Voici donc une proposition de corrigé pour le sujet d’anglais du concours commun des IEP 2018. Il a été réalisé par nos enseignants, Pauline Archinard et Fabien Fréguin. L’article n’avait rien de perturbant, portant sur Donald Trump et le racisme. La source non plus, puisqu’il s’agissait du New York Times. L’épreuve de langue en général, en anglais en particulier, est souvent juge de paix au concours. Les candidats, absorbés par la masse de révision dans les deux autres matières, ont tendance à négliger le travail à fournir dans la langue préparée.
I) SYNONYMS : 4pts
1) to label or to stigmatize = TO BRAND
2) assessment = RECKONING
3) to put into words or to present in a certain way = FRAMING
4) intolerance = BIGOTRY
5) not worthy = UNDESERVING
6) to echo = TO RESOUND
7) small or insignificant = PALTRY
8) to feed = TO FUEL
II) READING COMPREHENSION : 8pts
1) What does the author mean when he states that Trump « is unifying Americans in their denial »? (L.14) 3pts
After each of Trump’s outbursts, Americans, whether they support the president or oppose him, all are quick to deny either his racism or their own. Both Democrats and Republicans are in fact equally racist in the author’s opinion, although in slightly different ways ; still, all of them collectively fail either to realize it or, at any rate, to acknowledge it.
2) The author argues that Trump is not an « exception » (L.22): what is implied by this and how is this claim justified? 2pts
The author gives a very telling list of the numerous US presidents who, like Trump, were racists. From the very first presidents who were also slave-owners in the first century after Independence, to other presidents who are paradoxically known to have helped improve the condition of minorities, including Lincoln and LBJ. Many of them held deeply racist views and spoke racist words too.
3) Whose denials are most upsetting to the author? Explain why. 3pts
The author particularly reproaches the opponents of the President, presumably the Democratic Party, for not realizing that, while they are quite right to denounce Trump’s bigotry, they are guilty of holding similarly racist views. For instance when they look down on poorer countries they deem to be merely developing or when they fail to appoint a significant number of minority people to positions of power.
III) ESSAY : 8pts
To what extent can we say that racism remains a major challenge to be overcome ?
In a time of political unpredictability, social tensions and doubts about the future, one has to admit that racism is one of the numerous issues that need to be vanquished.
Recent surveys proved that immigration and security are the two main fears of European people. Most of the time, they are linked in the minds of citizens all around the world. Clichés and prejudice can be found in the news each and every day. Foreigners have become the scapegoats of today’s successful populist and extreme parties. As a matter of fact, the media feed on these fears.
In America, the stigmatizing of Mexican immigration paved the way for the election of Donald Trump. The image of a wall built at the border remains a vivid one. In addition to that, the first measures taken by the newly elected US president aimed at banning the arrival of aliens from a few Muslim countries. More and more people back such methods, even in Europe. It would be a clear-cut vision of things to believe that the whole world criticizes those ways and means.
If one has a look at Europe, particularly Eastern countries, it ought to be underlined that racist, xenophobic and extreme-right parties encounter success. Hungary and Poland are obvious instances of this phenomenon.
The most worrying aspect of racism today is, in my opinion, the division of our society. We do live in a growing manichean world. If one supports immigration, one is necessarily tagged as lax and against security. Oppositely, the person questioning the problem and favouring the defence of the nation is to be considered as a racist.
As a conclusion, the future holds many stakes for the generations to come. Racism is too crucial a question to be neglected. More than a state of mind, it has imposed itself in every election over the last decades. Although it has always been the case, the word is no longer taboo. More and more political leaders and representatives take full responsibility for it. Those attitudes are to be fought against to avoid disillusions, whether social or political.
Voici d’autres annales corrigées en anglais.