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Trump or Biden, the fears are palpable among Franco-Americans

FRANCOPRESSE – They are nervous, moderately optimistic, but also fearful of the post-election day, even apprehending acts of violence. Francophones living in the United States, questioned about this extraordinary presidential election campaign, are on edge.

Marc Poirier – Francopresse

Richard Dunn, worried about the repercussions of a defeat of Donald Trump

“It’s pretty worrying what’s going on. These are things that I have seen coming for two years. It was written on the wall from the start. ”

“It might end up here. It could really heat up. I fear violence ”, worries the Louisianan Richard Dunn, consultant and activist francocréolophone. Credit: Courtesy

Louisiana Richard Dunn had predicted the election of Donald Trump in 2016. He now sees the worst if he is defeated. “It might end up here. It could really heat up. I fear violence. ”

Richard Dunn’s ancestors arrived in Louisiana in the early 18e century, before the Acadians. A New Orleans resident, he is a communications consultant and tourism promoter. He has worked in several public institutions, including as Director General of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL), the government agency that promotes French in Louisiana. He is an ardent defender of the French and Creole fact in the State.

Mr. Dunn is sorry to see his country become a kind of far west of modern times, with the proliferation of weapons that continues to increase. “Next Tuesday, we risk seeing people armed around the polling stations to control the entries. There is no system to handle these situations. ”

Alain Charbonnier: you never know with Trump

“If you look at the polls generally, there’s still a good chance Biden will win. But it is true that the electoral system in the United States is a very particular system, with the electoral college. ”

“Clearly, there is no way Trump will win the vote. Now, with the key states, will he manage to find the minimum to be able to be elected anyway? It’s a good question.”

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Belgian living in Los Angeles, Alain Charbonnier expects everything after the elections next Tuesday. Credit: Courtesy

Alain Charbonnier has lived in Los Angeles for five years, where he founded MyExpat.US, a company that offers consulting services to expatriates. A Belgian himself, he had previously lived in the United States and worked as an executive for companies in Silicone Valley.

Settled in Los Angeles a year before the election of Donald Trump, he witnessed the arrival of a president who had no political experience. “In the approach to the affairs of state [Donald Trump partait] zero, with a political culture that was close to zero. This means that the international mechanisms, it [en] had a total misunderstanding. ”

Like many in the United States, Alain Charbonnier fears “the post-election” and the reactions if Joe Biden wins, unless the result is decisive. “If there is an important difference and which, beyond any dispute, makes the result clear, I don’t think there will be any difficulties.”

Alain Charbonnier is no longer surprised by anything. He evokes, in the event of the president’s defeat, a scenario understood according to which Trump manages to escape prosecution against him by a move worthy of the chess masters: by resigning before the swearing-in of Biden.

“Maybe he will try to do this to ask his former vice president to absolve him of a number of crimes.” We could see everything because, well, so far, we are in unheard of in lots, lots, lots of subjects. We can imagine anything. “

Nathan Rabalais and the Louisiana political okra

Professor and researcher at Louisiana Studies Center from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Nathan Rabalais is also a poet and has made a documentary, Finding Cajun, on the evolution of Cajun identity in Louisiana.

He is a specialist in French speaking Louisiana, not to be confused with the Cajuns; only a minority of these speak French, and many Louisiana francophones are not Cajuns.

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A specialist in French-speaking Louisiana, Nathan Rabalais points out that the allegiances in this group vary a lot with language, age and ethnicity. Credit: Courtesy

In this very republican state, the political division is at the same time a fact of generation and language.

“The French-speaking population in Louisiana is heterogeneous,” explains Nathan Rabalais. Francophones who are older might be predominantly Republicans. There are also many Cajuns who do not speak French. ”

“Then you have young people who are much more involved in the movement to develop French and who are often more progressive and liberal. There are also a lot of Francophones and Creole speakers of color, and we know that blacks in the United States tend to vote for Democrats. So, we can’t really generalize by talking about francophones in Louisiana! ”

Nathan Rabalais stresses that his own political identity is not entirely clear: “I myself do not know if I am really a Democrat because I find that the party is not sufficiently progressive. But I do not identify at all with the Republican Party today! What is happening with Trump and the management of the health crisis is disaster. If Trump is not re-elected, I think it will be very difficult for the party to find an identity. ”

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Claire-Marie Brisson worries that her country is closing in even more

Claire-Marie Brisson was born and raised in Detroit. She spoke French at home, but attended English school. A doctoral student at the University of Virginia, she founded and hosts a bilingual podcast entitled The North American Francophone podcast. She is also a freelance contributor for Radio-Canada.

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Michigan communicator Claire-Marie Brisson: “Being American right now is depressing”. Credit: Courtesy

“Being American right now is depressing,” she says. I hope the winner will be Biden, but we’ll see. I’m still scared. ”

Claire-Marie says she is moderate and is not necessarily attached to a party. She would like the presidential candidates to take more steps to bring the two parties closer together and work better together. She believes that Joe Biden was going in this direction at the start of his campaign, but that he moved further to the left to please part of his electorate.

But a second term for Donald Trump would be much worse, she said. “The current rhetoric is really ‘the United States against everyone’. It is from the same perspective of “build the wall“, To shut down, to shut down the United States, and to rebuild a country that is self-centered, culturally, economically and socially.”

Cécile Houry fears for the rights of women and minorities

Frenchwoman Cécile Houry came to study in Florida twenty years ago and has never left. Living in Miami, she is a civilian employee in the Victim Services Department for the nearby Miami Beach Police Force. And she is an ardent activist for Joe Biden.

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Cécile Houry and her daughter Lilou pose in front of the effigy of the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, and his running mate, Kamala Harris. Credit: Courtesy

“It is unacceptable that we have a president like that,” she says. A college president, mayor, or whoever said the things Trump regularly says would be fired the next day. We would accept that from anyone [d’autre]! “

The recent confirmation from Justice Amy Barrett at the Supreme Court makes her fear for the rights of women and the LGBTQ community. “Me, I adopted a girl two years ago, on my own. Perhaps this is something others cannot do later. As a lesbian, I could lose my job in some states. ”

Cécile Houry participates in pro-Biden activities by holding up signs on the sidewalk with her daughter. “I hope Biden wins, but I think it will be tighter than the media say. I think it would be much better for the country. ”

She too fears trouble after the results of the vote are known. “It’s true that it’s quite scary. It’s something we have in mind. For example, before, I might have gone to celebrate the victory with other people. There is also the pandemic, but I think that this year, I will not be going to celebrate in public places with a lot of people. ”