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Sarkozy Triumphs in Struggle to Claim France

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"I am France," the Sun King, Louis XIV, famously said. Several candidates in an unprecedented Sun King-Reaganesque style struggled to claim consubstantiation with the nation last Sunday in a showing of what winner Nikolas Sarkozy and others called a victory for democracy.

The poll projections for the first round of the French presidential election have been crunched and, unlike the last election (in 2002), when Jean-Marie Le Pen freaked out the world by showing that a neo-fascist could win 17% of the vote, this time there were few surprises. Uh-huh, this time the savvy right-of-center Nikolas Sarkozy (of the Union Mouvement Populaire party) headed the pack with over 30 % of the vote, showing how a right-of-center candidate can poach the slogans of the extreme wing of his ideological sphere (as the Republicans in the U.S. have done so well at least since Nixon began the Southern strategy), speak in code about race, and try to scare or seduce undecided centrists into voting for him on hot button issues–especially Islamophia coded as immigration, law and order, and the candidacy of Turkey to enter the EU.

The Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal received just over 25% of the vote, placing her in the second and final run-off for the French presidency in early May. Francois Bayrou, the self-appointed bridge of right and left, ended up with a strong but still inadequate showing of almost 19%, while the right-wing surprise of 2002, Jean-Marie Le Pen, garnered just over 10% this time (largely because Sarkozy stole his fire).

The ministry of the interior at noon Sunday reported a record turnout thus far with over 30% already recorded. By eight Sunday evening news organizations reported it was, in fact, a record turnout in French electoral history with 85.5% of eligible voters heading to the polls.

Here's what it looked like when you slice the French block of voting cheese into 12 qualifying pieces.

SARKOZY Nicolas : 31.09%

ROYAL Ségolène : 25.78%

BAYROU François : 18.53%

LE PEN Jean-Marie : 10.55%

BESANCENOT Olivier : 4.12%

DE VILLIERS Philippe : 2.25%

BUFFET Marie-George : 1.94%

VOYNET Dominique : 1.57%

LAGUILLER Arlette : 1.34%

BOVÉ José : 1.32%

NIHOUS Frédéric : 1.17%

Source: France2 TV 

The major issues were said to be government corruption, the economy, and crime/security/immigration. Aside from government corruption, these issues are heavily racially coded. And yet none of these candidates made any honest attempt to deal with the open wound of race in a France plagued with a post-colonial identity crisis. Au contraire, they appealed to nationalism in a way hitherto only reserved for the extreme right, residual supporters of Tyrannosaurus De Gaulle, and 30s fascists whose necks were spared after World War II (such as Le Pen).

It’s not clear how many people base their vote on posters, TV blurbs, books, internet sites, and influence from local opinion leaders and/or friends. But scholars tell us we’re living in a time of short attention spans and political campaign games that are more about catchy slogans and image than about policy debate.

It’s interesting to note, then, that the form of consciousness-raising the majority of people in France most encounter is the political poster. These things are all over Paris: on official city-designated campaign displays, in the metro, on mailboxes and utility stands, and especially on construction barriers near road or sidewalk work. Remember that the Paris region, the city, and its suburbs, are home to over nine million people. Let’s take a look at the slogans and images they have been bombarded with.

                             

While leading candidate Sarkozy has chanted “law and order” and “respect for the Republic” incessantly since he became Minister of the Interior in 2002, his 2007 campaign poster and slogan doesn’t seem to draw attention to the fear and division on which he has built his identity. With a nearly obscene irony for his opponents, his poster reads, “Together everything becomes possible.” (Ensemble tout devient possible). Of course, his critics say, that is precisely the problem. To them, the seduction of a majority of citizens is a softer fascism, harder to detect without the violent gesticulations, and oral paroxysms of the 1930s political style. 

                             

In some areas of Paris Sarkozy’s posters have been de-faced, literally, with the notorious Hitler mustache (as in the one above). On the other hand, the far left candidate Olivier Besancenot’s brand is “Our lives are worth more than their profits,” while the Green candidate calls for an “Ecological Revolution,” whatever that would mean.

