'Racism' in the French Parliament. Here Are Those Embarrassing Moments
In a session in the French Parliament, a debate broke out after a member of the National Front Party, led by Marine le Pen, shouted, "Go back to Africa," while speaking to a black colleague.
National Front MP Grégoire de Fournas made these remarks while speaking to MP Carlos Martens Bilongo. At that time, Bilongo was talking about 234 migrants looking for a port in the Mediterranean.
Because of the similar pronunciation of the pronouns "he and they" in French, it was unclear whether these words were intended for Bilongo or for immigrants trying to arrive in Europe.
Bilongo, MP for the Left-wing Unsubmissive France Movement, said that he was born in France and that these statements were "shameful".
Fournas, on the other hand, argued that his words were not directed at his colleague Bilongo, but at immigrants trying to reach Europe by sea.
Statement from Prime Minister Borne
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne condemned these words, stating that "there is no place for racism".
Borne stated that the Parliamentary committees will meet on Friday to discuss the steps to be taken regarding the incident.
When the aforementioned statements of the right-wing MP Fournas echoed in the Parliament, the hall was almost frozen. Speaker of the House Yael Braun-Pivet first asked who these statements came from. Then the deputies shouted, "Out! Out! Out!" she started shouting.
The Speaker of the House interrupted the session.
Apologizes to Bilango
Bilongo said, "Today, the issue came back to the color of my skin. I was born in France, I am a French parliamentarian."
In his defense, Fournas stated that he meant "the ship carrying immigrants to Europe" and apologized to Bilongo for "misunderstood comments".