Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Two Worldviews

The NYTimes reports on the first casualty of the riots, Jean-Jacques Le Chenadec, 61. Look for the missing words in the Times piece. Hint: They start with "M" and "I."...

Der Spiegel watches the French Flambée.
Of course it should be noted that in the rush to reprint the funny headline pun, Malkin has ignored one of the salient points of the Der Spiegel article:
...commentators in Germany look to neighboring France in dismay. Fortunately, there is no talk of a clash of civilizations, an unbridgeable religious divide or other nonsense. Most papers see it for what it is: a classic clash between the haves and have nots.
In contrast to the Malkins' take, Nur al-Cubicle does some bona fide analysis:
What can a young person expect, born in a soulless neighborhood, who lives in an ugly building, surrounded by more ugliness, grey walls upon a grey landscape of a grey life, enveloped in a society that prefers to turn away and intervenes only when it believes must clamp down and prohibit? François Mitterrand, 1990.

You can't do social integration on the cheap...

Already a dicey cohabitation proposition, matters have been worsened by budget slashing by the conservative French government now in power. Funds for neighborhood police, jobs for youth, social and cultural clubs and housing assistance have been drastically reduced. 310 million euros reserved for these urban entitlements have been pared from the 2005 budget. The exasperated leaders of French Mayors' Forum for Urban Safety have demanded the restoration of the money yet Paris has remained deaf. A neo-liberal recipe for France's immigrant population is not going to cut it.
And the Malkins' counterpoint to this kind of thing?
The Washington Post has a nauseating piece of apologism painting the rioters as neglected youth just trying to get the government's attention:
The youths rampaging through France's poorest neighborhoods are the French-born children of African and Arab immigrants, the most neglected of the country's citizens. A large percentage are members of the Muslim community that accounts for about 10 percent of France's 60 million people.

One of Rezzoug's "kids" -- the countless youths who use the sports facilities he oversees -- is a husky, French-born 18-year-old whose parents moved here from Ivory Coast. At 3 p.m. on Saturday, he'd just awakened and ventured back onto the streets after a night of setting cars ablaze.

"We want to change the government," he said, a black baseball cap pulled low over large, chocolate-brown eyes and an ebony face. "There's no way of getting their attention. The only way to communicate is by burning."

The Malkins' memo to Nur al-Cubicle, the Washington Post, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, and anyone else who apparently has forgotten: If Muslims do it, it's Islam's fault. End of story.

(Hat Tip: LA)