But none of them mentions any clear policy initiatives, except for the old-school “Worker’s Fight” Party and its candidate Arlette Laguiller (in yellow above). Her poster’s outline of detailed positions seems to be completely ignorant of or outright rejects the common wisdom of the Power Point Generation. The anti-Sarkozy skull and crossbones poster has a fair amount of text with it, though it’s not much about policy as about the doomsday civil war that will follow should Sarko be elected.

In other words, it’s all branding where the function of the product has nothing to do with the ad and its appeals to patriotism mainly, and human value/class inequality and exploitation on the far left. That is the genre of the poster. The problem is that it’s also the genre of the campaign ad on TV, and in some newspapers, which many people will not read any way.

Segolene Royal has tried to combat Sarko’s strategies to claim justice and patriotism by herself claiming them. Her slogan is “La France Presidente” ("France (for) President" and “Plus juste la France sera plus forte" ("A Juster France will be a Stronger France."). Her posters are usually blue and white with some red lettering. She encouraged audiences to join her in singing the French national anthem and to buy themselves a French flag to proudly wave. Francois Bayrou, the candidate who claimed he would unite right and left, branded himself “La France de toutes nos forces” (“With All Our Strength for France”).

All of these suggest that France is some how divided and weak. And it has mostly been poached from the far Right, about which Jean Marie Le Pen, its 79-year old outspoken and enduring figure has at times vigorously complained. His slogans have long been "Défendre les Français avec les Français" and "La France et les Français d'abord" ("Defend France for the French" and "France and the French First of All). Phillipe De Villiers, candidate of the far right “Mouvement Pour la France” (Movement for France) has similarly claimed the slogan “La Fierte’ d’etre Francais” (“The Pride of Being French”). Le Pen and Phillipe De Villier’s anti-immigrant and pro-nationalist rhetoric has now become mainstream.

So, the people have spoken in round one, as Sarkozy gleefully pointed out last Sunday evening. But exactly what they said and why is work for an interpreter. Rest assured that Sarkozy and Royal will both cheerfully rush in to that role and assist us.

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About Jayson Harsin

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    This is a weak excuse for a hit piece, with little but accusatory choice of adjectives to make any point. OF COURSE any candidate who wishes to deal the least bit seriously with crime and reforming one of the most socialized and thus sickest economies in Europe is simply a racist speaking code for “get the Muslims.” Obviously, Sarkozy’s words mean whatever YOU know they REALLY mean, rather than what he actually says.

    And am I suppose to take it as evidence of Sarkozy’s evil that some retards have been defacing his posters with Hitler moustaches?

  • jayson

    And that’s the weakest excuse for an objection that I’ve heard…well, recently. There are links to his speeches in this article. If you can’t read or speak French, then sorry. There’s no claim in this piece that hitler mustaches are evidence that he’s a racist or fascist, but no one’s doing that to any other candidate but Le Pen. Makes one wonder. I’ve also gone over each newscast during the riots of 2005 and read several interviews with the man. His race card is sometimes just that, code, that everyone knows, but in France is hard to speak in political discourse because the State does not record statistics on race, due to laws after that practice under the Nazis in WW II. Other times he speaks specifically about muslims–it’s hardly a conspiracy theory I’m offering. One is limited by the number of words publishable in these spaces. But I’m sure someone as bright as you knows all this, and I’m just wasting my time. Sorry. And thanks so much for your corrections.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    I’m not aware that there’s any particular limit to the number of words you’re allowed to use in a column. On verbose days, I’ve published articles here several times the length of this.

    Or you could just wipe out a bunch of the meaningles ones you did use, and replace them with specific quotes and analysis. Telling me I’ll just have to take your word for his racism if I don’t speak French is not a very convincing argument.

    Also, France has certainly had pretty much problem with rioting young Muslims. It’s not a legitimate point of analysis to simply denounce any recognition of that fact as “racism.” And you certainly ARE accusing Sarkozy of racism and fascism, of being Le Pen lite – “Islamophia coded as immigration, law and order”

