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From: Politico: How French are intellectualizing the war on woke.

About once a month, the cream of a specific section of French society meets at Le Laboratoire de la République, a think tank in central Paris, to warn against what it sees as a dangerous and divisive import. The events organized by the Laboratoire do not focus solely on so-called wokeness, but it is a recurring theme. Speakers included French-Algerian novelistKamel Daoud who dismissed wokeism as “dangerous” and “boring,” influential academic and Islam expert Gilles Kepel who denounced cancel culture at universities and Nathalie Heinich, a sociologist who described wokeism as a “new totalitarianism.”

“We didn’t wait for [de woke generaties] to address racism and sexism,” Heinich said in an interview with POLITICO. “Do they think they invented these fights? We don’t need to ban speech that doesn’t suit us to advance the fight against discrimination.” The think tank was founded in 2021 by Jean-Michel Blanquer, a former education minister under President Emmanuel Macron, to defend a “republican ideal” that transcends race and religion. Blanquer recently argued in an interview at an elegant restaurant in central Paris that a “woke ideology” is “pessimistic” because it reduces people to representatives of groups with fixed identities that overshadow the individual: woman, black, Muslim, gay. “This hodgepodge only creates more conflict in our societies,” he said. In the United States, the anti-

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