in the rich and complex daily life of mixed couples

By Gladys Marivat

Posted today at 19:59

Structural racism, debate on separatism, national preference, “woke” movement… As the presidential campaign turns towards questions of immigration and identity, what impact do these divisive subjects have on so-called mixed French couples? How do they cope with the received ideas of which they are the object? And besides, what is it like to be a mixed couple in France today?

Béatrice and Nicolas Lê, Franco-Vietnamese couple.  She is a graphic designer and he is a computer scientist.  Thorigny-sur-Marne (Seine-et-Marne), November 21, 2021.

Lucie and Jacques: when wokism invites itself into the couple

Béatrice and Nicolas: four weddings for a honeymoon

Aurélie and Hakim: “two countries, two cultures”

Emilie and Bernard: “the future of the world” in the countryside

Lucie and Jacques: when wokism invites itself into the couple

For several years, Lucie (the first name has been changed) has the impression of “To see things”. A bit like the hero of the film The Sixth Sense who sees the dead haunt the world of the living. For a long time, the 38-year-old young woman, brought up in a working-class district of Reims by a Guadeloupe mother, a cleaner in a hospital, and who did not transmit much to her from her native archipelago, thought that racism was n ‘ did not exist. Since the birth of her daughter four years ago, this designer of digital interfaces no longer lives ” calm “. “Before, I was a bit blind to everything that was going on around me. Now I feel like I’m putting a layer of racism on things. Or rather the reverse: there was a varnish that I scratch today “, she explains. It jumps out at him “Racial fetishism” of a former colleague who boasted of his conquests in Asia; the other colleague who told her, as a compliment, that she was a “Good black woman” ; and guidance counselors who never told her about business or engineering schools when she was a good student. What if this happened to his daughter?

“Yes, anti-white racism can exist in certain contextual moments, but the racism I experience is structural, it is always present,” explains Lucie.

Her lucidity, she owes it to conversations with her friends “Racialized”, in contact with which she is “Aware” and started listening to podcasts such as “Children of noise and smell” or “Kiffe ta race”. If a sound documentary catches her attention, Lucie transfers it to her companion, Jacques (the first name has been changed), with whom she has been in a relationship for nine years. The latter does not always listen, because he prefers to read a “Good article”. “It’s true that Lucie woke up a bit. Maybe after motherhood, or maybe it was already there in her, but she didn’t dare tell me about it. Lately, she has this consciousness – I don’t know how to put it – social, racial ”, he remarks. He grew up in a bourgeois family in the Parisian suburbs, “ Christian but not practicing ”, according to Lucie, who says she was very well received there. From different social backgrounds, they like to debate politics in their Parisian apartment at 18e arrondissement. Jacques, who is delighted to“To offer a good life” to his partner and his daughter, describes himself as “A macronist, a liberal in the Anglo-Saxon sense of the term “, while Lucie is more to the left than him.

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