Two recent stories moved me a lot. I already mentioned the first in my column last week. A young boy, Laye, an apprentice baker living in Besançon, a former isolated foreign minor, has been deportable since January 2. Because he recently came of age, France decides he must leave. Very young, he had the courage to undertake a very trying journey from Guinea in order to be able to live a life. Live your life. He had to overcome obstacles that few of us would be able to overcome. He wanted to work. Not finding a job in his training, he changed his way to become a baker. He is happy in his job, a job he doesn’t take from anyone. He gives his boss full satisfaction. So much so that the latter started a hunger strike to protest against this absurd and iniquitous decision, so that his apprentice could at least complete his training. This story is sad for our country and what it is becoming. Unfortunately, it is far from being an exception. But what feels good here is that nearly 200,000 people have signed a petition to support him. What is also very moving is the generous commitment of this baker, Stéphane Ravacley.
The other story that touched me was that of Ludovic, this courageous administrative agent who works in a police station in Nice. Shocked to learn that the person responsible for investigating the attitude of the commissioner responsible for maintaining order during the demonstration where Geneviève Legay was seriously injured was none other than the companion of the said police officer, he chose to alert Mediapart. Whistleblower, he took the risk of not going through his hierarchy because it was involved in this conflict of interest. Recently interviewed on the show Outdoors, he’s not trying to be clever. He simply says that his education does not allow him to accept this kind of behavior which, in addition, discredits the police institution, which does not need it …
These two stories could end badly, Laye be expelled from France and Ludovic be sanctioned while their fate puts our humanity at stake. The publicity, the mobilization and the support given to them, I very much hope, will thwart that. I do not know the possible commitments or convictions of these two gentlemen.
But what I saw in their stories is how much, beyond what makes us different from each other – political, religious, philosophical opinions, origins – we can truly make society, by coming together on things that are essential for our common life: respect for people and professional ethics.