Monday, November 26, 2007

Riots break out in Paris suburbs...again

"...following the deaths of two teenagers whose motorbike hit a police car..." is all I can gleam from the news report from the BBC that rioting is occurring in Paris suburbs again. This is a story that seems to need deeper scrutiny. The very basic question needs to be asked, "Why is this happening?"

When I was in Paris in 2004, I hardly saw any black people. I assumed that there weren't many black people living France. The only thing that I noticed that I thought was "odd" was the amount of homeless in the city. They were everywhere. This is not the image most Americans have of the "City of Light." It was after the riots that I was shocked to learn that there are huge communities of African decedents just 20 minutes away from where I was on the Champs Elysees. These areas are definitely hidden from tourists. Here in America we would call that segregation. It is also known by other names like "Jim Crow" and Apartheid. Goes to show that America isn't the only country that has work to do in terms of race and justice.


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