“Scum go back to France”
In the wake of Charlie Hebdo massacre and the Paris terrorist attacks, we have witnessed the ever-amusing spectacle of right-wing nutjobs embracing faux solidarity with the French, whether it comes to sporting French flags on their social media profiles or ironically enough deriding Obama for not being hawkish as the French. Most of us who were old enough to remember the Francophobia that erupted when Jacques Chirac refused to participate in the 2003 Iraq War and the amusing hysteria that erupted. “Freedom” fries, Dom Perignon bottles being poured to the ground, boycotting Chanel and Christian Dior, equating anything about cowardice to the French, useless memes talking about how the French never won a single war, etc., all come to mind.
So for the wingnuts, many of us don’t have short-term memories, and remember how Francophobia was a pillar of your party, the party that now fallaciously embraces the love of French as if they were always supportive of them. This story I remember from March 2003 in the Los Angeles Times will reinforce how Francophobia has erupted into violent repercussions for those of French descent living in the U.S. at the time:
Never, she said, did she expect to fall victim to a hate crime because of her nationality. Then again, she never thought members of Congress would rename French fries. She never thought restaurant owners would gain favorable publicity by dumping Dom Perignon down the toilette.
So perhaps it should have come as no surprise, Thomas said with a meek shrug, when she walked out of her home last weekend to discover that vandals had spray-painted this message on her garage door: “Scum go back to France.”
During World War II, when she was a girl, her mother, Madeleine, became a highly decorated member of the French Resistance. Madeleine’s job: Rescue American pilots shot down by German troops, nurse them back to health and sneak them to safety in Spain. Nazis eventually captured her and sentenced her to death, but did not have time to execute her before the end of the war, Thomas said.
“Did you tell them what I did?” Madeleine, who still lives in France, asked her daughter when told of the graffiti incident.
“I don’t think anyone cares about that anymore,” Thomas told her mother with a chuckle.
Thomas said she assumes the culprit is someone she knows. After all, she said, her condominium is tucked away in a large community and is difficult to find. And the person who did this, obviously, knew she was French.
She said she expects the anti-French fervor to die down quickly now that the war — which she has mixed feelings about — is underway.
“People have bigger things to worry about now,” she said. “There are going to be casualties. It’s not a joke anymore.”
The last part in bold is spot on, but it didn’t die down quickly; it took 12 years to do so, and even that may be short-lived.