Monday, November 07, 2005

Riots in France enter 12th night: Is Paris (still) burning?

It is late afternoon here in Germany. The sun has just dipped below the horizon and the dreary grey skies of a typical rainy November day have begun to shift toward orange and deep reds and violet before night falls. Nighttime. We all know what that means here in Western Europe for the past 11 days. Is Paris still burning? Has the violence crossed the border into our country yet? Aach Du Schei--e! Wirklich?

For my regular readers, my apologies for not posting over the last several days. Plenty of hot stuff going on around the world though, isn't it? In regards to the Paris riots which have now spread to over 300 cities and towns across France, we in Germany and throughout Western and Central Europe are watching these events with great interest. Indeed!

I haven't been totally silent about "le disturbánces" you know, just reserved. I've weighed in with my blogger friend down in the Congo 007 in Africa and left a word or two over at Booker Rising. The Blogosphere heavyweights like Instapundit et Al. have torn into this with a passion and you can follow more of the conversations over at Technorati.

Downright Angst has set in for many people here if you ask me. I mean, if the "Shei--e hits the fan" here in Gemany who's gonna deal with it? Die Polizei? The police need to take orders from people in high places (Politiker), especially here in Deutschland. In Germany there is nobody officially in charge of the government at the moment. That is, not until the three main political parties (CDU/CSU and SPD) from the September 2005 elections finally work out a deal. No deal, no coalition government. Basta.

So, I and others in Europe need a little more time to get a handle on the fast-moving events over on the Western Front. In the meantime, keep your eyes glued to your TV sets and your newspapers and online news sites for the latest nightly developments. Jacques Chiraq has called for a stop to the violence (= a showdown), and the kids with the Molotov cocktails and sawed-off shotguns don't seem to be listening. Not a good combination if you ask me.

Now where did I park my car today? Got my keys, my passport, change of clothes, and my airline ticket. I'm outa here. Gone.



Ashton Ricco said...

I think the problem lies with too-generous welfare benefits. France should try what worked well in the USA a few years ago, putting lifetime limits on unearned public payments and requiring appropriate labour from the recipients; the result having been amazingly efficient at motivating the beneficiaries to accept real jobs and join society as productive members. At the very least, it would leave fewer persons with time to riot.

Chippla Vandu said...

The welfare state surely has its large share of blame in what is going on in France. France needs to keep millions of young people engaged in one form or another but with unemployment running at a national average of 10% and at over 30% in the suburbs of Paris (according to a BBC report) that will be quite hard to achieve. Yet, the bottom line to resolving this problem lies in the creation of jobs and an environment in which minorities see room for development. In that regard, the generous welfare state is a stumbling block.

007 in Africa said...

People definitely seem to be pointing fingers at the unemployment/welfare state of France...since what seems like years and years now.
But even honest, hard-working immigrants with great university degrees, are having to change their first and last names to remove their stigmatizing names from the front of their résumés. And even then, they tell me the interviewers perform perfunctory interviews when they see their skin color. Persecution complex or geniune discrimination?

Black River Eagle said...

I think that it must be very difficult for people who do not live in France to accurately describe what is to blame for these riots in that they are based upon a myriad of problems. The people who live in those low-income neighborhoods and ghettos and the ones who don't all across France have known what's been going on for years. Now everybody knows and it is trés embarrassing.

The "welfare states" setup by socialist-style governments all across Western Europe years ago have been slowly crumbling for decades with disastrous results for their citizens and residents. Need some examples? Deutschland, France, Italy, etc.

This outbreak of violence on the streets of France is deeper than just the frustration of unemployed and disenchanted youth from North and Sub-Saharn African immigrant families. These kids aren't immigrants, these youth are French! Like they say, how many generations must one live in France before one is considered to be French?

Chippla and I and others were discussing this subject over at the Booker Rising blog just last week. And we were not talking about France, we were discussing the mentality in The Netherlands!

These issues with immigration and acceptance and integration of people from different racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds is by no means just limited to France. It is a big problem right across Europe, from Calais and Lands End and Killarney in the West to the Ural Mountains and Instanbul in the East. Istanbul is part of Europe, isn't it?

