McClatchy Newspapers report on French Obama chic:
His visage appears between the svelte curves of fashion models on Europe’s most prestigious runways. His speeches are remixed into thumping music tracks in underground dance clubs. His campaign slogans are the foundation for modern art hanging on trendy Parisian gallery walls.
In Europe, Barack Obama is much more than the Democratic presidential nominee. He’s the hip new thing.
Earlier this month at the Paris Fashion Week, at least four top European designers unveiled dresses, skirts and tops featuring images honoring Obama.
At what point can we deem Europe’s cosmetic obsession with a black American presidential candidate offensive? I know we’re supposed to be overjoyed that the rest of the world loves Obama, but this is a pretty condescending brand of love, and it’s shocking that no one has objected to it. You don’t have to agree with Barack Obama to think he deserves more respect from the rest of the world than to be turned into an exotic fashion ornament. A “hip new thing” is still a thing. He may be Europe’s new PC fashion accessory, but he’s still our Democratic nominee. And if you think it’s his ideas on healthcare and the tax code that have Europeans jazzed, think again:
What strikes Obama’s Parisian supporters is the contradiction in France: Polls find that as many as 80 percent of its citizens support Obama, yet the country last year rejected the left-leaning Segolene Royal, who was poised to become France’s first female president, and elected the conservative Nicolas Sarkozy.
So, if you’re French and you want to advertise your love of black people, you wear an Obama scarf. Meanwhile, unassimilated North African immigrants light up the skies of Parisian suburbs with nightly arson riots. Way to make with the diversity, Europe!