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‘Bizarre’ to Care More About Notre-Dame Fire Than Migrant Deaths, French Pupils Told

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“There is an impression, sometimes, of there being hierarchies in place regarding these emotions”

Chris Menahan
Information Liberation
April 22, 2019


French high school students attending anti-racism sessions this week have been warned that it would be “bizarre” to feel greater emotion over the Notre-Dame cathedral fire than about the plight of migrants in the Mediterranean.

Retired professional footballer and the most capped player in the French national football team’s history, Lilian Thuram, denounced what he described as a “hierarchy” of emotion in which the destruction of the cathedral’s spire appeared to arouse more public grief than the drowning of illegal African immigrants.

Speaking at a press conference on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, where he had held ‘prejudice-fighting’ sessions with students at high schools across the French territory, Thuram commented humans are “emotional creatures” and that, “as a Parisian” it is “normal that we are affected” by events like the Notre-Dame fire.

“But there is an impression, sometimes, of there being hierarchies in place regarding these emotions,” the 47-year-old said, lamenting that “the world is not moved in the same way” at the sight of “people who die trying to cross the Mediterranean” as it appeared to by fire ravaging a more than 800-year-old church considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture and the most important icon of Christian France.

The UNICEF ambassador then went on to blast Donald Trump, linking — somewhat oddly — tweets from the U.S. President expressing horror at the blaze in Paris with the desire to get illegal immigration at the country’s Mexican border under control.

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“That there are individuals who want to build walls to stop people from entering, but who are happy to send tweets to ask, ‘Do you need help to put out the fire?’, as Donald Trump did? It is bizarre”, remarked Thuriam, who has been an active “anti-racism campaigner and author” since retiring from football, with his eponymous Foundation working to educate, “deconstruct” and end “inequalities generated by systems of oppression” over past centuries.

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This article was posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 at 5:03 am

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