A Comprehensive Exploration of Racism in Nice, France

A Comprehensive Exploration of Racism in Nice, France

For a variety of reasons, Nice, the fifth-biggest city in France, draws visitors from all over the globe. Not only is Nice known for its elegance, but since the establishment of institutions like Acropolis and Sophia Antipolis, it has developed into a center for industry, science, and cutting-edge technological development. SOS-Racisme screened private beaches in the coastal town of Juan-les-Pins over a busy summer weekend to uncover examples of racial prejudice, which are sometimes difficult to prove.

Historical Foundations

A well-liked vacation spot, Nice is a vibrant city on the elegant French Riviera. It’s well-known for its wonderful weather, breathtaking scenery, and rich culture. But despite its many attractions, mouthwatering cuisine, and stunning beaches, Nice is also known for being crowded, touristic, and rather pricey. It was known as Nizza for several centuries during its Italian era, and Nice is the name it has had since it became French only 150 years ago. Like the well-known salad, the residents of Nice speak a dialect known as Nissart.

Contemporary Realities

France has had many terrorist strikes in the last two years. Some, like the attack on the Bataclan music venue in November of the same year or the massacre at Charlie Hebdo’s offices in January 2015, were directly planned by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, often known as ISIS). Given that France was commemorating the ideals of freedom, equality, and fraternity when Bastille Day was chosen, it is very significant. However, the fact that the current incident took place in Nice is probably going to have a lasting impact.

Diversity in Nice

One of the main cities in the south of France is Nice, which has frequently been the target of xenophobic far-right party the National Front, headed by Marine Le Pen. Christian Estrosi, the mayor of the city, is a hardcore right-wing conservative and populist member of the Sarkozy family. The most recent member of the Le Pen line, Marion Marechal Le Pen, nearly became the regional president in December of last year, giving her party a forum for its extreme statements. ISIL would profit much from such a demagogic shift to the right in French politics, as the group stands to gain greatly from the escalation of racism and Islamophobia in France.

Government Policies and Response

Opposition leaders appear to have lost all sense of control in a politically driven competition to see who can be the most critical and martial, far from the relative harmony that followed the initial terror strikes last year. This ill-advised approach serves the terrorists’ interests, since it makes them more appealing to radicalized misfits who find greater justification for violence in every act of Islamophobia. Likewise, any solution relegated to increasing the pace of strikes against ISIL strongholds in Iraq and Syria would be futile. Reaffirming the French Republic’s foundational values of free education, social solidarity, secularism, and the welfare state is the only practical response to terrorism. It makes sense why the French people are angry. However, it’s not the best idea to jeer a prime minister at the event honoring the lives lost by innocent people.


According to local media, at least 115 persons were detained in Paris and the neighboring territories overall. 40 far-right suspects were among them, according to the sources, and they were attempting to enter the capital’s main area, the Champs-Elysees, which was crowded with football spectators. There were also reports of violence in big towns including Montpellier, Nice, and Lyon. Following a brawl between opposing supporters in Lyon, at least six people two of whom belonged to a right-wing organization were taken into custody, according to sources. Thomas Portes, a French legislator, denounced the “planned attacks” and “racist violence” directed towards Moroccan supporters. “A terrible thing is about to happen. We have to respond,” he tweeted. Another lawmaker, Antoine Leaument, said that Moroccan supporters in Nice were accosted by “fascists… shouting racist remarks.”


Since there was no indication of a possible connection to terrorism in the profile of the insane driver who killed over 84 people, no intelligence agency could have stopped the Nice incident. Today, France’s only options are to uphold its secular republican ideals with pride, spread the humor that fundamentalists seek to suppress, promote societal inclusiveness, and never stop teaching. A shift to the far right would give the terrorists the upper hand. The French have to be tough and resist populist temptations at all costs if they are to succeed.



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