Pap Ndiaye in government: Macron’s messages behind this appointment

POLICY – He’s the only one who’s gotten this much criticism. The new Minister of Education, Pap Ndiaye, has been the target of a barrage of fire fueled by the far-right since his appointment to government on Friday (May 20th).

His arrival on the rue de Grenelle is “the final stone in the deconstruction of our country, its values ​​and its future”, for example Marine Le Pen reacted to the outrageous statements of the National Rally’s leaders or the ‘Eric party’. Zemmour is always quick to raise the specter of Reconquest, “racism,” “wokism,” or “domesticism” – groundless here.

So much so that Elisabeth Borne, from her first interview as head of government on TF1 on Friday night, had to step up to defend her new minister, “a very determined Republican, a believer in the values ​​of the Republic.” Because beyond these almost expected discussions, according to the Prime Minister’s own confession, Emmanuel Macron wanted to send a few political messages by entrusting the keys of this very important ministry to the well-known 56-year-old historian. A little revolution.

Rejected Blanquer line

It is clear that the French mother and Senegalese father’s appointment to this intellectual’s rue de Grenelle represents, at least in appearance, a break from his predecessor Jean-Michel Blanquer, who had long been considered a strong tie at Macronie, before his star faded. In recent months.

The current ex-minister especially posed as a vanguard against “wokism” and “Islamic-leftism”. The media tussle, in which he was lauded (not just on the right), but also infuriated some teachers, contradicts the positions his successor has taken. “Awakened” ideology is “more a scarecrow than a social or ideological reality,” for example Pap Ndiaye, WorldA year ago, he said that activists advocating “feminism, the struggle to protect the environment, or anti-racism” “share many of their reasons.” “Colder than when you woke up.”

As for “Islamic-leftism”, another of Jean-Michel Blanquer’s battles to stop the “damage” this current “does” to “minds” especially in university, it “doesn’t make any sense at university”, replied Pap Ndiaye in 2021 , as you can see above.

More generally, it’s a whole part of the line embodied by the former minister, an advocate of strict secularism that seems to have been rejected at the top of the state. This is also shown in the few (only one) constituencies given by the majority to the Republican Spring movement for legislative elections.

A message from the left?

Away from these crusades and repeated debates, Pap Ndiaye is recognized as a supporter of consensus; Those who work with him praise his ability to calm and resolve tensions. A definite asset after months of conflict between the teachers and its predecessor.

The historian, who supported François Hollande in 2012, is also a “dimension” in matters related to minorities. “He was an innovator in the field of history,” says colonization expert historian Pascal Blanchard, “who formed the basis of his work on the black presence in France.” What message should be given to left-wing voters or those sensitive to these issues?

The shyness of La France leaders speaks volumes about the impact this appointment has had. Pap Ndiaye is the only minister who has found credibility in Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s eyes. He considered it a “dare” to call this “great intellectual”.

“What is certain is that it is necessary to unblock National Education,” reacted LFI deputy Alexis Corbière, a teacher of education and history, without really knowing where to go. However, “this media play will not calm the deep anger in National Education”.

Beware of cracking

Political coup or a real change of line, Macronie must now be wary of collapse, with the huge gap between Jean-Michel Blanquer and Pap Ndiaye. “We’re moving from a very different political culture to a very different political culture in terms of secularism,” MoDem deputy Jean-Louis Bourlanges told Franceinfo on Friday, describing him as “a highly respected personality, a very great academic”. . “It’s hard for us to switch from one system to another without warning,” added this elected majority, who was the first to issue these – minor – public reservations about the historian’s appointment.

The 75-year-old parliamentarian said, “Although I believe in embracing new cultures, I do not want the fundamental values ​​of secularism and freedom of thought not to be defended with the same energy,” said the 75-year-old parliamentarian, “very sensitive” for his speech. The “wokism and the danger of ‘canceling culture’” part. And it’s far from the only one in Macronie. A preview of the concerns the new minister must respond to quickly… and a symbol of the limits of the head of state’s ideological agility.

Pap Ndiaye has not yet spoken since he entered the government, except for a brief speech during the transfer of power. Emmanuel Macron will have a lot to do in a key ministry for his second five-year term. “National education is not governed by symbols alone”, promptly recalling the teachers’ union SNES-FSU as a warning as the subjects burned rue de Grenelle.

See also HuffPost: Announcement of Elisabeth Borne’s new government