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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Friday, November 04, 2005

Gay Paree

If you haven't heard by now, (and I'll get back to this topic as to maybe why not), Paris is burning.



For over a week, Paris has been in the throes of the severest riots the soignée French capital has seen, since the fateful days of May 1968.

Then, the agitators were middle-upper-class University students, popularly led by a French-born, German-Jewish student named Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who turned Paris upside-down with a combination of Marxist rhetoric, anarchist dreams, and the promise of endless free love.

All of this seems a heady student day idyll, the stuff of future grandpa boasts, compared to the vitriolic dementia we're seeing in Paris in November 2005.

In fact, it is much more reminiscent of the Lyon suburb riots of 1990, which happen to share a similar beginning as the 2005 ones -- fear, and loathing of the police.

As almost everyone knows, France has the highest Muslim immigrant community of all EU nations -- and because of a quirk in its national character, it also has one of the least integrated societies in reality, if not on paper.

The key factor is that General De Gaulle did away with any racial designations, proclaming that anyone born in France was French, et basta.

You might think this is a good thing -- and it is, if taken taken at its absolute letter of the law.

But the fact that ethnicities, and thereto racial categories of French citizens, are not readily acknowledged by the State, means that on paper there are no official ways of addressing immigrant communities' woes.

Unlike the United States, there are no real educational Affirmative Action programmes, however much of a sop they are in reality, to at least pay lip service to easying divisions in French society.

It's almost as if the French State (I keep using this phrase because the State is analogous in import to the American Constitution -- it is the sine qua non of their society) waved a magic wand, and made ethnic divisions disappear, or at least, that was the aim.

But in reality, as we know, life doesn't work out that way.

An immigrant must live in the community, with its "native French" population, who are often resentful, uneasy, and uninterested in them.

This is the worst part of being an immigrant in any country, but France has institutional curiosities of its own which give it a twisted character.

France is the consummate intellectual country -- and its educational system is one of deep mystery to foreigners.

It functions through a very competittve entrance exam system: at its apex, the Grands Ecoles. Think of Eton and Harrow, mix Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, but think public rather than private, and you might get a glimpse of their elite status.

The future administrators, bureaucrats, and leaders of France all go through these hallowed institutions of learning, almost without exception.

Of recent politicians, I can only think of one who was a "gosse de banlieu", a kid from the suburbs, without educational bona fides, and that is Bernard Tapie. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of success.

And unsurprisingly, the Grands Ecoles are almost all located in Paris: that centre of power that is ever in the mind of all Frenchmen.

In fact, that's what they were created for -- to produce people who will one day hold that power, its nation's leaders.

On paper, again, anyone can go to the Grands Ecoles, and have their future secured. It just takes a lot of hard work, brains, and stamina.

There are many immigrant groups around the world renowned for their application in studies. Jewish life centres around a rich educational tradition. Asian students, both of the South and East varieties, are spectacularly gifted in terms of study.

And then there are immigrants who lag behind, for various reasons.

Some not of their own doing.

But some, because cultural legacies, fall into another less charitable category -- that of lack of personal responsibility and parental emphasis.

UPDATE: Here is story which may intrigue you: an immigrant success story.

Mahamadou Diaby grew up in a rough Paris suburb and failed to get jobs because of his address and his skin colour.

But he refused to give up, launched his own business and now has only contempt for gangs of youths rioting in his town. [...]

"I am here, and I come from the same background. And if I'm here it shows that it is possible to do it," said Diaby, whose parents emigrated here from Mali.

(Note: Diaby was good at maths...re-emphasising my point about this trouble having a huge educational component to it, which media fail to underline)

There is a correlation between having a stable job, and having a good educational background, and it is precisely this which is at the heart of the Paris riots.

But you won't hear that in the great litany of reasons, when you are informed about the riots.

You'll hear instead of the controversial Interior Minister (of whom I will be blogging about this weekend), Nicolas Sarkozy's use of the word 'scum' to describe the rampagers.

You'll hear instead of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin's double-faced accusations about rioters and police alike (remember, he was the man who to this day, Colin Powell cannot stand, because he reneged on his promise to support the US in the pre-Security Council vote).

You'll hear that a lame canard President in the form of Jacques Chirac is almost powerless to control the situation as it escalates into what the French police are already calling a "civil war".

