Sunday, November 06, 2005

Paris Riots

Having lived in and around Paris, I feel I should comment on the riots there. I met alot of North-African emigrees in France, mostly algerians; on the whole they were poor and lived in government-built housing projects called HLMs. I doubt there's a big religious cause to these riots, as most of the Muslims I encountered were not overly religious -- rather, this is probably culture-based. Frankly, most white people in France don't like the arab immigrants. The oft-lampooned ultra-nationalist (read racist) politician Jean-Marie Le Pen is strongly supported by 1 out of every 8 Frenchmen, and 1-in-3 Froggies have a favorable impression of the man (Le Pen is on the record as saying that the Holocaust is a detail of WWII and that racial equality is absurd.)

I'm saying that there's a pretty huge cultural divide in France -- exacerbated by the welfare-state mentality. The confiscatory tax rates and commensurate goverment spending have led to anemic economic growth and -- more critically -- french citizens are totally dependent on their government to provide a life for them. The net effect is entrenched and multi-generational poverty for the great majority of Arab immigrants.

Thus, a great deal of pent-up anger and frustration.

2 comments:

ADevoe said...

Great comments on the riots! It's nice to have the view of someone who's witnessed the racial tension and discrepancies first-hand! Though our little Frenchy just smiles and says "Ah yes--they are stupid!" Who exactly the "They" are is beyond my understanding.:) We did have a talk about it and I said something about an interview I heard between Le Pen and a BBC reporter where Le Pen said very openly that the blacks should go back to Africa. Our frenchy had the decency to say Le Pen was crazy!

J. Willard Curtis said...

There's no 2 ways about it, many french citizens are overtly and proudly racist.