From Dreyfus to Shamima

The paths of racism are so well trodden. I’ve just come across a lecture given by Jacqueline Rose about the Dreyfuss affair in France back in the 1890s.

It is about injustice, the way that antisemitism is such a ready tool to hand for those who want obscure a wrong; it asks questions about what justice looks like.

It is about the Jewish experience but the issues it raises don’t rest there. For example I didn’t know that,

‘In November 1938, a law was passed allowing French nationality to be stripped from those [jews] already naturalised should they be deemed unworthy of the title of French citizen.’

This was immediately before the aggressive collaboration of so many in France with Nazi antisemitism – but in a week that has seen our own Home Secretary seek to strip a British Citizen of her rights and newspaper columnists claim she was a Columnist from the Telegraph claim that ‘she may have been born here but she was never British’ feels uncomfortably familiar.

It’s an important lecture that feels prescient and relevant – worth a read (or a listen – here’s the video)

From Dreyfus to Shamima

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