“I’m Aya!” » – Babette de Rozières defends Aya Nakamura and denounces systemic racism in an explosive column, exclusively for Entrevue

28 May 2024 / Jerome Goulon

It was in 1940 that Hattie McDaniel receives an Oscar for her role in the film “Gone with the Wind”, the first black actress to win this prestigious distinction. 

Not having been allowed to enter the awards ceremony where all the nominated actors meet, she receives her Oscar in a hotel room, hidden out of sight, so as not to be mixed with the actors whites. She will receive her prize with the greatest discretion. Forbidden to enter places reserved for whites, she will not participate in the festivities...she is black!

However, she played in more than 300 films, but only appeared in the credits in 83.

She will then launch into singing and become the first black woman in history whose music will be played on all American radio stations. Throughout her career Hattie Mc Daniel will face racism and segregation. 

When she died in 1952, her last wish to be buried in Hollywood Cemetery was refused because it was reserved for whites. 

In the artistic world, examples of racial discrimination are numerous.

While he was director of dance at the Paris Opera, between 2014 and 2016 Benjamin Millepied had also wondered about this lack of diversity: “I heard very clearly when I arrived that we don't put a person of color in a corps de ballet because it's a distraction: that is to say, if there are twenty-five girls white people with a black girl, we will only look at the black girl. A corps de ballet, everyone must be the same; same, that means everyone must be white” A clear opinion, which had shaken up the prestigious institution at the time and which had led him to resign a year after taking office.

For some, black is a stain. For others it captures the light.

It is commonly accepted in France that black and Arab communities are just French citizens like any other! That's not quite the reality. 

As proof, I cite the fact that the champions who defend the French flag on the field are mostly black and Arab. 

When they win a medal for France, they are French, given a standing ovation, invited to the Élysée and decorated with the Legion of Honor. When they lose, they are immediately sent back to their origins and become Guadeloupeans, Martinicans, Senegalese, Algerians… And they are not allowed to criticize France. When this happens, we oppose them with the political slogan: France: you love her or you leave her. And they want us to believe that in France there are only citizens without distinction of race?

Aya Nakamura is a Frenchwoman, chosen to sing Edith Piaf's hymn to love at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Where is the problem ?

The Olympics are about brotherhood between people, not hatred. Hate is death, that ofHalimi, from Patti, from Nahel, from Georges Floyd, victims of this shameful disease that is racism.

I remember what I myself suffered when I arrived in France and joined ORTF, the ancestor of France Télévisions, through an anonymous competition. I was spat on in the face, I was beaten up in an elevator and so on... Later I was criticized for being too visible on the air and I had to impose my "ethnic" cuisine » to make it today a recognized and appreciated cuisine of character. And I am delighted to see fashionable exotic products on the menus of great chefs as well as at the local market. 

I am deeply outraged by the racist attacks launched against Aya Nakamura approached by Emmanuel Macron to represent France at the official opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

How can anyone dare in France, in 2024, to attack her person, her name, and call into question her talent when she has just won three major prizes, including that of best female artist French to the flames 2024? 

Why wouldn't she be worthy of representing France during this event which aims to bring together the world of youth in the field of sport in a spirit of healthy competition as desired by Pierre de Coubertin.

I heard it said from the mouth of Marion Marechal the pen “that she doesn’t speak French”. But he is not asked to speak, but only to sing the hymn to love. 

You have to be really ill-intentioned to criticize a singer for not speaking French, which is not the case for Aya. 

While we have known singers who did not know a word of French, and who nevertheless sang about love using onomatopoeia learned by heart, to name only this great singer Mike Brant.    

Aya Nakamura is a young French woman, beautiful and talented who made herself, by working harder than the others. Arriving in France at the age of 7, she received an education in the schools of the republic and she must be cited as an example of success. She is a talented and deserving young mother raising her children. His reputation has transcended our borders. She is recognized internationally, thanks to her work and she has conquered the planet. She is the most listened to French-speaking artist in the world in 2023 with a record 5 billion Streams abroad alone on the Spotify platform.

He is also a world star of whom France can be proud. So a little respect; Please ! 