You'll hear many things, but I repeat, at the root of the Paris riots is the utter lack of opportunity to get prestigious jobs in modern-day France, because the system is geared to be run by a relatively small intellectual elite.

If you're in, you're set for life, much more so than in countries like Germany, or Italy, two countries with strong intellectual traditions, but less rigourous educational systems, for example.

If you're out, you're in trouble. You can cope many ways, but get used to the insecurity of unemployment.

It'll be your life's companion.

That sense of hopelessness, of lack of rewards, of intrinsic deappreciation for your intelligence, and that suspicion, is what is causing Paris to burn.

That the participants are North Africans, and Muslim, a word you will not hear often or at all in news coverage, is almost incidental.

Almost.

ADDENDUM: I started the post by questioning if you had heard of the event at hand. It was meant in jest, of course, since most blog readers, it has been found Renato noted recently, are more likely to read newspapers, and be informed, than those who get their news from television. And it is the medium of TV, where this Autumnal event, far more damaging to the psyche of France, than New Orleans was to the psyche of America, merely because Paris is EVERYTHING to France, I repeat, which has dropped the ball on this topic. Post-Katrina, the BBC World News updates ran almost deliriously anti-Bush pieces about the racial element of the storm's aftermath. One scene, the day OF the storm, which I reported on this blog, had a group of soaked black New Orleanians shouting gleefully at the BBC cameras, "Where is George Bush?!", a note on which they ended the broadcast, as if to implant that last scene forever in your mind. The BBC World News has this past week, run the Paris riots EXTREMELY sparingly, and several minutes into the broadcast. The same is true of all network news shows in the US, and even the exceptional Lehrer Report has only Thursday, 8 days into the chaos, done a substantive piece on this topic. Deutsche Welle's coverage has likewise been perfunctory. Ask yourselves why? Why do they place such an emphasis on New Orleans, and not on the much more violent, man-made disasters currently befalling the blighted suburbs of Paris? We all know that answer, even the ones who refuse to ask the question.

11:30 AM UPDATE: In Daryn Kagan's "Your World Today" on CNN, the French riots got exactly 17 seconds worth of coverage (I timed it), and were on 22 minutes into the coverage. They paid much more attention to a dog-hero rescue story, than the soi-disant, Parisian Intifada. "Your World Today", indeed.

Suggested Followup Reading

Les Grands Ecoles System of France (link corrected)

24 Comments:

  • I was sure you'd title your post on this subject "Paris is Burning".

    But then, you may have figured there's enough tranny-content on your blog as it is.

    ;)

    By Blogger JSU, at Fri Nov 04, 03:49:00 am GMT-5  

  • As this "Paris Intifada" continues to grow and spread I imagine that Chirac will continue to call for respectful dialogue. This is simply a delay tactic to give the French Army time to plan for their dignified surrender.

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Fri Nov 04, 10:10:00 am GMT-5  

  • Making children of immigrants or in our case, making illegal immigrants citizens doesn't necessarily mean they wish to be French or Americans. They want the benefits of citizenship but prefer to keeps their own culture and often loyalty lies with the country they immigrated from.
    Refusing to assimilate, I think is responsible for poor schooling and jobs. Desiring to keep, old customs, traditions and language is a good thing but not at the expense of becoming a part of your new country, which should at least, take an equal effort.
    Until your post, I had assumed that the riots were caused by Muslims, who more than anything wanted France to be like their "old" country and chafed at following France's laws and customs.
    I can understand the animosity at an education system catering toward a certain segment of society and those who keep it that way.
    Somehow, I think George Bush is responsible for this too.

    By Blogger Paul, at Fri Nov 04, 10:17:00 am GMT-5  

  • There's been extensive coverage in the UK both in the press and on the various TV stations.

    The difference I'd suggest between New Orleans and Paris is:

    i) the former saw many people die and widespread destruction to a large percentage of a great city. It was also seen (however misconstrued that view may be) as being preventable.

    ii) the latter has yet to see any fatalities and is isolated to small pockets of Paris and a couple of hundred burnt cars. The fact it is happening is merely reinforcing the widespread view that the tension between the underclass and the elite in France is never far away from bubbling to the surface so it hasn't come as much of a surprise.

    steve d

    By Blogger block108er, at Fri Nov 04, 11:01:00 am GMT-5  

  • I was sure you'd title your post on this subject "Paris is Burning".

