The French with the burden of ‘civilizing the savages’ have displayed their mammoth colonialist, racist and classist traits once again, yet again.
The recent Paris urban riots just indicate the systematic exploitative regimes called Western Democracies. The illusions that go with such democracies overwhelm the vast reality of gross injustices to the extent that folks talk about such regimes only after popular outbreak of resentments (that is, the culmination brings attention than the process itself). It’s such a matter of shame that the gory history of French colonialism is never the point of international condemnation and the phony democracies thrive with such examples. These myopists defenders of liberal democracy claim that France is the most diverse country in the whole of Europe. What they forget to mention is that it is the most racist nation as well.
What is again lost on the pundits is that the immigrants are not the ‘problem’. Far from it, France occupied territories and was in dire need of immigrants so that it could catch up with other industrialized nations after World War II. When the immigrant workforce of Italy and Spain could not achieve its goals, it thrived on the immigrant workers from Africa and Asia. While the European immigrants easily were incorporated into the upper class, the non-European immigrants from Africa and Asia were forced to work at the lowest wages (which continues to this day of 2005). Not only is the systematic exploitation so prevalent, but the minority cultures are forced to give up their ethos and assimilate to the France mainland on conditions of sustenance. Practice of different religions and use of languages are not permitted.
Race statistics are not kept in France so that forced assimilation of Muslim population can be made possible. Law forbids Muslim women from wearing headscarfs! Laws are in place to forbid Muslim practices, whereas Christian norms are forced upon immigrants.
When the government and its pseudo-socialist (capitalist reformers) opposition itself resorts to such human rights violations forcing people to give up their cultural identities just so they will be entirely French (and become what—colonialist of the 21st century?), what to speak of “the failure of the politics of Nicolas Sarkozy”?
The recent riots in France are result of a sustained cultural domination of the Whites over the immigrant population who were exploited systematically since occupation of Algeria in 1830’s to reconstruct France from time to time. And yet the African, Arab and Asian workers who lent their lot to make France such a shining fashion nation of the globalized age, are the least benefited lot. They are concentrated in slums, impoverished, segregated, policed and brutally attacked by the government with racist slurs.
When the lawmakers of France are so slanted by their bias against the black and Muslim population, it will be wishful thinking to assume that law will grant any equal rights to anyone. The reality is France is at least 40 years behind United States in realizing that salad bowl and not melting pot is the need of the hour. No matter of coercion will allow people to sit quiet and take orders of repressive phony democracies. The current riots are manifestation of century old frustrations, at times expressed by the oppressed.
At least Belgium and Netherlands have displayed a better sense of respect for their immigration population, from which France needs to learn. And even in those countries, riots have become common phenomenon owing to systematic apathy.
Indeed the savage France must learn civilization codes from the Arab European League which states as its mission : “We believe in a multicultural society as a social and political model where different cultures coexist with equal rights under the law. We do not want to assimilate and we do not want to be stuck somewhere in the middle. We want to foster our own identity and culture while being law abiding and worthy citizens of the countries where we live. In order to achieve that it is imperative for us to teach our children the Arabic language and history and the Islamic faith. We will resist any attempt to strip us of our right to our own cultural and religious identity, as we believe it is one of the most fundamental human rights.”
Its founder Dyab Abou Jahjah, who was himself arrested in November 2002 and charged with inciting Muslims in Antwerp to riot (Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said that the AEL was “trying to terrorize the city”), has declared: “Assimilation is cultural rape. It means renouncing your identity, becoming like the others.” He complains that in Europe “I could still eat certain dishes from the Middle East, but I cannot have certain thoughts that are based on ideologies and ideas from the Middle East.”
Even the careful mainstream media have come down heavily against inequalities prevailing in France today.
“The unrest has highlighted the division between France’s big cities and their poor suburbs, with frustration simmering in the housing projects in areas marked by high unemployment, crime and poverty.” (AP) Reuters agree with AP’s attribution of all the unrest to economic injustice, and adds a suggestion of racism: “The unrest in the northern and eastern suburbs, heavily populated by North African and black African minorities, have been fuelled by frustration among youths in the area over their failure to get jobs and recognition in French society.” Deutsche Presse Agentur called the high-rise public housing in the Paris suburbs “a long-time flashpoint of unemployment, crime and other social problems.”
