November 6th, 2005


Eat the French

If you've been paying attention to the news lately you may have noticed that there's a bit of civil unrest going on over in France. It seems that Muslim youths have been rioting every night for ten straight nights now, due to a combination of economic oppression and a couple inciting incidents. They're burning cars, buses, and the occasional handicapped woman. They're calling for the ouster of a French minister who accused them of being "Thugs" and generally demanding better treatment of society.

They deserve nothing but a quick trip to the nearest jail cell and a nice lengthy stay.

Despite being a liberal I have very little sympathy for those who commit violence in the name of "Political activism." These people never actually fight against the people who have oppressed them, since those people generally have armed guards and police backups, instead they prefer to pick on other members of the weak and dispossessed. The cars they are burning do not belong to the setters of economic policy, they belong to Jaques Sixpack. A man who is nearly as powerless as they are. Meanwhile I have a tip for rioters in general. If someone claims that you are lawless thugs and you want to prove him wrong the way to do so is to start an orderly protest march and demonstrate loudly and non-violently near the seats of power. Setting fire to your neighbors car and the gymnasium where his daughter does gymnastics just sort of proves the guy right. If you're doing that you are a lawless thug and a menace.

Economic oppression is horrible, but it doesn't excuse violence. The 20th century has several clear examples of how one manages a civil rights movement, and none of them involves setting fire to random cars. When we look back at films of Martin Luther King and his ilk we cringe because we see innocent people demanding nothing more or less than freedom and equality and having dogs and hoses set on them for that and that alone. If MLK was shown chucking a molotov cocktail into a bus the reaction would be very different.

Meanwhile the charge that the police chased two youths to their deaths seems pretty ridiculous. The youths, likely hoodlums judging by those supporting them, hid in a power station and got fried to a crisp. Now I don't know what kind of morons hide in a power station, maybe they were taught that Mohammed makes the lights turn on through the force of his will, but that's a tragic Darwin award event, not an example of police brutality. When the cops beat a man who is already on the ground in surrender that's brutality. When they shoot an unarmed man 42 times after he pulls out his wallet, that's brutality. When two dumb kids get themselves killed running from the law, that's just shit that happens.

My one hope is that the French government does not capitulate. They should stand strong, send in the cops, and refuse to budge. These riots are a form of terrorism, and you don't negotiate with terrorists. All that does is promote more terrorism. The minister who called these kids thugs should keep his job because it would be beyond ludicrous to fire a man for calling a group of people thugs when their favorite pastime is setting shit on fire. The French probably need to re-evaluate their immigration and assimilation programs, but not while these riots are going on. While the riots are going on they should put the white flags away for awhile and remember their proud ass-kicking heritage.

The evils of oppressive governments and the rabble of unrestrained rioting are two sides of the same coin. The people we should feel sorry for are those normal citizens, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, whatever, who are caught in the middle. Save your sympathy for the guy who just wants a job and a life, not the one who's setting that guy's car on fire.

P.S. How come when a white criminal dies in some stupid way, like getting stuck in a chimney, it's hilarious, but when it happens to a minority criminal it's a symptom of social repression and a cause for riots?
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