Roušky nevědomosti

Rozhodnutí Francie zakázat muslimským školačkám a studentkám nošení šátků ve veřejných školách bylo učiněno ve snaze o oddělení státu a církve; ve francouzských dějinách jde o starou otázku a terč značného hašteření. Schválení tohoto zákona však odhalilo ještě něco jiného: jak obtížně se Francouzi vyrovnávají s tím, čemu Američané říkají otázka menšin.

I přes zdánlivě zásadní rozdíly trpí oba státy podobným zlozvykem, totiž plést si chudobu s něčím jiným. Ve Francii je chudoba zaměňována s náboženstvím; v Americe je zaměňována s rasou.

Poněvadž je mnoho amerických černochů chudých, četné průzkumy ukazují, že Američané zaměňují chudobu s tmavou barvou pleti. Na otázku: „Proč jsou [černoši] tak chudí?" odpovídají dva ze tří Američanů, že klíčovým důvodem je lenost; pouze každý třetí se domnívá, že chudí černoši neměli štěstí. (Pokud však stejnou otázku dostanou Američané, kteří byli „v poslední době na večeři s černošským přítelem", tento poměr se obrátí.)

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