Raza y republicanismo

El de la raza siempre ha sido un asunto provocativo cuando las necesidades de la ciencia y la estadística se cruzan con la política. Ahora vuelve a enconarse ese debate en Francia, pues la prevista introducción de los "datos estadísticos étnicos" ha causado una feroz disputa que afecta al corazón mismo del republicanismo francés.

Conforme a una ley que se remonta a la Revolución Francesa y reconfirmada en 1978, se prohíbe a los funcionarios estatales franceses recoger información , ya sea real o supuesta, sobre los orígenes étnicos o raciales de un ciudadano al realizar un censo u otras operaciones de recogida de datos estadísticos sobre la población.

Hay dos razones principales para ello. La primera es el principio republicano, consagrado en la Constitución, que sólo reconoce ciudadanos y no acepta distinción alguna entre ellos debida al origen, la raza o la religión. La segunda razón es histórica: los dolorosos y aún vívidos recuerdos del régimen de Vichy durante la segunda guerra mundial, cuando se estampaba el origen "racial" y religioso en los documentos de identificación nacional y se lo utilizó como instrumento decisivo para acorralar a los judíos franceses con vistas a enviarlos a los campos de la muerte.

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