    I confess, I was this close to doing so, but it sounded too trite, even for me.

    But then, you may have figured there's enough tranny-content on your blog as it is.

    You mean, "there ISN'T", right? ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Nov 04, 11:21:00 am GMT-5  

  • As this "Paris Intifada" continues to grow and spread I imagine that Chirac will continue to call for respectful dialogue.

    The French have certain catchphrases (as all nations do) which they use over and over again.

    "Dialogue" is most certainly one of them, and perhaps, it underwrites all the other words of frequent use (dynamique, vibrant, etc.).

    This is simply a delay tactic to give the French Army time to plan for their dignified surrender.

    Now, now, Jose. This is a France-friendly blog run by a Francophile.

    Well...

    ...at least, French-tolerant. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Nov 04, 11:24:00 am GMT-5  

  • BTW, can someone tell me who coined the term, Paris Intifada?

    I think it was Drudge, but I can't confirm it (I don't much read him). :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Nov 04, 11:25:00 am GMT-5  

  • Making children of immigrants or in our case, making illegal immigrants citizens doesn't necessarily mean they wish to be French or Americans.

    Correct, it doesn't necessarily mean it.

    But sociologically-speaking, it used to be much easier to trump up all the factors which go into making enthusiastic Frenchmen, and Americans, than it is now.

    Since the 1960's-1970's, teaching Civic duty, encouraging patriotism (often confused with nationalism), and generally having a more positive view of your country, than a negative one, has decreased.

    It's normal for immigrants to feel alienated from their new society, albeit there are MANY many examples of others with opposite experiences (my mother, the über-American, my father, less so, e.g.).

    But modern-day social mores don't help.

    They want the benefits of citizenship but prefer to keeps their own culture and often loyalty lies with the country they immigrated from.

    That's also true of Cuban-Americans though, Jose.

    However much they are super-patriotic and loving towards the US, I know many Cubans here in South Florida who don't speak a lick of English, 30 years after their exile began.

    That creates local tensions, as I don't need to tell you. You know.

    Refusing to assimilate, I think is responsible for poor schooling and jobs. Desiring to keep, old customs, traditions and language is a good thing but not at the expense of becoming a part of your new country, which should at least, take an equal effort.

    Yes, indeed!

    Until your post, I had assumed that the riots were caused by Muslims, who more than anything wanted France to be like their "old" country and chafed at following France's laws and customs.

    Not really. It's about lack of resources as they see it.

    Even the "voile" laws about girls wearing the veil, has been largely accepted, which is a magnificent thing, since the French are very protective of their laïque social life.

    I can understand the animosity at an education system catering toward a certain segment of society and those who keep it that way.

    Yes. It's tricky, because there is NOTHING to prevent people from accessing the Grands Ecoles.

    It just takes brains and application, as I said...

    Somehow, I think George Bush is responsible for this too.

    The Blame Bush! memo is on the way.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Nov 04, 11:33:00 am GMT-5  

  • Trump up as in support for. That sounded odd oterwise.

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Nov 04, 11:34:00 am GMT-5  

  • There's been extensive coverage in the UK both in the press and on the various TV stations.

    There has not been in the US.

    The BBC World News is not aimed towards the UK, and nor are the international newscasts of Deutsche Welle, etc.

    There are often mentions by certain members of the press who whinge about not being able to report news as the BBC do (that is, a more harshly critical view of the US President, and his country), but they never mention the opposite: that the US news networks go "easy" on foreign stories which they do not like to hype up. France especially, gets this gloved treatment.

    Very very little got said of the dastardly loss of life, two years ago, during the heat wave which cost the lives of THOUSANDS of French citizens.

    If that had happened in the US, as it did in Chicago, you wouldn't have heard the end of it.

    The difference I'd suggest between New Orleans and Paris is:

    There is no way one can truly compare the two. They are for vastly different causes and ultimate results.

    i) the former saw many people die and widespread destruction to a large percentage of a great city.

    Incorrect. It was centralised to certain areas.

    In Paris, 20 suburbs, and with the spread to other cities as this tension mounts, is far more widespread, and less easily controllable.