  • jayson

    Go to the speeches I cited. Hire a translator if you’re so bent on continuing to dispute me. When the main and repeated response you have to youth burning cars and schools in the banlieue is “law and order,” “authority,” “respect for the laws of the republic,” when as I say ample evidence exists that a group of people of a certain culture and skin color is geographically quarantined, excluded from jobs for which some are equally qualified as those with non- Arab names, refused housing mysteriously even when they have references and steady jobs, and you do this in a climate of marked anxiety about this group (note the recent headscarf issue)and in a history you do not denounce even though the country’s identity was partly based on the White Man’s Burden (read some 19th century addresses by Jaures)–well then, you’ll probably tell me that Wallace and Nixon’s “law and order” and “state’s rights” were not also coded appeals to racism, and there’s really no point in arguing with you.
    If you don’t understand there are word limits, I suggest you write the editors. They’ll be glad to tell you.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Brother Harsin, it seems like you don’t really have much specific complaint against this Sarkozy. It sounds as if you got some general idea that he is “right wing.” Therefore, he must be an evil lying racist Nazi – just like our American Republicans.

    We apparently should just understand that you have labeled him a “neo-Nazi” – and that settles it. Or I should hire a translator if I don’t just accept your generalized assurances that he’s BAD.

    I’m considering adding a third option: That the author doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and he’s just taking a cheap generic smear against a “right winger” with much particular knowledge. As you might guess, I’m leaning toward this latter interpretation.

    However, if you want to convince anyone else of any of this, you need something considerably more specific. What exactly is he saying that is supposedly so “racist” or “neo-Nazi”? Also, are these supposedly “racist” statements true? Also, would truth be considered a legitimate defense against charges of racism, as it is against charges of slander? Enquiring minds want to know.

    Jayson sez “ample evidence exists that a group of people of a certain culture and skin color is geographically quarantined, excluded from jobs for which some are equally qualified as those with non- Arab names.”

    Is this Sarkozy’s fault? He’s not an incumbent president seeking re-election. Also, how much of this is race, and how much is closed-off socialist economics just broadly excluding outsiders, much as early American unions excluded blacks? To the extent that the issues with the Muslims are because of economics and unemployment rather than internal cultural issues within their own community, a relative “right wing” candidate making even modest reforms to free the economy would seem likely to be their best help.

  • D. Kahane Jr.

    Shortly after the outbreak of riots in the suburbs around Paris, Nicolas Sarkozy, then Minister of the Interior, declared he would clean the streets of “racaille” (translation: “scum”) with a Karcher (high-pressure water hose used for cleaning graffiti, bird shit and old gum). Now, let’s not play games here and deny that anyone in the hexagon did not understand that the “racaille” he was speaking of had dark skin and lived in housing projects. Furthermore, he has never made any attempt to soften or qualify his statement in the thousands of interviews that have followed. This has been the slogan, more than anything else, that has defined his candidacy. He has added some further dimensions to his worldview by claiming in a recent interview that the behavior of homosexuals and kiddy fiddlers is genetically determined, an argument which, when applied to the “racaille” and taken to its logical conclusion…Well, you know the rest.

    I would take issue with the idea that Sarkozy’s brand of racism is “coded,” though it is certainly true that the rules of the game necessitate some verbal gymnastics. But Al, your attempt to paint Sarko as a friend to the racialized underclass in France–as he writes, “a relative ‘right wing’ candidate making even modest reforms to free the economy”–is ideology rather than reason. If Al feels this way, the people Sarko is trying to help certainly don’t. In fact, the most recent poll taken among Muslim voters revealed that a mere 1% intend to vote for him in the second round. And this is the man who attempted to befriend (and co-opt) the Muslim “community” by promoting the organization of France’s first Muslim representative body.

    Two other facts should be considered in any evaluation of how Sarko will “help” the french underclass. First as Minister of the Interior, he did away with the “police de proximite” (translation: local beat cops), a move that has made the French suburban police into an army of occupation. Second, as Mayor of the ritzy city of Neuilly, Sarko systematically refused to fulfill the city’s legal obligation to construct a small percentage of low-income housing, choosing instead to pay the fines incurred by such actions. Now, what conclusion would you draw from this, Al?

    Finally, there is the immigration question. Now, are you going to tell us, Al, that the decision of Sarko to propose the creation of a Minister of Immigration and National Identity has nothing to do with racial politics.