“The areas hardest hit by the riots are home to North African and black African minorities that feel excluded from French society” (Reuters). “The violence also cast doubt on the success of France’s model of seeking to integrate its large immigrant community — its Muslim population, at an estimated 5 million, is Western Europe’s largest — by playing down differences between ethnic groups. Rather than feeling embraced as full and equal citizens, immigrants and their French-born children complain of police harassment and of being refused jobs, housing and opportunities” (AP).
Le Monde suggests in an editorial that the Interior Minister was deliberately stirring up tensions to divide France. “The minister believes in the existence of a clear separation between ‘them’ and ‘us’,” the newspaper said.
This is simply gross in an era of multi-culture co-existences. But the French elites are hell bent upon against any protests of any sort in that country. Labor unions (even championed by the white workers) are suppressed, workers are laid off whenever they go on strike. Paris has become the citadel of capitalistic contradictions. With high society of mannerisms, the French elites have continuously exhibited disdain for the working class. History is replete with examples every passing week as France evolves to supersede its competitive rogue nations that practice dangerous democracies. Sartre, the philosopher of our age, had drawn a similar parallel when he wrote the following:
“I will not go so far as to say that we were as cynical as in that southern state of the USA where a law, maintained until the beginning of the nineteenth century, prohibited people from teaching black slaves to read—offenders would be fined. But we did want to make our ‘Muslim brothers’ a population of illiterates. Still today 80 per cent of Algerians are illiterate. It would not be so bad if we had just forbidden them the use of our own language. But a necessary aspect of the colonial system is that it attempts to bar the colonized people from the road of history; as nationalist claims, in Europe, have always been founded on linguistic unity, the Muslims were denied the use of their own language. Since 1830, the Arabic language has been considered as a foreign language in Algeria; it is still spoken, but it hardly survives as a written language. And that is not all: to keep the Arabs fragmented, the French administration confiscated their religion; it recruited leaders of the Islamic religion among creatures in its pay. It has maintained the most base superstitions, because they disunite.
The French republic maintains the cultural ignorance and the beliefs of the feudal system, but suppresses the structures and customs which permit a living feudal system to be, despite everything, a human society; it imposes an individualistic and liberal legal code in order to ruin the frameworks and development of the Algerian community, but it maintains kinglets who derive their power solely from it and who govern on its behalf.
In a word, it fabricates ‘natives’ by a double movement which separates them from their archaic community by giving them or maintaining in them, in the solitude of liberal individualism, a mentality whose archaism can only be perpetuated in relation to the archaism of the society. It creates masses but prevent them from becoming a conscious proletariat by mystifying them with the caricature of their own ideology.” (p 41, Colonialism and Neocolonialism. Jean-Paul Sartre)
Even as most of the world is learning to grow, the French are trying to go back to cave ages created by them as though colonialism were their core identity by forcefully trying to assimilate cultures into one whole European sad saga. If the world bodies such as the UN have any shame, its time to “teach the French a lesson”. How can I not end with the Clash’s London Burning? This time, Paris is burning again!
London calling to the faraway towns
Now that war is declared-and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, all you boys and girls
London calling, now don’t look at us
All that phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain’t got no swing
‘Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing
The funny thing is the French elites do not feel any difference. No riots ever affect them. Their children do not get electrocuted while escaping police brutalities. Their socio-economic class does not get adversely affected by misery of urban slum-dwellers who have been systematically segregated (a popular solution approach in whole of Europe today). French governments show concern over increasing poverty and crime rate, but they don’t necessarily relate those two, do not speak of the origin and growth of them and the government’s roles to perpetuate those gaps by creating unequal laws, by undermining the racial factors, by refusing to acknowledge that different races exist in huge number in the country thrived on exploitation of minority immigrants. Such a shame!