Last week, a 17-year-old boy of Algerian descent, Nahel Mezouk, was assassinated in a Parisian suburb by police, and well there were plenty of French citizens who did not like it and responded by setting Paris on fire. While the American response has been cheering France on, even from people who’ve turned their noses up at protests here in the United States. I am not sure if they have a different expectation of the French or did they just not know that the child that was murdered was of African descent.
In 1776 the American Revolution kicked off.
The French may have gotten a bit more audacity after seeing the colonies revolt by doing the same in 1791, but France gets a little more credit because it beheaded its tyrants, and while celebrating their own revolution, they were colonizing a good portion of the planet.
In 2010 an earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti, part of the reason the destruction was so vast was because the infrastructure of most Haitian structures was not sound. While Haiti had technically paid off its debt to France in 1947, it still owed $77 million and France being the mother country of benevolence, was so kind to forgive the debt. I’m sure you’re asking what debt because surely a country as poor as Haiti would know not to take out loans it could not pay back.
Oh, yes, that.
Two years after France initially revolted, Haiti followed suit, and in fact, their revolutions absolutely overlapped, and while countries could easily respect the autonomy of France, they simply could not respect the autonomy of Black countries that kicked their asses. So, after Haiti had already won its independence, France still made sure to make Haiti suffer by demanding the payment of 150 million Francs for the loss of revenue from a sliver of land that made more money for France than all the thirteen colonies did for England, combined.
France, with their everlasting charity, was kind enough to reduce that debt to 90 million Francs, which is about the equivalent of $33 billion today. That debt, combined with French-backed corrupt leaders in the 20th century, led to the continued suffering of the Haitian people. I imagine that if the descendants of French royalty demanded reparations for their deaths, France would be in an uproar, but somehow demanding that someone pay you money after you were no longer allowed to harm them would make even less sense. Both the United States and France refused to acknowledge Haitian independence until 1862, but the United States was still very much making money from the debt that was transferred to what is now Citibank until it was paid off in 1911.
The French are known for burning sh-t if they don’t get their way, and that also includes small countries of African descendants who dared to fight back. France colonized 20 African countries, 72 in total. The French presence is still very much felt in Africa, not simply from the language, but because there are still many French companies operating in Africa because colonization may change its name but not its need to exploit others. France continues to feign ignorance of their own hypocrisy while having a deep-seated current of anti-immigration.
So let France burn, let France burn just as badly as they have burned 72 other nations.