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Non-white residents of St Martin claim Irma evacuations show racial discrimination

Non-white residents of St Martin claim Irma evacuations show racial discrimination

INDEPENDENT U.K. THOMAS ADAMSON

Some black and mixed-race residents of the hurricane-devastated French territory on the island of St Martin are expressing anger at a perception that white tourists have been given priority during evacuations.

The anger over perceived discrimination exposes underlying racial tensions that have long plagued France’s far-flung former colonies — especially its Caribbean territories, where most of the population identifies as black, and is poorer than the white minority.

St Martin resident Johana Soudiagom was disturbed to find herself among a tiny handful of non-whites evacuated on a boat to nearby Guadeloupe after Hurricane Irma ravaged her island.

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