Friday, November 11, 2005

France Burning

As the rioting wanes in France, I told Donica she still needs to take our neighborhood fire hydrant with her as she travels to Amsterdam (last night) and then returns via Paris late next week. She may need it.

For generations, the French have prided themselves on a colorblind society that welcomes all. But the two weeks of nightly violence have prompted painful national introspection and called into question France's self image as a model of race relations.

Both like and unlike the USA

The same complaints that fueled the fires in inner city Detroit and Los Angeles in the '60s — unemployment, discrimination, despair — are behind the arson and rioting in suburban France. This crisis, however, is uniquely French. A nation that successfully integrated individual foreigners has failed to do the same with masses of them.

Sigh. I hate violence of any kind. But this reminds me of profanity. If you're a person who rarely, if ever uses it, when you do, everyone sits up and takes notice. You hope!

[When did our fire hydrants go from red to yellow to silver! And where are Germany's hydrants? Don't remember ever seeing one. Are they in the ground like the UK's?]

No comments:

Post a Comment