I have observed the news from France this week with dismay but not surprise. I hope that something positive can come out of it and that it does not become further fuel for the racist rhetoric of LePen and others.
Another interesting point of view is that of French film director and actor Matthieu Kassowitz (http://www.mathieukassovitz.com). He made the excellent film "La Haine" about rioting in the Parisian suburbs 10 years ago, which I would urge people to see if they have not already- it is compelling viewing.
Working Class France...
For some days now, radio and television stations from around the world have been contacting me requesting interviews regarding the events that have been shaking up the suburbs of France.
Unfortunately, I cannot honor all of these requests and so I have decided to express myself through my website.
As much as I would like to distance myself from politics, it is difficult to remain distant in the face of the depravations of politicians. And when these depravations draw the hate of all youth, I have to restrain myself from encouraging the rioters.
Nicolas SARKOZY, who has appeared in the French media like a starlet from American Idol and who for the past years has been showering us with details of his private life and his political ambitions, cannot help himself from creating an event every time his ratings in the IPSOS polls go down. This time, Nicolas SARKOZY has gone against everything the French Republic stands for. The Liberty, the Equality and the Fraternity of a people.
The Minister of the Interior, a future presidential candidate, holds ideas that not only reveal his inexperience of politics and human relations (which are intimately linked), but that also illuminate the purely demagogical and egocentric aspects of a puny, would be Napoleon.
If the suburbs are exploding once again today, it is not due to being generally fed up with the conditions of life that entire generations of “immigrants” must fight with every day. There is not, unfortunately, anything political in the combat that is pitting the youth of low rent housing projects against Nicolas SARKOZY’s police forces. These burning cars are surface eruptions in the face of the lack of respect the Minister of the Interior has shown toward their community.
Nicolas SARKOZY does not like this community, he wants to get rid of this “these punks” with high pressure water hoses and he shouts it out loud and clear right in the middle of a “hot” neighborhood at eleven in the evening.
The response is in the streets. “Zero tolerance” works both ways.
It is intolerable that a politician (but is he really one?) should allow himself to upset a situation made tense by years of ignorance and injustice and not refrain from openly threatening an entire segment of the French population without addressing the real problems.
By acting like a warmonger, he has opened a breach that I hope will engulf him. Hate has kindled hate for centuries and yet Nicolas SARKOZY still thinks that repression is the only way to prevent rebellion. This desire to impose his way of thinking at any price reminds me of other great leaders of our times. It gives me chills down the spine.
History has proved to us that a lack of openness and philosophy between different communities engenders hate and confrontation. The Intifada of different Parisian suburbs rather resembles the confrontations that opposed the children of Palestine armed with stones against the soldiers of Israel armed with Uzis.
History confronts itself again everywhere.
Sound and fury are the only means for many communities to make themselves heard. The attacks of terrorists on the front pages of newspapers around the world are the result.
And the repression of terror by terror never won wars; it only helped to sustain them.
Nicolas SARKOZY is an admirer of George Bush’s communication machine. He uses it to glorifies his image and to manipulate the population.
Like BUSH, he does not defend an idea, he responds to the fears that he himself instills in people’s heads.
He would have engaged France alongside the Americans in Bush’s “fight against terror”. I’m convinced of it.
Nicolas SARKOZY wants to become the President of our republic and “nobody will get in his way” as he dramaticaly puts it.
If this man does not fail at least once in his initiatives to win the presidency of this country, nothing indeed will get in his way, and his desire for absolute power will finally be fulfilled.
Does history repeat itself? Yes. It always has done. A desire for power and the egocentricity of those who think they hold the truth has ALWAYS created dictators.
Nicolas SARKOZY is certainly a little Napoleon, and I do not know if he has the potential of a real one, but it will be impossible to say tomorrow that we didn’t know.