Echoing the worldwide wave of indignation following Breonna Taylor and George Floyd's murder by police officers in the United States, Paris got up. On July 9, 2016, Adama Traore, a young black man apprehended after a chase involving his brother's arrest, died from a seaming episode of police brutality. Four years later, the cause of Adama's death is still strongly debated between juridical and health experts, as the Traore family persistently calls for justice. The three policemen involved at the time have so far not been charged.
On June 2, 2020, Adama's sister, Assa, led the procession. In her wake, 20 thousand masked supporters gathered in front of the Paris courthouse. Loud unanimous chants claimed for black lives to matter. Cardboards rose high, like the moving waves of a school play stage decor.
On June 14, supporters were recalled and flocked the République square. From a surrounding rooftop, a nationalist group challenged the crowd with a large flag reading "homage to the victims of anti-white racism". Sadly, the protest ended with scenes of violence. Still, before condemning them outright, we owe it to ourselves and to the future generation to understand what systemic issues are their root causes. In truth, we all wish it were just fun and games.
Being color-conscious each day is part of the unknown for white people. The police is not threatening to most of us. Deconstructing racism will have to start with empathy, by understanding that a colored person's experience of the public realm implies being on constant alert - and to change that. To change the conditions that make our system more lenient towards whiteness, and that make blackness more suspicious, by default.
With modernity, globalization creates the ever-growing conditions for people of all colors, continents, and religions to mix. Simultaneously, a two-tier society forms, where systemic inequalities deepen and fear dominate. This series hopes to show a silver lining; that which would lead our generation to reject racism by all means, and establish the foundations of a fair and equal-opportunity society.