It is sad to note that stupidity has a long life expectancy, since in post-colonial societies like France the observation of Frantz Fanon remains intact: “The black is not a man, but he is a black man »

And if France was the country of lights, there is an asshole who turned off the lights and who clearly has heirs.

Two words here to respond to all the racists who have a short memory on the concept of race. 

Since long before the conquests of Alexander the Great, Caesar, the Western Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire, the barbarian invasions, the Vikings, the barbarians, the Visigoths, the Ostrogots and all these peoples from the north of Europe who occupied France and who made their home there. I still think of Hannibal with his elephants and his Moors and of the Arabs who came from the south, of Genghis Khan who came from the east whose empire extended as far as Beijing. Without forgetting the Ottomans. Since time immemorial, France has continued to be visited by people from elsewhere. 

Since man appeared on earth in Africa 28 million years ago, he has continued to move. There is not a continent, a country, a forest, a desert, an ice floe, an island where he has not set foot, even on the moon, he went to put his ass down. 

France has always been invaded, occupied, exploited and colonized by a multitude of immigrant civilizations. It’s a real broth of culture, an ethnic mix. For thousands of years, peoples have continued to fight, mix and copulate, so much so that even a racist pig would not find its young there.

The concept of race today is good for pigs! 

And let's go even deeper. Would white people live better without black people? 

Would white people be stronger without black people? I will thank you for everything that black people have contributed to science and progress and not only to sports, but to humanity.

 There have also been great black men, no offense to some, and in all areas. I will only mention Nelson Mandela whom I had the honor of approaching and who gave me a kiss and hugged me.

Barack Obama, the first black president of a racist state. I would quote again for fun Gladys West, this African-American mathematician who invented GPS.

Black people have a long history of servitude and have participated in the enrichment of white exploiters since the dawn of time.

What would France have done without its blacks, without its Arabs, without its Jews, often called upon to support it in difficult times? unfortunately, the ballot paper has no color..

France welcomes the whole world for the Olympics. It's a unique opportunity to show her beautiful face, her open-mindedness, her sense of hospitality, and she's a black, Aya NaKamura, a Frenchwoman, who will embody it on the day of the inauguration by singing the hymn to love. What could be more beautiful, more unifying, more soothing in this world of brutes.

If only in France where it is becoming difficult to move freely without risking having your throat slit, skinned or cut into slices. It is no longer only black people who are victims of violence, but the elderly, teachers, police officers, gendarmes, young people.

Names of victims who have made headlines come to mind, but there are so many that I can list them. France has once again become a barbarian country

We may not like the singer Aya Nakamura like others didn't like Ella Fitzgerald, Jessie Norman, Moune de Rivel, Joséphine Baker or Barbara Hendricks, but please, a little restraint, a little modesty

I strongly denounce the comments made by certain artists. These attacks are all the more vile when they come from a black singer like Franky Vincent Chez Jordan Deluxe.

All this is indigestible and reprehensible even if I forgive him because he is a friend, wanting to believe that his words have gone beyond his thoughts. It's not always easy to express yourself in front of a camera. 

But let them all be reassured, Aya Nakamura will not be the only black person in the Olympic stadium.

CA French citizen, she was chosen to sing the hymn to love. In this, Macron made, for once, a good decision.

Aya Nakamura will charm us and say aloud to us “let us go, children of the homeland” and make us see “la vie en rose” through the hymn to love that little Piaf sang. 

It will amaze you and it will be an unforgettable moment for this France in decline that we love, but which unfortunately has lost all its splendor. France is no longer a big country. Let her show us through the voice of Aya Nakamura that she is still capable of dazzling the world.

And for the genetically racist, let them know that the blacks are there, well in the place, with the Arabs and the Jews who have acquired, through their history, a capacity and a fierce desire for resistance, which they have invested all areas and that they have no intention of leaving. We will now have to reckon with them if we don't want to count on them. They will still perform feats at the Olympic Games that France can be proud of.

And for the irreducible, the incurable, the irremediably affected by pathological negrophobia and/or acute chromosomal alterations, I would echo the words of Aimé Césaire: “THE NEGRO FUCKS YOU» And to be very clear, the Negress that I am too. 

Babette of Rozieres

Portrait of Babette de Rozières during the recording of the show “Chez Jordan”. May 9, 2023 © Cédric Perrin / Bestimage