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The colonial authority created a thin upper layer of évolués who had access to the lower management positions within the colonial administration and companies. They did not object to their masters and tried to live as "Westernised" as possible, hoping for a card of Civil Merit or even 'registration'. This corresponded to being administratively placed on an equal footing with whites. They distanced themselves from the uneducated masses, but remained confronted with latent racism. After all efforts and humiliations, the évolués still felt unaccepted and directed their energy against the colonist. The Congolese society had no middle class as the possession of real estate was only allowed as late as 1955. The masses became alienated from rituals, habits and religion due to the civilising efforts and education of the missions. Also, the system of the chieftains nominated by the colonial authorities boded ill. The people thus clung to an artificial identity, of which the évolués took advantage in order to rally the masses behind them. Press statement of the Parti du Peuple, 1959.
NAB, Papers Ernest Glinne, box 2.