France’s grand farce: No such thing as racial tolerance
The romantic notion of a tolerant France is not only a persistant myth that has captured the consciouness of devout francophiles but a farcical fallacy for French North Africans who have endured systemic discrimination.
It is thus not surprising that France’s fallacious claim to racial equality has failed to resonate amongst French North Africans. France’s long track records of racial riots coupled by the violent strings of ISIS-sponsored attacks is disturbingly endemic of an unfolding state of collective catharsis.
Coined by psychiatrist Frantz Fanon’s, collective catharsis described a state by which Algerians colonial subjects leveraged violence as a mean to exorcise their resentment towards French colonial ruling.
For dissulutioned French Algerians, achieving catharsis through desperate acts of violence can be characterized as a desperate attempt to overcome a state of dissolute existentialism which is not only rooted in years of systemic racial oppression, but directly points to the unaddressed unhealed emotional wounds of colonial trauma.
Gaining a genuine insight into the recent wave of terrorists acts that have plagued France requires to revisit a construct that has mostly been shaped through a dominant western lens. It also requires that France faces scathing remarks for its enduring colonialist praxis which has never fully been abolished. An analysis of what is currently unfolding in France should also be revisited through a post colonialism framework rather than simplifying a complex construct through highly constrictive western lenses. Above all, what is necessary to understand is that the flurry of ISIS-sponsored acts targeted towards France did not happen in a vacuum.
The highly immoral conduct of the Algerian war and the continous mistreatment of French North Africans, particularily French Algerians is in fact a defacto continuation of colonialism with a marginalized oppressed youth treated as second class citizens — vastly unheard and ignored. Thus, it should not come as a surprise that France’s continued disinterest and placid indifference towards French North Africans are factors responsible for engendering a climate of profound distrust towards a government that has shown little interest in integrating its minorities.
Another vasly-ignored subject in mainstream media reporting is that of French-North African identity and the constant sense of dualism faced by French North Africans who are largely perceived by their adopted country as not being French enough. Coupled with an unyielding French model of secularism, the increasing polarization of the veil and growing nationalism, all which have foreshadowed, France’s current demise, and it is easy to see how these factors have enabled ISIS to pitch disenfranchised Muslims to join its ranks and reshuffle the pendulum of power to their advantage and transition from oppressed to oppressor.
This frithening proposition is one that France must come to term with as the ghosts of colonialism will not reprieve silently. To overcome the war against ISIS’s destructive ideology, France’s must first make a sincere outreach to the people it has let down. France must also enact robust diversity measures to integrate its Muslim population. Simply put, France must win the soul and hearts of French Muslims. Achieving this task will require a honest introspective look at its tarnished image as a beacon of human rights and as well as realizing that the principles of laicite restrict religious expression and are responsible for exacerbating racial tensions. Whether or not France manages to win the ideological battle against ISIS is largely dependent on its ability to compromise and have an honest look at itself.