Discussions in France are rising high as the center-right wing candidate Emmanuel Macron, traveling in Algeria, admitted that Colonialism was a crime. The reactions show that France, just like many European countries, is not ready with the thematic. Much more will have to be said and done.I put the links to an article and a following debate here on the right. What I find astonishing is the moderate level of demands made by the inheritants of the wrongdoings of colonialism.
Hamidou Anne writes in Le Monde that he would not expect repentence nor financial reparations, just recognition:
‘Je n’attends pas de la France une repentance, ni une réparation financière, mais une reconnaissance de faits têtus et un exercice de dignité en faisant face à un pan peu glorieux de son histoire.’
Just like in Belgium, certain, often but not exclusively right wing, people react with saying that colonialism also brought a lot of good, mostly ‘civilization’ to the colonized – that is an argument we are educated with; maybe it is even the only thing we ever learned about colonialism in school.
Hamidou Anne summarizes the answer to this argument very well: colonialism is a crime against humanity, with the result of imposing barbarianism against civilization: ‘oui, la colonisation est un crime contre toute l’humanité, dont le résultat fut d’imposer la domination de la barbarie contre la civilisation.’
He elaborates with clear arguments, so if you read French, please dive into the article.
In the second link, I share a less refreshing example of the pro-colonialism arguments on TV this week as a reaction to Macrons declaration. Conservative politician Virginie Calmels speaks and gets confronted by rap-star Passi. Start at 11:20.