In the aftermath of the second round of the presidential election, a strong surge in the vote for Marine Le Pen in the Overseas Territories, which is usually a barrage against the far right, caused a strong reaction. The results are analyzed by Miriam Kotias, a historian and director of research at the National Center for Scientific Research, through “the superposition of the elements.”
a “Hit the bamboo on the headThis is the expression Myriam Cotias chose to express her feelings about the results of the second round of presidential elections in the Overseas Territories. Director of Research at CNRS, and historian deconstructs the increase in the vote for Marine Le Pen and the strong abstention in the Overseas Territories, Which puts them next to multiple cracks in overseas societies, particularly in the West Indies, where the vote for RN in Guadeloupe reached nearly 70% of the vote.
Overseas I: These unprecedented results in the Overseas Territories surprised many observers. How do you analyze them?
Myriam Kochias: It’s a blow to the head, especially when you’re a historian of the West Indies and working on slavery relationships, and what they produced of racial profiling and discrimination and racism. To see Marine Le Pen come first in these sections of the history of slavery is incomprehensible. It is evolution. He’s spitting in the face of Aimee Césaire, author of a book A discourse on colonialism, who had an anti-colonial political work with very powerful writings. About Aime Césaire, who in 2005 refused to receive Nicolas Sarkozy because of the February 23 law on the positive role of colonialism. So he’s facing a society that has taken firm stances and suddenly lowers his arms and turns and takes the exact opposite stance without having the ability, and I’m weighing that word, to think about what racism is.
In this vote, stretch fake newsThe misinformation that was widely spread during the Covid crisis in these regions, had weight?
Overseas territories are part of the world, so yes, globally identifiable phenomena matter there. A lot of fake news has been circulating there and it is very important because it is superimposed on very real political experiences. I’m thinking here of chlordecone, which refers to fears associated with hegemony, fears of being destroyed by the hegemon, but also with purely political implications. Because Emmanuel Macron, who is in no way responsible for the chlordecone crisis, could not provide accurate answers to this question.
The fact that Emmanuel Macron can say that we are not entirely sure that prostate cancer or preterm births due to chlordecone may have emerged, with good reason, as mild and casual answers, regarding a major health crisis that must be so. Taken seriously.Myriam Kotias, Director of Research at the National Center for Scientific Research
If we put all this in context, the rate of abstention is a record in the Overseas Territories, because we reject the policy of Emmanuel Macron, whether with regard to Chlordecone or the vaccine, that it covers – the fire that has lasted for too long in the Overseas Territories . We are also in this reversal with respect to Marine Le Pen where we finally see that the political analyzes do not hold and are lost among the population. Or finally, we can see some Martinis saying no, finally it’s not racist when we have a rhetoric built around that in Marine Le Pen. The responsibility of the Caribbean political class must also be raised. What is happening now is the lack of a political perspective for the Overseas Territories.
Can we talk about a successful “de-demonization” of the overseas territories?
We can clearly see that the policy of demonization worked in the French West Indies. Put things in perspective anyway. 70% of the electorate in Guadeloupe relates to the participation of 47% of the population, so in absolute numbers, we are about 90,000 people who voted for Marine Le Pen. But somehow we lose the memory of history. We forget all the battles fought by our predecessors, even the slaves themselves who fought for their rights and freedom. We are aware that somehow this political memory has been lost and is no longer able to oppose this demonization. As historians, this brings us back to our professional practices and our difficulties in imparting historical thinking and knowledge that can be accepted and used to reflect on the current situation.