  • jayson

    Monsieur Barger,
    I love your string of red herrings in your refusal to actually take on burdens of rejoinder in debate. As I said, nowhere in this article is a claim that Sarko is a neo-Nazi–no need for the exaggeration. Do you or do you not understand the analogy to the Southern Strategy of Republicans in the U.S. after Wallace and Nixon in 68? Do you or do you not agree with the testimony and scholarship demonstrating the use of racial (racist?) code words to appeal essentially to racist voters? Do you or do you not understand that “law and order” and “security” and “youth” in the context of violence and crime in France refers to people of a certain skin color with some different cultural practices? Do you or do you not understand that crime, violence, security, “law and order” are major issues in this election? Do you or do you not understand that if these are the issues, it is beside the point to ask whether Sarko created the conditions in the banlieue or whether socialist economic problems did? Do you or do you not understand that there are well-documented cases by the organization S.O.S. Racisme that show there is serious discrimination, which many people would call “racist,” in housing, and job hiring? Do you know anything about the process of policy argument and proposals, identifying a problem, posing solutions, showing how your solution is better than others, and that it will work? Do you or do you not understand what colonialism was and the problems posed by its historical legacy in the “mother countries?” Do you understand what Reconciliation is, for example, in places like S. Africa? Do you think that historical race problems in countries can simply be solved by appeals to law and order and more police and harder sentences? Do you or do you not understand that if you are being interpreted as being a racist, you have to do more than just say “I’m not a racist; that’s ridiculous.” Or “I’m for France, not racism!” Your ad hominems that I know nothing about the events or issues and that this is just a mean-spirited attack on the Right in France are not going to convince many people that I’m not upholding my argumentative duty. Did you read part II of these two articles on the French elections, the second being more specifically about Sarko? My guess is…

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jayson – You did use the “neo-Nazi” label in the very title of your previous post. That’s where I got that. You’re hollering about “ad hominem” attacks when it’s nothing of the kind. You might be a fine fellow – but you’re STILL not making any REAL specific criticism of Sarkozy.

    Instead, your best shot is this general point – still not based on any specific quotes: Do you or do you not understand that “law and order” and “security” and “youth” in the context of violence and crime in France refers to people of a certain skin color with some different cultural practices?

    I don’t intend particularly to defend Sarkozy. I don’t know much about him. But that statement is not in the least going to convince me that he’s the least bit bad. The French do seem to be having serious issues with violent crime and out of control youth.

    That the violent rioting dangerous criminal schmucks are Muslim does not make Sarkozy racist. How figure? Or is it that because they’re poor oppressed Muslims he should let them be and politely ignore the problem, because it’s racist to want to stop burning and pillaging?

    Then you get off on completely irrelevant nonsense about “colonialism,” as if Sarkozy was responsible for that or as if that was the reason for 20 year old post-colonial immigrants running amok. Do you or do you not understand what colonialism was and the problems posed by its historical legacy in the “mother countries?”

    Mostly, when I hear phrases about the “historical legacy of colonialism,” my ears glaze over. That pretty much just seems to be racist code for “white man BAD.” Sometimes they are or have been, but I fail to see how it has a damned thing to do with Sarkozy. You need something more than largely meaningless catch phrases from academia to establish the point.

    Do you know anything about the process of policy argument and proposals, identifying a problem, posing solutions, showing how your solution is better than others, and that it will work? No I don’t. I’m just a dumb Kentuckian, so you’ll have to educate me with some of your French sophistication. Trying to glean some educational insight from your comments, apparently that process consists of figuring out who you don’t like and calling them a Nazi.

    It certainly doesn’t seem to include any particular proposals for fixing anything, nor even naming any specific proposals of this Sarkozy that you object to. About the most specific thing I can get out of anything in this is that Sarkozy is supposedly a racist because he seems to blame the rioting on the Muslim youth who are actually burning cars and rioting and such. There might be more to it than that, but that does seem like the natural place to put blame.

    But then, that attitude probably just proves that I’m a neo-Nazi.

    A small literary suggestion: Breaking up those big black blocks of copy into smaller bite-size paragraphs might make them easier to digest.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    D Kahane- Thank you for joining this discussion. I got more of at least beginning clues about actual facts and issues in France from your comment 6 than I did out of Brother Harsin’s article and comments.

    I’m sure Sarkozy has zilch support among the Muslim population. Angry Muslims are certainly not going to support any kind of Western “conservative” of any kind – even if it might actually be in their own interest.

