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Notre-Dame’s fire and the social media backlash

The fire of Notre-Dame on the 15th of April is raised a lot of solidarity, terror and sadness in Paris and the rest of the country, but some other French organisations didn’t have quite the same reaction.

Cathedral of Notre Dame
Cathedral of Notre-Dame (Flickr photo by David Merret

After delivering national emotion and global from Catholic and people loving France, some militant from the UNEF (National Union of French Student) explained their indifference concerning the disaster. According to some French journalists and writers, this is the result of the absurd theory of deconstruction still followed by French universities.

“I don’t care about Notre-Dame of Paris, I don’t care about French history”. “You guys love too much the French identity, but in fact, nobody cares, this is a white people thing”. – said one of the executives of UNEF on Twitter a few hours after the fire started. She later deleted her Twitter profile.

It is around 8 pm when the fire was at its maximum last Monday and had extended to the main roof and one of the tower. Messages online appeared massively to express emotion and sadness, believers and citizens gathered in different churches of the country to pray for Notre-Dame. Suddenly, a militant from the National Bureau of the UNEF is spreading on Twitter. Other left-wing members of the student syndicate will go on and on, even saying atrocities like: “the only church that illuminates is the one that burns”. It is only the day after the disaster that the militant from the UNEF will withdraw their Twits.

The spreading of hate concerning French history is not new and have been growing silently for years. Le Figaro was asking in one of their article concerning the same topic, “How is it possible to ask young people to appreciate and respect what they didn’t learn to know? Bourdieu has taken an important place in recent ideologies beloved by the education system in France, making young people believe that “classical periods and arts and the culture pushed by France for a long time was only a domination weapon embedded by the French bourgeoisie.

Jean-Marc Isseu, French and History teacher explains that “it is really hard to make young generations like this part of the history and culture, therefore teachers are now showing kids tools to emancipate themselves from it. “Now, French history is seen by younger generation through the scope of contemporary stereotypes and susceptibilities”, explains Jean-Marc Isseu, This form of victimising and incrimination of teaching French history make the appropriation of common heritage by young generation almost impossible

20161002 15 Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica
Notre-Dame Cathedral view from inside (Flickr Photo by David Wilson)

The theory of deconstruction, taught by Bourdieu and his fans, are spread on American, French and European campus since the 60s. Jean-Marc Isseu argues that “everyone opposed to any kind of bourgeoisie and potentially left or right winger might be attracted at one stage of its life by Bourdieu’s text and that is the reason why his theories have spread all around the world because bourgeoise always used to be contested and disliked and present in every country”.

Unfortunately, Bourdieu’s theories and followers are now participating in thin separations of the societies and make people question their histories and their legitimacy. Recent presidents from the right and left wings have completely avoided mentioning this emergence of deconstruction’s ideology teach and spread inside French universities. Notre-Dame of Paris is one more example of the difficulties of understanding the past and the history to embrace the common heritage instead of trying to destroy its identity and culture.

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