The New York TimesThe New York Times

An outburst threatens the French far right's effort to go mainstream

By Catherine Porter and Constant Méheut

10 Nov 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

France’s far-right National Rally, now the main opposition party in Parliament, has been trying to depict itself as ordinary. The NYT reports on a recent incident that may spoil the attempt.

PARIS — French lawmakers erupted in turmoil last week when a member of Parliament from the far right interrupted a Black colleague’s speech about shipwrecked migrants in the Mediterranean by shouting, “Back to Africa!”

Grégoire de Fournas, and his far-right National Rally party, said he was talking about the boat carrying the migrants, and not his leftist colleague, Carlos Martens Bilongo. Both men are members of the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament.

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