Archive for ‘chimney sweeps’

September 26, 2011

France imposes first fines for ‘looking a bit foreign’

Two women who look a bit like they might come from some kind of Arab country have been given fines by a French court for breaking the new law prohibiting ‘looking a bit foreign’.

The women were caught looking ‘distinctly dusky’ outside Meaux town hall, eastern Paris, soon after the law came into effect in May.

This new legislation has caused controversy, with many arguing that it was impractical, impossible to enforce and insane. Lawmakers, however, argued that discriminating against a large section of the population was essential in the fight against terrorism, and would make French citizens safer and happier, providing they were white.

Critics have pointed to an array of practical difficulties in enforcing the law, and many exceptions have had to be made for citizens who ‘just happen to have a sun tan’, or who have to appear a bit foreign as part of their lawful employment, for example as chimney sweeps or Black and White Minstrels.

French Justice Minister Alain Batard insisted: “With all the problems France is facing – the economy, rampant unemployment, racial tensions, who can say that it won’t help to ban people who smell a bit of foreign food? Apart from les kebabs, bien sur.”

The women have said they will appeal against their punishment all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, and if that fails, they will consider leaving France altogether and settling in the USA. “They know how to treat poor innocent black people over there,” one explained.


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