Dieudonné, the anti-Semitic French comedian who made headlines last year over his “reverse Nazi salute” is making headlines again, this time as his own friends turn against him over his connections with racist groups.
The British Independent newspaper reported on Tuesday that several black supporters of Dieudonné, including former bodyguards, have turned against him, complaining of his increasingly close connections with white, allegedly racist, groups in France and what they claim is his supposed obsession with personal enrichment.
Their disillusionment is based partly on Dieudonné’s alliance with Alain Soral, an essayist and activist who has himself been accused of anti-Semitism. These ill-sorted comrades – the campaigner against the oppression of black people and the former official of the far-right Front National – launched a political party last month called Réconciliation Nationale.
In response, reports the Independent, former supporters of Dieudonné have started an internet campaign to undermine the black comedian’s fervent support base in the poor, multi-racial suburbs surrounding French cities. Among other things, they have posted on the internet an extraordinary exchange of emails earlier this year allegedly sent between Soral and a Guinean model called Binti Bangoura.
Soral, 56, is a champion of traditional family values and an overtly anti-Semitic polemicist, but also a self-declared “expert on picking-up women”, who has published a book on the “sociology” of pick-up techniques and has claimed 700 conquests. Bangoura claims that after an email exchange, Soral suggested a relationship and sent an inappropriate image of himself. When Bangoura, 33, rejected Soral’s advances, he allegedly sent her further emails in which he said, among other things, that “whites think black women are wh**es, which most of them are” and “your fate will be to be a wh**e for Jews”.
Bangoura has started a legal action against Soral for racial abuse, noted the Independent. Soral did not deny making the comments but said they had been “taken out of context” as part of an “outpouring of mud” to discredit his alliance with Dieudonné.
Dieudonne is the inventor of the quenelle gesture, a reverse Nazi salute that has become extremely popular in anti-Semitic and extremist circles across the French-speaking world and worldwide.
Despite Dieudonne's insistence it is a gesture of discontent against the establishment, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has called it a “gesture of hatred” and “an anti-Semitic gesture.”
He was widely accused of promoting anti-Semitism and already has a string of convictions in France for hate speech and other related offences, and saw his performances banned by French authorities due to their virulently anti-Semitic content.
Other former supporters of the comedian claim that – despite frequent appeals for money to pay his fines for anti-Semitic comments – Dieudonné is very wealthy man. They complain that the comedian has failed to invest money in the causes for downtrodden people he champions in his shows.
A former Dieudonné bodyguard, named only as Jessie, told the newspaper Libération, “In truth, they don’t give a stuff about Palestine, the black cause, or social inequalities.”