    In one week, most of New Orleans was well on its way to renewal.

    8/9 days hence in Paris...

    It was also seen (however misconstrued that view may be) as being preventable.

    Indeed. But not by the person who they blame first, foremost, and last.

    ii) the latter has yet to see any fatalities and is isolated to small pockets of Paris and a couple of hundred burnt cars. The fact it is happening is merely reinforcing the widespread view that the tension between the underclass and the elite in France is never far away from bubbling to the surface so it hasn't come as much of a surprise.

    It's about the tensions of authority, and lack of opportunity.

    However, the authority, in this case the police, often come from the same, the very same mind you, background than the people who are fighting in the streets.

    There is a disconnect there, and it is not about "underclassness" versus "elitism", specifically in this case.

    It is in the question of education, however.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Nov 04, 11:44:00 am GMT-5  

  • Chicago/South of France - we'd have heard about both. Remember blogs are internationalist in nature so us poor souls who live in countries with a media that invests in world news do get to see, hear and debate these things ;)

    the US news networks go "easy" on foreign stories which they do not like to hype up.

    Possibly because the target market has little interest in foreign news?

    France especially, gets this gloved treatment.

    Are they freedom gloves? I always thought France had been the butt of some serious stick throughout the US media since bottling out of the Gulf War.

    Onto New Orleans is it really "well on it's way" to renewal? Surely it's months away from such a bold claim. And spiritually it may never fully renew.

    steve d

    By Blogger block108er, at Fri Nov 04, 12:34:00 pm GMT-5  

  • They want the benefits of citizenship but prefer to keeps their own culture and often loyalty lies with the country they immigrated from.

    That's also true of Cuban-Americans though, Jose.

    However much they are super-patriotic and loving towards the US, I know many Cubans here in South Florida who don't speak a lick of English, 30 years after their exile began.

    That creates local tensions, as I don't need to tell you. You know.


    Victoria, you should have been rebuking me....not poor Jose.

    By Blogger Paul, at Fri Nov 04, 12:51:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Chicago/South of France - we'd have heard about both.

    Sure.

    Remember blogs are internationalist in nature so us poor souls who live in countries with a media that invests in world news do get to see, hear and debate these things ;)

    See, hear, yes. Debate...? ;)

    Possibly because the target market has little interest in foreign news?

    I'll get to this point below.

    Are they freedom gloves?

    No, they cost. :)

    I always thought France had been the butt of some serious stick throughout the US media since bottling out of the Gulf War.

    This is a serious flaw in this "anti-French" argument, I've always thought.

    Why is it, if Americans are so anti-French (and undoubtedly, the general feeling towards France, is its traditional lack of support, ever since General De Gaulle pulled out of NATO, many years preceeding Gulf War I)...

    ...is it that excessively negative French news stories, such as the Paris riots, are not EMPHASISED rather than diminished?

    You'd think that if Americans are so all-out against the French, they'd gleefully report anything which throws France in a negative light:

    The 2003 deaths of thousands, and the Paris riots, as two brief examples.

    But the point is, they don't.

    So that theory is full of holes.

    Onto New Orleans is it really "well on it's way" to renewal?

    Oh absolutely! The reports I get from our parish priest, and others who went there as volunteers to the area recently, say that the city is abuzz with activity, and renewal efforts.

    Surely it's months away from such a bold claim.

    If by this you mean that NOLA will have a long road ahead before it gets back its normality, absolutely.

    If by this you mean that NOLA is forever marked, and may not recover, as you said in your comment about its spiritual nature, well, I cannot tell you.

    But in 1992, Hurricane Andrew, a borderline cat 5 storm, levelled much of South Florida, as you know.

    Everyone, including myself, said this town would NEVER be the same.

    We are 10x the area we were. By far.

    I have every confidence New Orleans will follow that path, even with desultory local leadership.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Nov 04, 12:51:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Eek! Sorry Jose. Imaginate, la persona equivocada. ;(

    Thanks Paul!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Nov 04, 12:54:00 pm GMT-5  

  • If by this you mean that NOLA will have a long road ahead before it gets back its normality, absolutely. If by this you mean that NOLA is forever marked, and may not recover, as you said in your comment about its spiritual nature, well, I cannot tell you.

