Celebrated perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain has been condemned on one count of racial insult and discharged on another by the criminal court of Paris today. He has been fined for the sum of 6000 € and will further have to pay 2000€ to each of three anti-racism organizations: MRAP, LICRA and SOS Racisme...
The criminal court discharges him for one expression he used, "travailler comme un nègre", which is certainly not a politically correct expression, but has been deemed to be part of the history of the French language. It's still probably found in a few dictionaries. The court however do not accept his disparaging, racist comment casting doubt on the work-load of (black) slaves in the past while consolidating the stereotype about their lack of drive (guess why?). He has also been reproached to have caused public disturbance.
Jean-Paul Guerlain had insisted that he is no racist, conjuring up the anecdotal memory of African-American GIs who had made him discover chewing-gum and Coca-Cola in Paris at the end of WWII. In his book Parfums d'Amour, he mentions his trysts with local women in India and the Reunion. He tried bringing up this type of amorous experiences as proof that he is far from being a racist while not fully realizing hat he was thus further enhancing the perfume of colonialism that emanates from this words and attitude. Asymmetrical relationships with local, poorer mistresses are hardly material for the advancement of human rights.
Via Le Figaro - Marie-Claire