LE MONDE: “Sickle Cell Disease, the Genetic Disease That Excites the Extreme Right”
With more car-be-ques and anti-police race riots in France this week following the police abuse of a black youth named “Theo,” the question of the current and future racial and ethnic makeup of the population resident in France becomes ever more interesting.
As I wrote in my Taki’s Magazine column this week, “Le Grand Remplacement,” unlike in the U.S., there’s no official count of residents of France by race or ethnicity.
In general, the people who want more immigration into France don’t want anybody to know too accurately how much there has been in the past. Ignorance is bliss. In contrast, those who are concerned about future immigration policy want to know more accurately about the present reality, for which they are looked down upon.
The French Establishment is overcome with indignation whenever anybody tries to estimate, such as by using statistics on the percentage of newborns who get tested for the genetic disorder sickle cell anemia because both parents come from parts of the world where the hereditary illness is endemic: I.e., most of Africa, much of the Middle East, India, Indian Ocean islands, and black parts of the New World.
But it also includes the southernmost parts of Europe such as Sicily and Greece. Nobody seems to know how many purely European babies get tested due to both parents being from parts of Europe once plagued by falciparum malaria. So,
As I pointed out, in 2015, 38.9% of newborns in France were tested as being at risk of sickle cell anemia, up from 25.5% in 2005.
I pointed out three sizable methodological issues in my column that should be taken into account:
– Some numbers of wholly European babies are tested because both parents come from the southernmost parts of Europe.
– Some babies who are as black as Barack Obama are not tested because one parent is northern European.
– All nonwhite Indochinese, East Asians, and Polynesians are not tested.
This first methodological factor would artificially inflate the nonwhite percentage estimated from sickle cell testing, while the latter two would artificially deflate it.
But this kind of analysis is not tres chic, however. From Le Monde in 2014 via Google Translate:
The statistics on this genetic disease are brandished by identity activists as a “proof” of the “migratory invasion”. But their arguments do not hold.
Home | 12.09.2014 at 18:04 • Updated 27.11.2014 with 17:18 | By Alexandre Léchenet and Samuel Laurent
This is the “proof” of the “invasion” of immigrants, brandished by the extreme right in a growing number of speeches. It is cited on websites, blogs , countless comments or messages on social networks : screening for sickle – cell disease, a genetic disorder that particularly affects certain populations from overseas , Africa or the Maghreb , Is being used by extremist militants.
Most of the article is devoted to explaining why it’s racist to think about genetics. For example, a baby whose parents are, says, immigrants from Poland would not be tested, while black or North African babies whose parents were born in France would be tested, so this figure isn’t a good measure of immigrants:
Families from the Caribbean, French for about ten generations, will be tested, when a couple of foreigners from Eastern Europe will not be tested.
Nor is it a good measure of Muslims, since lots of French-speaking black Africans aren’t Muslims. For example, poor Theo doesn’t sound like he has a Muslim name.
I did find one new methodological factor:
What is meant by “coming from a region at risk” and how, in practice, is screening performed? The practice is not very clear. The official reports do not detail it. “In practice,” explains Valérie Gauthereau, director of the Parisian federation of screening , we try in the maternity centers to target people of Maghrebian or African origin. ”
Targeting is done on rather informal criteria: facies parents name family … but that may have misfired. This is why, in the Ile-de-France , for example , “some maternity target 100% of the population, to be certain not to miss a case,” yet says M me Gauthereau.
So, at some hospitals in Greater Paris, population 12 million out of France’s total population of 66 million, the percentage of babies needing the test is so high that they just test all the babies. That would inflate the national figure somewhat.
Of course, if Le Monde were actually interested in finding out the real numbers, they could dispatch a reporter to visit a few maternity wards to see how sickle cell testing decisions are made in practice.
But who wants to know what the real numbers are?
Racists, that’s who!
So most of the article is devoted to explaining why thinking systematically about ancestry is racist. Here’s the ending:
The hysteria maintained by the extreme right around sickle cell disease only masks the racism of the proponents of these theories: this is not talking about immigration, since people not born in France but originating Eastern Europe or the American continent are not detected, while those born to a couple whose great-grandparents are from Africa or the Maghreb, although French for three generations, are .
In fact, what the identary activists are trying to talk about here is the issue of ethnicity. What concerns them is non-”white” births, whether they come from people of French nationality or not, and whether these people are integrated or not.
The case of the West Indians is emblematic here: these populations can be “more French” than the right-wing activists from the third or fourth generation of Italian, Polish or other immigration; They will still be counted in their mapping of the “big replacement”. This is a sign that it is not a matter of talking about integration or migratory flows, but about “races”.
Well, yeah …
Here in the United States, the Obama Administration spent hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars to count by race, but that doesn’t raise Le Monde’s ire. In France, some amateurs have found a clever way to estimate answers to questions about France that the Obama Administration spent a fortune to calculate in the U.S., but that is BAD.
Because who counts whom is what counts, not what the truth may be.