“Francocide”: anatomy of a phantasmagoria

“When do we defend our children against these Francocides which are always committed by the same people, always to the detriment of the same people?” This is how Éric Zemmour reacted on Twitter, Monday, October 17, when the nationality of the alleged murderer of little Lola was made public. An atrocious young French girl murdered by an Algerian: it would be a “Francocide”.

The word strikes, but does it correspond to a reality? This is what we will try to untangle. Starting by noting that, if this concept has been limited like wildfire in recent days on social networks, it owes nothing to chance. Here is what Éric Zemmour said during his back-to-school meeting on September 11: “I invite you to stop talking about ‘news items’ to describe the misdeeds of the. The beating, rape, murder, stabbing of a Frenchman or a French woman by an immigrant is not a news item It is a political fact, which I will henceforth call “Francocide”.

For Éric Zemmour, talking about the murder of little Lola as a “Francocide” is part of an assumed strategy: to politicize each news item as much as possible. A strategy that he would be content, he assures, to borrow from feminists: “When a man kills his wife, his mistress, we should no longer speak of ‘crime of passion’ but of ‘femicide’.” In the same way that a woman killed because she is a woman is a feminicide, the French murdered because they are French would therefore be francocides.

It seems to be, because it plays on an ambiguity: the difference between news item and social fact. After all, what allows us to say that a woman murdered by her husband is more than a news item? Well, it’s because, behind it, there is a much broader social phenomenon: male domination. A domination that is everywhere: women are, even today, paid less than men, they occupy fewer positions of power, they constitute the vast majority of victims of sexual assault, and the vast majority of victims domestic violence. The murder of a woman by her spouse is therefore never an isolated fact: on the contrary, it is the ultimate expression of a much broader phenomenon. It is in this sense that it is possible to speak of it as a political fact, which must be able to be named: feminicide.

Éric Zemmour claims the same goes for Francocides: “This delinquency, which is in truth much more than simple delinquency, is indeed colonization by violence, urban guerrilla warfare, conquest of territory, daily terrorism, jihad from the corner of the street, which hunts the native French for the benefit of the new inhabitants.”

The only problem is that the phenomena he talks about exist nowhere else than in his speech. There are no academic studies that would verify the existence of this alleged “street corner jihad”. If we leave aside the facts of terrorism – which, by definition, are not “everyday” – there are no statistics that prove that in France, a significant proportion of the victims of delinquency and criminality of French targeted because they are French. Eric Zemmour affirms it, loudly, but he has always been unable to declare it definitively.

Many officials have drawn the parallel between the death of Lola and those of George Floyd or Adama Traoré. But in these last two cases, these are political facts, for the same reason as for feminicides: there is, in our society, a system of racism that has been documented on many occasions. Studies show that, with an equivalent profile, people of African or North African origin have more difficulty in being hired, more difficulty in finding housing, and that they have a much better “chance” of being controlled by the police – it is not me who says it, but the former Defender of Rights, Jacques Toubon, in a damning report. This is the reason why, when the music producer Michel Zecler is beaten up by the police, for example, it is not simply an isolated blunder, but the paroxysm of a much broader social fact.

This is where all the difference lies. Femicide and police violence reflect relationships of domination that have been examined for decades by academic research, and are unfortunately found in all statistics. The concept of francocide is nothing more than a political marketing invention.

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