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Watchdog group supporting prosecution of anti-white racism suspect

PARIS, April 26 (UPI) -- A French anti-racism group, for the first time, says it is supporting a case against a man accused of racist actions against a white person.

An official with the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, or LICRA, says it's supporting the prosecution because "it's a very strong case," Radio France International reported Friday.

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The victim in the case, which went to trial Friday, "was insulted because he was white," said LICRA Vice President Philippe Schmidt. Witnesses said they heard the attacker call the man "sale Francais" (dirty Frenchman) and use a derogatory Arabic term for a white man.

Schmidt admits cases such as this are "much less frequent" because most people in France are white and French.

Discrimination against white people is on the rise, Jean-Francois Cope, the head of the mainstream center-right Union for a Popular Movement Party, wrote last year in a book.

Tom Lanneau, an 18-year-old political science student at the University of Paris, said he experienced racism growing up as the only white child in a French housing project.

Today he lives in a racially diverse area north of Paris that has the highest level of immigrants in France. He doesn't see anti-white racism as prevalent as some conservative politicians do. Discrimination against Africans is a much greater problem, he says.

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