    I meant the former - it's a long road back. It's been interesting to see the efforts (on a smaller scale) of Boscastle to recover from their disastrous flood in August 2004. The BBC were filming a documentary series about the local Parish Church and life in the village when the flood hit so there's much before, during and after footage available. The cameras have stayed on to document the slow structural, physical and emotional recovery process.

    Here's a link to some photos of the flooding taken by the Cornish Fire Brigade:

    http://www.southwest999.co.uk/boscastle.htm

    But in 1992, Hurricane Andrew, a borderline cat 5 storm, levelled much of South Florida, as you know. Everyone, including myself, said this town would NEVER be the same. We are 10x the area we were. By far.

    That reminds me of Manchester's renewal after the bombing of their city centre by the IRA. Rather than using it as an excuse to complain, whinge and bemoan their luck they attacked their misfortune with gusto and the city centre was reborn. It acted as a spur to the people themselves, public and private investors and the city has improved tremendously as a result and is "x times" what it was before.

    I have every confidence New Orleans will follow that path, even with desultory local leadership.

    The leadership is important. It almost needs an external visionary to guide the whole process. Someone with no local political baggage to weigh them down with prejudice and preconceptions.

    steve d

    By Blogger block108er, at Fri Nov 04, 01:21:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Paul, thanks for standing up against Victoria's misguided rebuke! ;)

    However, since Victoria did bring up the Cuban-Americans, I feel compelled to mention:

    -Cuban-Americans who came to this country 30 or more years ago are by and large extremely pro-USA and defend this country very loudly. (This has added to our unpopularity among many other Latin Americans who tend to bash the USA at every turn)

    -Cuban-Americans did significantly integrate into the American culture, learned english, went to college, armed services, etc. while trying to preserve many of the old family traditions and language. (The ones not speaking a lick of english would normally be those that arrived here in their older years.)

    God Bless America!

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Fri Nov 04, 02:09:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Believe me, Jose, I have had vast respect for the Cubans who came to this country since Castro came to Power and since.
    I do not in any way disagree with what Victoria and you are saying and meant no disrespect. I'm well aware of what is kind of a super-patriotism among those emigres forced from Cuba.
    My remarks did not have Cubans in mind but rather illegal immigrants whether Mexican or Muslim who feel this country should submit to them as if we should be a part of their former countries

    By Blogger Paul, at Fri Nov 04, 05:00:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Thank you Paul, and that is how I interpreted your remarks as I agree with them. Cuban-Americans were always "an exception" among minorities since we voted heavily Republican. Democrats were befuddled by our success in this country since it defied their entitlements strategy which kept the other minorities firmly in their camp.

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Fri Nov 04, 06:22:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Paul, thanks for standing up against Victoria's misguided rebuke! ;)

    A dagger thru' my heart! ;(

    (Just kidding, although I sincerely am most sorry for the confusion, Jose)

    However, since Victoria did bring up the Cuban-Americans, I feel compelled to mention:

    You won't find a bigger cheerleader of Cuban-Americans than I in Blogosphere.

    That is to say, one who is non-Cuban-American. Val Prieto has me beat otherwise!

    -Cuban-Americans who came to this country 30 or more years ago are by and large extremely pro-USA and defend this country very loudly. (This has added to our unpopularity among many other Latin Americans who tend to bash the USA at every turn)

    Yes.

    -Cuban-Americans did significantly integrate into the American culture, learned english, went to college, armed services, etc. while trying to preserve many of the old family traditions and language. (The ones not speaking a lick of english would normally be those that arrived here in their older years.)

    This is where I have a little more difficulty in agreeing wholeheartedly.

    I know whole Cuban-American families who have a 100% Spanish-speaking/reading/working life.

    It is true, that as times goes on, they dwindle in number, but that doesn't take away from the fact that one of the biggest problems non-Hispanic Americans here in South Florida have with Cuban-Americans, is that they are perceived as being too ethnically separate from the rest: with their Cuban flags, their Cuban radio stations, their Cuban stores, clinics, etc. etc.

    OTOH, as I have long long argued with these people, there are reasons for that:

    Cubans are EMIGRES, not just immigrants. They are exiled, and feel that when Castro falls, they will return to their homeland.

    I think that won't happen, because the exile has lasted much too long (alas), but nonetheless, that is the reason.

