Monday, November 07, 2005

Yes, I'm procrastinating...

This is an email I just wrote to Andrew Sullivan:

Dear Andrew,

I think "Dr. Dalyrimple" as quoted by Ian Murray makes a very valid point. I am a lefty and a francophile but I completely agree that the riots that are occurring in France right now are not the result of Muslim extremism but rather result from a disaffected population of children-of-immigrants that has no productive outlet for its frustration and aggression. I do admire France's social programs and the willingness of its population to pay a great deal in taxes toward general social welfare; the problem with this, as we're seeing now, is that welfare programs take the edge off surviving but don't address the malaise that comes with institutionalized joblessness and discrimination. The French need to face this problem head-on. Yes, that probably means some liberalization of the market and concomitant marginalization of the unions, in order to grow the economy and increase jobs. It also means educating the greater French population as to the history and the current situation of these mostly North andWest African immigrants and their children, instead of ignoring them and relegating them to ghettos. Until the government and the French as a whole address the underlying source of the aggression and frustration expressed by these young people, the tension we see now will not abate and France will face a violent future.

Los Angeles

***Update: Andrew Sullivan made exactly 0 references to my email in his recent postings about the France riots. Sniff. I want some Sulli love. Why, oh why doesn't he love me???


At 7:02 AM, Blogger St. Dickeybird said...

Well said.
Paris is looking quite scary at the moment, and the restless unemployed can be volatile. As we're seeing.

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Lizzie said...

I haven't spent a significant amount of time in France in the past 5 years, but I can't say I'm at all surprised by what's happening. I'm only surprised it didn't happen sooner. I knew there was tension along racial/religious lines, but had no idea how bad it was until I spent some time there. (At least, it was bad in the south.) Speaking from my unfortunate and admittedly limited personal experiences, I don't think it has anything to do with Muslim extremism, or with Islam at all. Unfortunately, the current situation that we (as the west) have created for ourselves and our stubborn, simplistic, binary worldview makes it all too easy to slap the Muslim label on it and ignore the real issue and underlying problems.

Great letter/post. Sullivan's loss.


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