In Paris, President Envy: 'There Is No French Obama'

Country's egalitarian tradition takes a hit
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 6, 2008 10:20 AM CST
Pedestrians walk past a poster by the Italian Democratic party showing a picture of president-elect Barack Obama and reading: "The World Changes", in downtown Rome, Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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(Newser) Sacre bleu! With Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential race, the French, who’ve long prided themselves on a tradition of egalitarianism, are being forced to take a closer look at themselves—and they’re not happy with what they see, the Wall Street Journal reports. “This morning we all want to be Americans,” said one French official.

France’s African and Arab population is estimated at about 10%, and it’s had problems—weeks of riots swept its immigrant suburbs in 2005. Obama’s win has created envy in Paris. “They have overcome their prejudices. Such an experience is impossible in France,” said one black politician. There are no black CEOs or ambassadors, reports one advocacy group.