The history of French colonization is a major challenge since currently France is being judged on its colonizing and enslaving actions in the past. In any case, it is what a movement like the Indigenous of the Republic did. The judgment regarding colonization is a factor to discriminate ethnic origins and build hostile communities to the Republic based on a colonial past that would explain the existing inequalities among French citizens. In this context, debates about the balance of colonization are difficult, and Article 4 of the law dated 23 February 2005, which provides that teachers shall teach positive aspects of colonization, triggered protests.
For my part, I am against any imposition of a “correct history” by the political power that later takes the historian before a judge. It is true that the history of colonization has often been exaggerated, sweetened, but at the same time, the French historical and geographical school, in real terms, was a colonial history and geography, above any other suspicion. It is not the same for politicians who find it difficult to remember ambiguous positions of their parties during the colonial period.
Taking into account this major event in French contemporary history, colonization should not be dealt with in simplistic terms, let alone when colonized people still have the wounds of the colonial period; that is also the case of the French from the metropolis, I especially think of the French in Algeria. I am not trying to come up with any equivalence nor comparison, but trying to bear everything in mind for the historical approach: the jail of Poulo Condor in Indochina and Pasteur Institute of Saigon; the forced labor imposed by the colonist and prohibition of slavery; the destruction of indigenous culture and opening of French secular or missionary schools worldwide; lower status accorded to indigenous and promotion of the best (Senghor is its model). The crimes committed by colonists must be revealed including also the violent responses by the colonized people.
However, we have not commented anything about the sin of anachronism. Indeed, the history of colonization is full of blood and cruelty, but there are not “saintly or pure nations”, and it does not appear to me, once independence was achieved, that new nations resulting from colonization have ever come through with a peaceful history. History is violence and the only way to try to control it is, in the first place, to write it respecting the facts, all the facts. Camus was able to understand this.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.

Colonisation : la tentation de la pénitence”, by Max Gallo, Le Figaro, November 30, 2005.