceled a deal to purchase a French submarine in favor of creating a new Indo-Pacific security arrangement with Washington and the United Kingdom.
In an unprecedented move, Macron recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia.
The postponement of the meeting comes after Canberra pulled out of a $37bn defence deal with France.
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