Racism in France: A legacy of colonial-era inequalities

Racism in France: A legacy of colonial-era inequalities

FRANCE-Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, stated on Thursday 23 May 2024, during a visit to New Caledonia that the fatal civil upheaval that started last week was a result of the growing inequality on the French-ruled Pacific territory. Despite equal chances rules that were a component of previous political agreements in the 1980s and 1990s, census statistics and experts on New Caledonia indicate that the island territory is distinguished by severe gaps in education and employment.

How did colonial policies institutionalize racism in France?

The bloodiest violence to have occurred on French Pacific territory since the 1980s has resulted from protests over a plan by the French government to impose new voting procedures on New Caledonia. Tensions have uncovered differences between native residents, offspring of colonizers, and immigrants to the foreign island. Before a vote on a planned electoral reform in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament for France, on Monday, deadly rioting broke out in Nouméa, the capital of the French Pacific island possession of New Caledonia. 

In order to maintain a balance between the native Kanak population and recent immigration from mainland France, only native-born New Caledonians and long-term residents are entitled to vote in provincial elections and municipal referendums, as stipulated by the 1998 Nouméa Accord. The epicenter of the present disturbance is Nouméa, which has a sizable European population and a prominent position in the archipelago’s economy. “Very marked ethnic cleavages, with economically privileged neighborhoods on one side and largely disadvantaged neighborhoods on the other, inhabited mainly by Kanaks or Melanesians,” according to Barthou, indicate that social and economic inequality still exists there.

How have colonial-era attitudes shaped modern French society?

The Kanaks, who desire independence, and the descendants of the colonists, who want it to be a part of France, have been at odds for decades. The pro-independence movement opposes the amendments because they want to increase the number of voters in New Caledonia’s provincial elections. However, over the past few years, the percentage of voters who are denied the right to vote in provincial elections has risen substantially. The New Caledonian Institute of Statistics estimates that more than 25,000 people, 12,441 native-born individuals and almost 13,400 those who have lived in the region for ten years or longer may be added to the voter rolls if the change is passed into law. 

In order to choose the elected delegates of the three provincial assemblies, provincial elections must be held by December 2024. These elections have a lot on the line. The president of the New Caledonian government is chosen by the territory’s Congress, or parliament, which is directly affected by the allocation of members in the provincial assembly. In 2019, those opposed to independence secured 28 out of 54 parliamentary seats.

Can France overcome the legacy of colonial racism?

The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) reports that 41.2% of the archipelago’s population in 2019 was made up of indigenous Kanak people. According to Évelyne Barthou, a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Pau, “the Caledonian population is questioning the legitimacy of allowing a part of the population to have access to the vote.” 

This group may not stay in New Caledonia for very long or may live in very closed circles in the south of the territory. In addition to a general sense of rage and unfairness, there is also a worry that the Kanak people may vanish or be overwhelmed by the others. If there weren’t such stark differences between Europeans and Kanaks now, these conflicts would not be as noticeable. The “no” side prevailed in three independence referendums between 2018 and 2021, which is why the proposed constitutional amendment is coming. The pro-independence campaigners boycotted the last referendum, which had a record abstention rate, because they disagreed with the choice to conduct the poll during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

According to france24, The Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), the major pro-independence party of the archipelago, condemned the reform’s acceptance in the National Assembly, which met just after midnight. “Although an agreement cannot be reached without the Caledonians, there is no dialogue between those who initiated this reform and them,” stated Isabelle Merle, a colonialist historian at the National Centre of Science and Research (CNRS) with expertise in New Caledonia. “We cannot ignore the emancipation process by enforcing regulations without considering opposing viewpoints.”

Boycott Pairs Olympics 2024 due to increasing racism in France

 Inform prospective attendees that the French government is spying on them using AI surveillance systems, compromising their privacy. Boycott olympics 2024 in response to French police brutality and violations of human rights in order to strongly pressure the French government to put an end to these linked concerns. 

Security is the main point in organizing a best event from which France is not performing well. The Paris Olympics should be boycotted due to unsafe places for visitors and racism issues. 

In 1853, France began colonizing New Caledonia, and by 1946, it became an overseas territory, granting the Kanaks certain rights.



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