Thursday, November 10, 2005

France Is Burning

Every night for close to 2 weeks the suburbs of Paris and many other towns in France have seen rioting, burning cars, and damaged buildings. The rioters mostly young, poor, and of North African orgin, began rioting in response to the death of 2 young men who were elecrocuted to death while trying to hide from police in an electrical control box in a subway station. This may have been the match that lit the fuse, but the cause of these riots is much more complex.
I love France the ideas of truth, liberty, and freedom of rights, do not originate from the US, although they may hold the copyrights, they come from France, the French Revolution and the development of the Republic. That being said, these riots are a response to good ideas that have not been updated to be relevent in modern Europe. Take for example the French immigration policy, in it every new immigrant that comes to France is considered a frenchman.... there are no Franco-Algerians, no Franco-Britians, in a perfect world this may seem like a noble idea, everyone in France is an equal member of the Republic, gone is the notion of racial profiling. But racism like everywhere else on the planet is rampant in France, for example, I recently read in and I qoute "One study last year found, for example, that a man with a classic French name applying for 100 jobs will get 75 interviews. A man with the same qualifications, but with an Algerian name, will get just 14." France has no equal oppurtunity type employment laws, so although you are French if you live in France, things are much easier for a Pierre then say for an Abdulah. Add to this the hording of North Africian immigrants into slum like exisitences hidden outside the cities in suburbs where the unemployment rate hovers around 40%, and well a spark of any kind might set off riots.
Now of course these recent riots have cast France in a bad light, and disservedly so. When you have the minister of the Interior making statements like these rioters are scum, that they should be Karcherized out France, and pushing for expulsions, well then maybe the world should thumb their collective noses at France. That being said, the immigration policies of Britian, the United States, and Canada, really are not that much better, and racial profiling and unexceptable slum like neighbourhoods with high unemployment exist equally throughout the western world. That the poor and disfranchised have taking to the streets in France maybe a black eye to France, but it is not all that unexpected, nor should the rest of the Western world believe it could not happen to them.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home