“They don’t like me”: the racist scandal around the Paris Olympics resulted in a song

“They don’t like me”: the racist scandal around the Paris Olympics resulted in a song


Aya Nakamura released a rebuke single

Franco-Malian superstar Aya Nakamura, who was subjected to racist abuse after it was revealed she might perform an Edith Piaf song at the Paris Olympics this summer, has used a new single to hit back at her far-right critics.

On “Doggy,” released Friday, the 28-year-old singer sings, “I don’t have no enemies, I’m the one / They’re the ones who don’t love me… Lots of enemies, but I don’t even know them.”

Nakamura, the world’s most popular French-speaking performer, faced racist backlash after reports that she discussed performing an Edith Piaf song at a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in February, The Guardian recalls.

The idea that a black performer could sing the iconic 20th-century singer’s song at the Games in July was quickly taken up by the far right in France. “This is not a good symbol, frankly, this is another provocation on the part of Emmanuel Macron,” said Marine Le Pen, speaking at the National Rally. Le Pen also complained about Nakamura’s “outfits and vulgarity.”

The mention of Nakamura’s name caused an uproar among the crowd at a rally in March during the election campaign of the Renaissance Party, led by former far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour.

A small extremist group calling itself the “Natives” hung a poster on the banks of the Seine with the words: “No way, Ayay, this is Paris, not a market in Bamako.”

Aya Nakamura has already reacted on social networks: “You can be racist, but not deaf… That’s what hurts you! I’m becoming the number one talking point in the country… but what do I really owe you? Nothing.”

She also said: “I have the impression that I helped you discover Edith Piaf and that she was embodied in me. Otherwise, whether they like me or not is their business.”

The Paris prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into alleged racist insults against the singer, The Guardian writes.

French Culture Minister Rachida Dati warned against “pure racism”, while former footballer Liliane Thuram said: “When people say Aya Nakamura cannot represent France, what criteria are they basing this on? I know the criteria because when I was a footballer, some people also said that this is not a French team because there are too many blacks there.”

Sports Minister Amelie Udea-Castera also weighed in, telling Nakamura: “It doesn’t matter, people love you. Don’t worry about anything.”

Born Aya Danioko in Mali, Nakamura came to France as a baby, says The Guardian. She grew up in a housing estate in the northern Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis with her siblings and mother, who was a griot, a traditional Malian poet or singer.

Her songs have been streamed 7 billion times, and last year her three concerts in Paris sold out in 15 minutes.

It remains unclear whether Nakamura will compete at the Olympics, but the Paris organizing committee is trying to limit the damage from the scandal. “We are very shocked by the racist attacks against Iya Nakamura,” the statement said. “Full support for the most popular French artist in the world.”


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