Another way to ask the question is to consider whether the French are racists. Do they practice diversity? Do they treat their ethnic minorities well? The simple answer is that “yes” racism does exist in France, just as it exists in all other countries and cultures. As with all other peoples, it is a complex situation. Official records show that there is racism at work in employment. Unemployment for French nationals hovers around 10%. Yet for the foreign or ethnic population that figure is on the upside of 20% at all times. Just looking at second generation North Africans born in France, who have graduated from University, the unemployment figure is 26.5% compared to just 5% of French origin graduates.
Studies reflect the bias levied against candidates who run for office or apply for jobs. If the surname is African the chances for landing the job or getting elected are virtually nil. French employers even have shorthand classification system; BBR which stands for blue, white and red which are the colors of the French flag and used to denote white Frenchmen, NBBR means the candidate is not white and should not be hired. French employment databases were found to have hundreds of codes detailing the race of all potential job candidates.
There is also little or no equality in housing in French cities, towns and villages. The majority of the French immigrant population live in what the Americans would call a ghetto characterized by high unemployment, poor infrastructure, crime and problems with the police. These ghettos or districts as they are called are constructed on the outskirts of big cities. It is estimated that nearly 90% of all non-EU nationals live in these type areas. Children born in these areas tend to stay in these neighborhoods because the French government shows no inclination to change or better the situation.
Studies have shown the public perception espoused by the French toward foreigners is also heavily racist. In one study a whopping 49% of those polled said foreigners were simply too different to be integrated into French society. 46% on the same poll said repatriation for immigrants was better than integration. The general thinking is that integration damages the French national identity. Racists tendencies of the French are blamed on the frustrations caused by economic decline, the fears of poor whites, and the fear that immigrants will bring violence and other disruptions to polite French society.
Some argue that France has long dragged its feet in allowing or attempting immigrant assimilation which affects mainly North African children actually born in France and not in Africa. The term used to describe these children is second generation of immigrants. Since they are French born, they are actually natives. However the French don’t accept them due to a reluctance or unwillingness based in racism and a desire to remain essentially a white country or seemingly white country. The French government has yet to truly explain why someone who is born in the country and is therefore native to that country, must be assimilated in the first place.