Castex and colonization, it’s not Macron!

Castex and colonization, it’s not Macron!
Castex and colonization, it’s not Macron!

“We should self-flag, regret colonization, whatever else!” Invited Sunday at 8 p.m. on TF1, Jean Castex said these words while denouncing “The justifications (facing) to (the) radical Islamism”, and called to “Ideological struggle” to win the “war”. If it is part of the pure tradition of the crusades of the right and the far right against all forms of «repentance», this statement appears to say the least surprising in the mouth of a Prime Minister whose president, when he was a candidate for the Elysee Palace, had qualified the colonization of “Real barbarism” and even “crime against humanity”. “It is part of this past that we must face in the face, apologizing to those to whom we have committed these acts”Macron added from Algeria in February 2017. Marking the spirits and igniting the far right and the right. Not yet a macronist, a certain Gérald Darmanin had released the big Bertha (“Shame on Emmanuel Macron, who insults France abroad!”), the candidate for the Elysee François Fillon criticizing illico “This hatred of our history […] unworthy of a candidate for the presidency of the Republic ”. Before killing himself the indignity match.

“To regret colonization”, for having been a system of imperial oppression and predation, it seems a fairer idea than praising the “Positive effects” on the pretext that it made it possible to build roads, schools and hospitals. As if one were compensated by the other, and even better. We remember that Nicolas Sarkozy, Minister of the Interior, flattered the low instincts of the country by trying to force teachers to also praise the record “positive” from the colonial period. A law was even adopted on February 23, 2005, including this mention: “The school programs recognize in particular the positive role of the French presence overseas, particularly in North Africa.” Faced with the outcry, the then Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, calmed the spirits by having this sentence deleted the following year. Without extinguishing the subject.


Most often, rather than roughly celebrating colonization, a part of the political class, in particular that elected in the territories of the south of France where “nostalgia” remains a reality or that which seeks to send a signal to the fringe the more right-wing of the electorate, patriotically calls for “To cease permanent repentance […] ridicule», as Sarkozy launched in the winter of 2005. On Sunday evening, Castex was part of this tradition on the grounds that «s’autoflageller» and “Regret colonization” would be an admission of weakness serving the cause of radical Islamism. It is difficult to understand the logic but we can clearly see the politician wink. When Macron spoke of “crime against humanity”, Marine Le Pen was suffocated before developing a reasoning that brings to mind that of Castex on Sunday evening: according to her, to make France the culprit of colonization, “This is the justification used by suburban thugs to act, fight, fight against France and all that represents France and in particular, obviously, our police”.

Read also On colonization and crimes against humanity

Without being the defender of a permanent repentance which would have no sense, one can wonder on the contrary if the absence of a work of memory worthy of the name on the crimes of colonization and war Algeria is not a source of fracture between the French state and part of its population. By personal or family history. Likewise, isn’t the absence of official apologies from France for decades a major error on the path to reconciling memories and especially peoples? What is at least certain is that by falling back on denouncing colonization on the grounds that it should not be «s’autoflageller» can in no case serve as cement for the “National community”. Which according to Jean Castex should be “United and proud of our roots, of our identity, of our Republic, of our freedom” to lead the “Ideological struggle” against political and terrorist Islamism. Recognizing a fault without tacking or finasser is not self-flagellating, it is respecting memories and looking history in the face. Reconciliation rarely passes from minimization bordering on negation.

“A crime against humanity”

In this case, honesty also obliges us to recognize that Nicolas Sarkozy was capable of both the best and the worst. During the infamous Dakar speech delivered in 2007, in addition to leaving the road on “African man”, he had this historic sentence: “There was the slave trade, there was slavery, men, women, children bought and sold like goods. And this crime was not only a crime against Africans, it was a crime against man, a crime against humanity.“If no French president had gone so far then, Nicolas Sarkozy had refused to make the slightest excuse on behalf of France on the grounds that”the colonizer took, but he also gave ”. As if everything were equal. When he was not yet in the running for the Elysée but still Minister of the Economy in Bercy, Macron was not that far away, affirming in an interview with the Point in 2016: “In Algeria, there was torture, but also the emergence of a state, wealth, middle classes, this is the reality of colonization, he emphasized. There were elements of civilization and elements of barbarism. ” It was probably this Macron that Castex was thinking on Sunday night.

Jonathan Bouchet-Petersen

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