Tuesday, November 01, 2005

They do not want to integrate

G8 Geneva 2003
Originally uploaded by grohlicm.
I got my television working yesterday. Or to be honest, it was my flatmate who bought a new cable. So today I had a joyful moment with BBC news and Thai food from Bird Snackbar just around the corner.

First the positive: BBC News started with global warming. Excellent move. You do not see that too often.

And then: riots in Paris. Highly disturbing. I have seen lately a few documentaries of the cités outside Paris. They are huge suburbs with mostly African first and second generation immigrants. The violence has continued now for five days and yesterday a 15-year-old and a 19-year-old boy were electrocuted to death.

The wanna-be president and Minister of Interior Affairs Nicholas Sarkozy said today in a press conference that even if the French society has generously offered holidays for the youngsters, some of them do not want to integrate. Sarkozy also called the protesters scum.

That must get him some votes from the white and the fearful. But this justification for violence totally misses the point: the fatal mistake of locating immigrants to one area and then just looking away. It is not like the problems appeared out of the blue. During the last few years there have been series of rapes in the cités and even a young girl was burned to death just recently. And now they want to solve the integration problem by sending more and more police there with teargas. My question would be: who is it here that does not want to integrate?

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