    But you give me at least some hint of a specific complaint about Sarkozy doing away with beat cops. That doesn’t sound helpful, but that still doesn’t sound like much real explanation. What does that mean exactly? Are you saying that you’ve got riots because Sarkozy has implemented the wrong type of police patrols?

    as Mayor of the ritzy city of Neuilly, Sarko systematically refused to fulfill the city’s legal obligation to construct a small percentage of low-income housing, choosing instead to pay the fines incurred by such actions. Now, what conclusion would you draw from this, Al?

    The conclusion I would draw from that argument is that you think that your Muslims are rioting because France doesn’t spend enough on the welfare state. I won’t make too much judgment on that as I don’t really know much about the specifics. However, France has the general reputation for being one of the most heavily socialized welfare states in Europe – so that definitely rings hollow.

    A lot of this for you and Monsieur Harsin seems to be looking for every kind of way to blame Sarkozy for Muslim violence and hostilities on the basis of “racism.” I haven’t seen anything so far that seems like much of a convincing argument that way.

    Perhaps y’all might consider placing some of the responsibility for the violence and hostility on the people who are being violent and hostile. Now maybe some of the perhaps negative attitude towards the Muslim community is based on prejudice – judgments not based on facts, but just hating them for being different. Then again, maybe your Muslims have EARNED some of this negative attitude by, say, rioting and burning and being hostile.

    Plus, Muslim problems aside, France surely has other political issues. I don’t have numbers at hand, but I get the general impression that you have one of the weakest, sickest and – not co-incidentally – most socialized economies in the Western world.

    Again, not knowing Sarkozy’s platform, I’d guess that the “right wing” candidate would likely be proposing at least some marginal pro-market reforms. You might have specific arguments against such things, but in a general “ideological” way that seems likely to be your best medicine.

    Finally, a note on “ideology.” I certainly have some general belief systems that tend to inform my thinking. Thus, I have “ideologies” – like any human. I do try to carefully let observed facts override my general beliefs – though I’m sure I’m not always successful in that. But don’t think that all your and Jayson’s efforts to paint Sarkozy as a “racist” are NOT your own ideologies at work.

  • jayson

    Al,
    Where is “neo-nazi” in “the title of your [my] previous post?” I mentioned his posters had been defaced with a Hitler mustache. You’re the one carrying on about neo-Nazis (even to the point of suggesting I or others would claim you are one if you don’t agree with me/us–that’s a bit much), and for which rhetorical effect is quite obvious.

    Did you read Part II? “Sarkozy’s French “Law and Order””? There are several quotes by him there about his authoritarianism, which some call his “fascism.” It is of no use to cite soundbites of “law and order” here. You don’t seem to understand the analysis of race in language. I do not mean that he is the French equivalent of the KKK towards arabs. This article, is really not about Sarkozy as a questionable racist or fascist. It’s about the candidate’s attempts to claim consubstantiation with the nation and about how slogans on posters are everywhere, but no one knows what the policies of these people are (at least not without a fair amount of digging).

    Many people will say things that have racist implications (meaning the characteristics are essentially applied to all members of the group and usually because of their skin color or DNA), but they have no coherent program for the systematic subordination of a people. That’s not what we’re talking about.

    You can carry on about how you haven’t learned anything from my responses to you because I don’t give you quotes, but you don’t even respond to the points I make. For example, I say that your comment about Sarkozy not being responsible for conditions in the suburbs or for colonialism is a red herring. No one’s saying he’s responsible for that. The question is what is he going to do with this problem that has become one of race? When a pattern exists regarding a skin color and culture of people, as I’ve said, with housing, job hiring,even media representations, that pattern is referred to as racist. Just Google “SOS Racisme” and I’m sure you’ll find the British press giving you all the quotes you want.

    So what’s the point in giving you more? This will be the last time I try and engage you.
    Of course everyone is positioned in ideologies (if by that you mean particular ways of seeing the world, often ones that are not chosen but absorbed through family, media, school, other social institutions). But that shouldn’t have a place in honest public argument. Otherwise, we just disagree based on suspicion and dislike for the other based on their religion, party membership, or music they listen to. Spare me your rhetoric about neo-Nazis, French sophistication, and dumb Kentuckians. I’m a dumb Kansan. Who cares? What’s the claim? What’s the evidence? That’s all that matters. I have no problem with you questioning the claims, but the paths your reasoning takes, as I try to show above, make no sense.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jayson – My apologies. Your previous post did not have “neo-Nazi” in the title. It was “neo-fascist” in the sub-title headline. I was a little off there – but it’s the same point.

