Ile-de-France: why Valérie Pécresse refuses the name of the high school “Angela Davis”

The LR president of the Ile-de-France region Valérie Pécresse calls on the State on Wednesday to decide on the attribution of the name of Angela Davis to a high school in Saint-Denis, due to critical positions taken on France of the American activist. “The name of Angela Davis does not make consensus”, declared Valérie Pécresse to the permanent commission of the Regional Council, which was to deliberate on this appointment.

A thesis that feeds “community withdrawals”, says Pécresse

The former presidential candidate therefore decided “to withdraw this deliberation and personally seize the Minister of National Education and the regional prefect under the control of legality to analyze this question”, she explained. . “While waiting for the State to decide, I will turn to the educational community and the mayor of Saint-Denis so that we are looking for a new name for this establishment”, added the president of the first region of France, who jurisdiction over high schools.

If “the quest for dignity and equality are at the heart of the commitment” of the civil rights activist, a figure in the fight for equality for black Americans, her “conviction that racism is a systemic matter” is a thesis which “feeds community withdrawal and can encourage violence”, says Valérie Pécresse. “A number of recent positions taken by Angela Davis on France are problematic,” added the right-wing elected official, notably targeting a platform co-signed by the academic in 2021.

“We must learn to be proud of France”

In the latter, intellectuals from around the world castigated the “colonial mentality (which) manifests itself in France’s governance structures, in particular vis-à-vis racialized citizens and immigrants, as evidenced by measures such as the dissolution of the CCIF (Collective against Islamophobia in France)” or “the law against the wearing of the veil”. But for Valérie Pécresse, “in a French high school, you have to learn to be proud of France”.

In May 2018, 14 of the 17 members of the high school’s board of trustees had approved the choice of Angela Davis for the name of the establishment, built by the region and inaugurated the previous year. The mayor of Saint-Denis at the time, Laurent Russier, had validated this choice. But since then, “the regional right has always, under fallacious pretexts, refused to formalize this name”, protests the environmental opposition group in a press release. The LR and related group proposed in an amendment to rename the high school in the name of Rosa Parks, another figure in the fight against racism in the United States.

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