Resignation of Christiane Taubira

“While Taubira was there, many people of the left could still believe this was their government,” one dissident Socialist MP said. “Now she is gone, they see no one that they can believe in.”

BY VERONICA WINTERS

In January 2016, Christiane Taubira resigned from her position as a justice minister in the French government. As the only senior minister of African descent and one of the last senior ministers holding a traditionally leftist political stance, her departure as well as its cause marks the loss of a major player for social justice. In 2013, she struggled against French prime minister Francois Hollande as a proponent for gay marriage, and she is often criticized for being too lax on crime as an anti-racist advocate. Because she originated from extreme poverty in the French Guiana, her presence as a non-European French citizen in itself is a challenge to the conservative French Republic. That conservative staunchness has explicitly manifested in racists stunts against Christiane. The most notable incident occurred in 2013 in central France during her gay rights campaign, where “the children of anti-gay protesters brandished ‘bananas for the monkey.'” Her decision to resign, then, after having endured such obstacles, signals a serious shift in the French government. Such a sea change has occurred that her justification for leaving was “sometimes to resist means staying, sometimes to resist means leaving.”[1]  What happened that her most effective form of resistance could be resigning? In reaction to recent terrorist attacks in France, Hollande is trying to pass legislation that would strip convicted terrorists that possess duo-citizenship of their French citizenship. Taubira believes that the law is unconstitutional and targets a specific group in French society: Muslims. In light of the attack in Brussels, there is a high probability that this legislation might successfully pass. In addition, France appears geared to enforce more aggressive anti-terrorist and security measures that challenge EU jurisdiction.

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