Colour-blind republic? France grapples with its own Black Lives Matter moment

The death of George Floyd in the US has unleashed protests in France. Demonstrators have expressed anger at racial injustice and police brutality, particularly toward minorities from France’s former colonies in Africa. President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to be uncompromising in the face of racism, but has insisted France will not take down statues of colonial-era figures. Meanwhile, others are calling on the government to legalise the collection of statistics on race, religion or ethnicity. Is France, which likes to think of itself as a colour-blind republic, ready for change?

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