    Also, what CA's go through here in SoFla is similar to what many dominant immigrant groups have in other cities: the Italians, Irish and Jews in NYC, the Polish or Eastern Europeans in Chicago, or the Irish in Boston, most famously.

    The fact is that they keep their "old ways".

    It could even be that the people who complain today, are themselves descended at one point from peoples who were exactly the same way.

    But each immigrant group gets to be critiqued by the ones who preceeded them, as a matter-of-course in this country.

    It's almost a rite of passage...

    Finally, let's not forget, as you said, Jose, that Cubans don't fit the "welfare Democratic" mold.

    I once remarked to my ex, that his compatriots were the most "American" of all immigrants I ever met: the same drive, work ethic, and ambition that this country produces in their more successful immigrant stories.

    Let us not forget, going back to the topic of Paris/France/immigrants, that France has a much-vaunted welfare State.

    Even with all that help, the free health care, the free Universities, the free public services, still people fail, and still people feel alienated and resentful.

    There is no immigrant magic formula...other than:

    1) Personal ambition,

    2) responsibility

    3) lack of victimhood
    .

    Then, almost everything is possible.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Nov 04, 10:25:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Democrats were befuddled by our success in this country since it defied their entitlements strategy which kept the other minorities firmly in their camp.

    And especially Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans, are resentful towards Cuban-Americans because of that.

    They seem to think you guys throw off their little bell curve of disenfranchisement

    And that's because you do. Thank God.

    P.S.: Most Cuban-Americans I know don't call themselves Latino or Hispanic. When asked, they say they are "white"...which is another huge difference between PR and Mexican-Americans. They can say that, because the exile experience has been overwhelming white. The others, much less so.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Nov 04, 10:30:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Apropos to the New Orleans comments earlier, here is this acute bit of commentary, by Daniel Drezner:

    After mentioning the local antipathy to the workers who are coming from all parts of Latin America to help with the cleanup (at very good wages, considering the Feds are $450m just to clean up!), he asks:

    "For me, the big question remains -- if New Orleans was such a stagnant economy that those displaced to Houston don't want to return, just how much money should be committed to reconstruction efforts?"

    If you are tempted to think that the locals who oppose the "Latinos", many of them illegal, but who are hired because the work is grimy, are mostly white Americans, you would be wrong.

    The overwhelming resentment towards these workers are from black Americans. Rev. Jesse Jackson even hired several coaches to take back black residents so they could get some of that Federal recovery money.

    Thousands, and thousands refused to come back.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Nov 04, 10:37:00 pm GMT-5  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Paul, at Fri Nov 04, 10:54:00 pm GMT-5  

  • As this "Paris Intifada" continues to grow and spread I imagine that Chirac will continue to call for respectful dialogue. This is simply a delay tactic to give the French Army time to plan for their dignified surrender.

    By Jose Aguirre, at Fri Nov 04, 10:10:25 AM EST

    Quiet a shame to come here and read the same kind of comments you can find on any chat room . If it s your only contribution to the debate, I pity you Mr Aguirre. people like you are called troll usually.

    By Anonymous SHUSSBAR, at Thu Nov 10, 09:24:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I agree with Steve D. This is not new and not a surprise. It s the result of a lack of real politics of integration the past 30 years. Spreading social benefits is not enough. Theere is few rewards for these teens to go to school or respect any kind of authority. Lot of them have never seen their parents work. They know that even with average education finding a job will be more than tough. And if you find a job, it is paid peanuts, the commute is irreal since no industry want to build in such neighboroods, and the underground economy (drugs, robbery,..) take place and from a 12 year old that will ''work'' as warning system and will make 30$ a day to the big shot that control the block, there is no need to work or go to shool.
    neighboorood went no police zone, because of lack of funding for law enforcement. ( What are 3 polimen going to do in a block of 3000 people!)
    What works under in 1950, doe not work anymore in 2000.

    Listening to the coverage here in USA, you have the feeling that the entire country is burning and that this is the end. Same riot could happen anywhere, and have happened. ( Amsud...) but repression is much more violent.
    It s a shame, really and the politics have lot of works to do to adress all the problems. But who trust the politics anymore in France ...

    By Anonymous SHUSSBAR, at Thu Nov 10, 09:36:00 pm GMT-5  

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