Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sacré Bleu! (And Brown!)

Things have quieted now that martial law has been in place for about a week, but for a while it looked like France was in some deep shit. For about three weeks there had been rioting by young men following the death of two Muslim teenagers who were electrocuted while fleeing from the cops.

It all seems really familiar…

  • The Muslims make up about 10% of the population. Check.

  • They are decedents of people who were subjugated by Europeans. Check.

  • They have an unemployment rate that is double or triple that of the norm. Check.

  • Leaders in the majority population refer to them as scum. Check.

  • The immigrants and their French-born children haven’t assimilated into French culture the way the majority would like them to. Check.

You put the same ingredients together, the same soufflé comes out the freaking oven, oui?

I’m not with torching your own neighborhood, though. I mean, you gotta still live there after the smoke has cleared and now you’ve made it even shittier than it was before! DUH!

Real familiar.

The only thing I find curious is that the impotent French government let the rioting spread to 300 cities and towns.


They seemed genuinely shocked that anyone in their nation was unhappy. One French guy that I saw last week on McNeil-Lehrer gave the following solution to ending the unrest:

“The parents of the angry youths should tell them to stay indoors. They can watch TV. They can make love to their girlfriends.”

Yo, I kid you not! That’s what the guy said. The kids should screw. That will make the problems go away.


Gotta love France! Over here they would've said that they need to pray, or something.


Luke Cage said...

Makes me think of that old Fearless Four record "Problems, Problems, Problems, Problems of the World today." Remember that? -lol- For a few days I didn't even know what the unrest was about until the story broke. Unreal, in this day and age that something like that happens. Sacre' Bleu indeed!

Michelle Pessoa said...

Fearless Four! Oh my God!

Daddy we had fun the weekend that just passed
Mommy’s brother came to visit while you were away.
I know why you looked puzzled I was shocked myself
I didn’t know I had an uncle until Friday.

See, that’s what’s wrong with the world. I can remember that, but I don’t know my own cellphone number! :)

Kathleen Hite Babb said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kathleen Hite Babb said...

Being cynical at this moment (a little sacrasitc humor here), I should say the French should "send them all back to where they came from." Sound familiar?

Positively Cheryl said...

"Gotta love France! Over here they would've said that they need to pray, or something."
God, ain't that the truth. There it's too much amore', here it's too much hellfire and damnation.

I loved my visit to Paris and i'm honestly surprised about all of this because the "Black" population is pretty large, not at all what I expected, but we were treated pretty well as African Americans by both white and black people there; in fact many of the locals went out of there way -- literally to show us how to get somewhere when we got lost.

The fact that people destroy their own communities out of anger, no matter what country is just plain ignant'. Shoot, go spray paint the courthouses, or government buildings or something to that nature...but not 'Ol Leroy's house next door. Geez.

Michelle Pessoa said...

It's been almost 20 years since I've been in France. I went with a Haitian friend and we stayed with his family, so I felt comfortable.

I do remember being surprised at how large the Arab community in Paris was. I was similarly surprised at how many Africans I saw in Portugal when I went there about 6 years ago. In contrast, Spain seemed almost as white as Germany. Not what I had expected at all.

Michelle Pessoa said...

Yep, Kathleen, it's very familiar. The problem is, there's no place to send people who were born and raised in France. The majority population is going to have to expand its definition of what is "French."

They're talking about tightening up their immigration policy now, but that's not going to solve a mess that started in the colonial era.

Jamie said...

Well, a few days after it started there were a few riots in Germany, too, but nothing as bad and they stopped shortly after.
Obviously the German youth isn't quite as angry as the French.
Or lazier.

Or they get bored very soon.

Came here from Michele.

Pearl said...

Two solitudes like in Canada. Anglos have no idea what the cultural waves are, who the heroes are, what is important to the francophones because there is no dialogue exchanged.