Receipe for "Toxic Gumbo a la Francaise":
Blatant racism is in there with 3 parts cream and 1 lump of sugar, culture Angst is in there with a dash of Bitters, religious Angst and fanaticism is in there with 2 shakes of Louisiana Hot Sauce, political failures over several decades is in there with ice, and shake. Then duck for cover.

Worse yet, all sides (more than just 2 sides are at play here) are guilty of all of the above!

The true face of France has been unmasked by this violence and it ain't a pretty sight. Let's see how the political makeup artists and spin doctors clean up this mess after the kids get tired of arson and vandalism and rubber bullets.

Imnakoya said...

What is going on in France is the cumulative effect of years of bad policies and wrong tactics. The fault lies not only with the French government, but the first generation immigrants whose progeny have been rendered into economically impotent social infidels.

France has been living in a make-believe world where race and ethnicity are not relevant issues and have been treated as if it does not matter or exist. In fact, the French government does not keep official records on race or ethnicity; they believe that theirs is a colorblind society, yet there are millions of non-European immigrants in their midst! They argue that by ignoring “race”, racism and its antecedent problems will never be an issue. The riots have exposed the naivety of the French and the shallowness of their policies.

On the other hand, the first generation of immigrants, particularly the Africans, towed the line of least resistance. Rather than finding ways to make meaningful inroads into their adopted society, and assimilate the style and culture of their new society; many withdrew, assumed a minimalist mindset, and existed in a state of self-imposed lockdown.

Today, a sizeable portion of second and even third generation French nationals of African descent can’t even speak proper and fluent French in a country where the natives are really fussy about their language and always appreciate well-spoken and articulated speech. Tell me how these folks can effect any meaningful changes in their lives? How can they set themselves free and loose from the French welfare quagmire? After many years of been trapped in urban ghettos sustaining on welfare stipends, why should it surprise any that these youths have resolved to throwing Molotov’s cocktails?

007 in Africa said...

These are all good points. Question is: how can France and immigrants fix this situation?

Black River Eagle said...

Thanks everyone for your excellent comments. In the Blogosphere there certainly is no shortage on opinions about the French riots or analysis of the underlying problems fueling the frustation and violence.

I hope that somebody in the French government is paying attention to bloggers worldwide? They might get some very good ideas about what to do.

President Chiraq. Please call this number ASAP: 1 (800) WE NEED HELP - BAD!

Renegade Eye said...

I found this blog surfing.

This is the best post I found on the Paris siege.


Black River Eagle said...

Thanks for stopping by Renegade Eye. The comments by my readers re: the France Riots is what I really appreciate in this post.

That's a very fine blog you have there as well and I'll definately be stopping by your place again to see what's up. Some very funny graphics i.e. Donald Duck vs. the Bird Flu and the Renegade Kitty.

I liked your update post on Darfur referencing the November 7th Slate Magazine article by Christoper Hitchins:

Anonymous said...

And let us not forget Islam. You may argue as to what extent their religion is responsible for the riots, but it is a factor, a very important under-reported factor. Islam is the agent that makes life difficult for many Muslims, it teaches them anger, hate and contempt for others. There are millions of latinos in Europe, yet they do not seem to have the problems of the Muslims. Why? Be sure that there will be more riots, and Islam will play a bigger part in them. It is the only thing that they have that gets them respect. Europe is in big trouble, and there is little they can do about it. It should be interesting!

John Kactuz

Black River Eagle said...

Well, it seems as if the France Riots are still a hot topic out there in the Blogosphere, but I prefer to move on to some new items now. The French will eventually figure out what they need to do in order to achieve real Egalité. Non?

Thanks for the visit and your comment Kactuz. I see that you have been kicking up a bit of dust out there in the Blogosphere lately (Ref: Global Voices comment thread for their November 5th posting "Mort pour Rien").

I can't agree with all of what you say re: Islam being such a key factor and the spectre of religious and race riots exploding all across Europe in the near future based upon my own daily experience with the Europeans going on almost 2 decades now.

This personal experience includes interaction with members of the Amero-Latino community living in Europe that you refer to as well. I am privellaged to be able to enjoy a very close relationship with some young Latinos in my neighborhood who hail from the Carribean and South America.

One thing is for sure, it will be interesting to watch how this plays out in France and other Western European countries over the next several months and years___ from a distance.