This thread on Twitter is a good example of the paternalistic eurocentrism frequently expressed by some European scholars who specialises in African issues. The Scholar judged, in his tweet, a post made by an Algerian citizen comparing French colonialists, who massacred civilians in the 8th of May 1945, to Nazis.
Firstly, not only, the “Eurocentric” scholar talks with authority to judge wrong the comparison between Nazis and colonialist Frenchs, but he also lectures us, we Algerians, on the goals behind the 8th of May protests, that we apparently ignore and even our elders, who had joined the protests and witnessed those crimes, had forgotten to explain by themselves.
Secondly, he claims that Algerians, who had been, forcibly subjugated and colonized by France, and who were forced, during the WWII, by colonial France to serve as cannon fodders to fight the Nazi in order to liberate its occupied lands, did join the War by free will, denying, here again, the right for Algerians to speak for themselves
Lastly, in order to clean France’s dirty hands from those hideous crimes, he asumes that the massacres were caused by the racism of fascist Vichists colons, while it was perpetrated by the french army which was then, under the command of General DeGaulle.
The truth is that, since 1830, all France’s colonialists leaders did commit crimes against Algerian people that have reached the level of Nazi crimes, from mass murdering civilians of entire tribes by suffocation using smoke or gas, shipping containers of human bones to French soap factories, imprisonment of civilians, women and children in concentration camps or the shameful use of torture…
This thread follows perfectly the Eurocentric paternalism rule followed by some Western scholars that would deny the right for Africans to speak and when they speak a truth that contradicts their academic assertions, they either pretend not to hear them or when they do, as in this case, they judge them to be wrong.
Eurocentric scholars, who specialises in Africa, especially Algeria, should have the decency to stop lecturing us on what is wrong or right on issues pertaining to our own History especially the one related to our people’s struggle against French colonialism ; and must of all, they should stop talking in our name and start listening to us…with humility.
Because we, Algerian, can speak and we will make the world hear our voice.