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Home > Secteur-English > General > The Immoral Character of Dieudonné. By Mordekhai Thomas

The Immoral Character of Dieudonné. By Mordekhai Thomas

Dieudonné M’bala M’bala can be very easily described: He is truly an immoral person. Let me explain.

It is a fact about life that we all make mistakes. More forcefully, every human being will commit a wrongful act at some point in life. And sometimes we can actually understand why it is that the person committed the wrongful act. We can all makes some sense of why it is that a hungry and poor person steals a morsel of food. Indeed, while we rightly disapprove of acts of infidelity, there are times when we can make sense of how such an incident occurred.

With Dieudonné, there is nothing whatsoever that is excusable about his behavior and attitude with respect to Jews. There is no way even to make sense of his despicable attitude towards Jews. In 2008, he was fined 7000 € for describing Holocaust remembrance as « memorial pornography ». And that characterization on the part of Dieudonné reflects a truly horrendous level of moral callousness on his part. His assertion that Holocaust remembrance is “memorial pornography” would be rather like a member of the KKK making the following claim: “American Slavery was good for blacks because it gave them something meaningful to do”.

I hold a very simple view. While it is true that all human beings make mistakes, evil behavior is never a mistake. For example, it is clear that it is never by mistake that a man commits rape. The very nature of rape makes it a very intentional act. Dieudonné willfully, and with regularity, says that which is utterly vicious about Jews. So even if we gave him the benefit of the doubt with respect to his very first venomous set of remarks regarding Jews, the fact that he continues to make such horrific pronouncements regarding Jews makes it ever so clear that his behavior is intentional.

Although life has many complexities, there are respects in which life is profoundly simple. For instance, an indisputable truth is that a morally decent person never trivializes the evil that a people have suffered. So, one of the reasons why we know that Dieudonné is a morally evil person is that trivializing the evil that Jews have suffered has, in effect, become one of Dieudonné’s signature modes of expression—indeed, his public expression. There is, in fact, a most disconcerting parallel between Dieudonné and the extreme right. Whereas the extreme right privileges the white race over other ethnic groups, Dieudonné dehumanizes the Jewish people. And most unfortunately, it is clear that he has given no thought at all to the very significant reality that many, many Jews are quite visibly of African descent. But then Dieudonné may very well suppose that, in some manner or the other, Jews who are black are traitors to black people.

There is truly a significant respect in which I find Dieudonné a particularly evil person on account of his ever so vicious antisemitic behavior. He is of mixed heritage; for his father is a black man from the African country Cameron. I must confess that I am unable to comprehend how any person of black heritage could be inclined to treat the members of another ethnic groups in an evil manner. I have the exact same attitude with regard to any person of Jewish heritage.

There is every reason to believe that Dieudonné is entirely beyond hope. Yet, he can serve as a truly profound reminder of the kind of person whom we should never under any circumstances allow ourselves to become. Biologically, what distinguish human beings from all other creatures on the face of the earth is that human beings have the capacity for considerable foresight. Each of us can think about our life days or weeks or even years in advance. May Dieudonné be an everlasting of reminder of the kind of person that we should never let ourselves become. And if he serves as that reminder in the life of each and every one of us, then there is some good that comes out of the evil life that Dieudonné has chosen to live.

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