Ye Olde Racisme
What set me off initially was her complaint against the French national team, who wasn't even playing at the time, mind you. "Look at them! They're not French; they're African!" To which, I instantly responded: "The darker-skinned players are second-generation French, I think." "But look at their complexions! It's the Africa-continent team!" she replied. I don't think she was even conscious of what she was saying. Every time she repeated this idea about the French team's being some stealth African team, I repeated my counterpoint: "it's the passport they hold, not the color of their skin." Maybe, if she hadn't been so atavistic and incoherent, we could have entered into a discussion about hyphenated identities.
As it was, however, and as she was an invited friend of a very kind person invited by my honey, I resorting to calling up the kind of patience that one uses with children and the mentally disabled.
Yes, at one point lateish in the afternoon, she asked me if I was "a Jew." I hesitated a long time before responding, but then decided that lying to her wouldn't fix anything. (I admitted much later, and rather reluctantly, that I was raised Mormon, and she asked me whether Mormons sucked snake venom.)
But back to my point, if I had one. I think that the French team, with its multi-racial players holding French citizenship, is one of more beautiful incarnations of globalism. I don't fool myself: Zidane's family was Kabyle Algerian, and they ended up in Marseilles to give birth to le Zizou for either political or economic reasons that have everything to do with the former French Empire.
Still, any version of nationalism that wouldn't embrace a born-citizen like Zidane seems very wrong to me. Or a Thierry Henry, or a Claude Makélélé. Sure, they don't "look French," or as the French themselves euphemistically put it, they're not "français-français."
You know what this Danish-Canadian-Scottish-Irish-Welsh-German-Presbyterian-Anglican-Mormon-American always wants to say to this sort of racializing European, who wants to put people into neat categories to be contemned or exoticized?
Get the fuck over it.