The French National Consultative Commission for Human Rights (CNCDH) has released a report claiming French people need to “decolonise” their minds to end discrimination against black people.
The Commission handed the report to French prime minister Edouard Philippe earlier this week and included a list of recommendations to combat racism, xenophobia, and discrimination.
The report claims that France’s black community and Jewish community have the “best image” in the minds of the general public in France. But, paradoxically, it also said black people are “exposed daily to offensive prejudices and discrimination”.
“Beyond offences, it is at the same time a history, a culture, and a set of prejudices which are at the root of anti-black racism,” the CNCDH said, Le Point reports.
“Like the struggle for equality between women and men, the fight against racism towards the black minority requires an awareness of the phenomenon by society as a whole, a decolonisation of minds,” the commission added.
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According to Le Point, the report was created before the current Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests that have erupted in France in the aftermath of the death of American citizen George Floyd.
While protesters in France have expressed solidarity with those in the United States, the French protests have centred around the case of Adama Traoré, a black man who died in French police custody in July 2016.
An initial protest in Paris saw at least 20,000 gather — in violation of France’s coronavirus lockdown measures — to protest against alleged police brutality. The protests later turned violent as rioters lit electric scooters and garbage bins on fire and attacked a police station in the diverse Paris suburb of Clichy.
Black Lives Matter and their allies, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom, have demanded statues of various figures be taken down as part of their movement.
Some statues in the United Kingdom have already been removed by the authorities, and there are plans to remove one of Cecil Rhodes at Oxford University. But Emmanuel Macron has rejected taking down any memorials in France.
“The republic will not erase any trace, or any name, from its history… it will not take down any statue,” the French president said.
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