Shout out to Jacques Chirac, the President of France, for taking the lead in his New Year address to call for the French Parliament to rewrite “a law that law requires teachers to stress positive aspects of French colonialism, especially in North Africa.” The controversial law was passed last year by the conservative majority.
Chirac must have really been feeling the angst of the riots that took place this past November because he even called for a slavery remembrance day which will be announced later on this year. Chirac added, “France has set an example by being the first country in the world – and still the only one today – to recognize slavery as a crime against humanity.” So does France get a cookie now? For starters, I am sure if you were to poll people of the African diaspora along with African countries, I am sure that a majority of Black people would categorize slavery as a crime against humanity.
Besides that, France still does not keep population statistics broken down by race. So what is the good of a slavery remembrance day when you don’t have data shows how are you are improving or not improving the opportunities for minorities to get ahead? However, I still give props to Chirac even if he is positioning himself for his re-election campaign. But isn’t it sad the extent to which most of our actions and those of our government are influenced by the fear of embarrassment? I am reminded of how the many gains in civil rights for Blacks were gained after innocent people were abused and the government was so embarrassed, they had no choice but to get right. I just hope that one day the United States government will take steps similar to France, but in the meantime, just know that there is power in numbers and ideas so don’t wait until some innocent child dies to start rioting, get involved in your local community NOW.
Stay up fam,