    Jayson sez: When a pattern exists regarding a skin color and culture of people, as I’ve said, with housing, job hiring, even media representations, that pattern is referred to as racist. That’s a complete presumption. That pattern might be “referred to as racist,” but that doesn’t for a second mean that it is. Those patterns might be because of bad white male oppressors – or they might be because of the inadequacies of the under represented group.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy some bait so I can go fishing for some more of those red herrings.

  • d. kahane jr.

    Just one more thing, Al. Judging by the Israeli flag on your web page and your talk of group “inadequacies,” I am going to hazard the guess that you have it in for Muslims. Isn’t the underlying idea in all your comments that cultural (or is it racial?) “inadequacies” should be highlighled to explain why black and North African youths in France riot and perpetrate crimes, and that these explanations are constantly denied by “liberals” (like Jayson) who want us to believe that the forces of racism and economic marginalization are to blame.

    Just a simple question (no animosity behind it, really): when you make such arguments about group “inadequacies,” does it ever occur to you that Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s were making very similar arguments about Jews?

  • Calvin

    I have read these comments carefully. Al Barger has made his points more convincingly than either Kahane or Jayson. Just a simple example of the unthinkingness underpinning Jayson and Kahanes’ ideas: Kahane says, “when you make such arguments about group “inadequacies,” does it ever occur to you that Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s were making very similar arguments about Jews?” How about the arguments you are implying about French “inadequacies” for their (as you say) racism. Isn’t this just a broad stroke, a negative stereotype, against the white people of France in general? We have the same “debate” in the United States. White people are made scapegoats for every problem of minorities. Demanding that blacks or hispanics take responsibility for their actions and their lives is looked down upon as mean spirited. Even mentioning that blacks commit more violent crime will brand you a racist. This results in more handouts to minorities, but does not really improve the situation. There are 30 million blacks in the US. This is a lot of heavy lifting for whites who are trying to lift blacks up out of poverty. It is much easier to help improve people when they are prepared to carry most of their own weight.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Brother Kahane sez: I am going to hazard the guess that you have it in for Muslims.

    No, not at all. A lot of Muslims do, however, have it in for US – and I’m not going to deny that or pussyfoot around it for fear of being called “racist.” Nor am I going to bend over backwards and twist reason into a pretzel to try to be “fair” to the Palestinians. Pretty near entirely, they’re wrong and Israel is right. When they start drawing Israel into their maps, and stop murdering Israelis – THEN I’ll start to considering the possible merits of some of their claims.

    Germans might have SAID that Jews were evil and and so forth – but they were simply WRONG. German Jews in the 1930s were simply not acting like Hamas. There’s no legitimate comparison.

    In a general sense, I’m less than impressed with the Muslim community in the world today – but that’s obviously an extremely broad statement. There are certainly plenty of perfectly nice folks of Muslim heritage just trying to make a living and raise their kids. I try to assume the best of every individual on a case by case basis until or unless they screw it up.

    As to Muslims in France today, I don’t make real strong detailed judgments, on the grounds of not knowing near enough to do so. However, when I see rioting and burning, I’d be inclined to squash it hard without regard to their ethnicity. If some of our crackers here in this nearly all white Franklin county Indiana were burning cars and looting, I’d probably shoot a couple of them my damned self. Rioters being Muslim wouldn’t cause me to be more accepting of such behavior.

    Which is not to say that white Frenchmen are perfect and blameless and couldn’t do anything better. Again, on the basis of my scant knowledge, I could imagine reasonable feelings of exclusion from Muslims. My prescription, again, would be more economic liberalization – tax cuts and free market reforms in labor laws. To whatever extent that Muslim unrest is due to economic frustration, a freer, more fluid and thus more prosperous economy would be the best medicine. Not that I’m expecting to see Muslim youth waving copies of The Wealth of Nations in the streets.

    In short, I’m certainly willing to consider inadequacies by French natives. But Jayson here is just willfully blind to any idea that the rioters bear responsibility for rioting. It just strikes me as foolish and counterproductive to blame everybody but the actual obvious bad actors. And I obviously have little patience for calling someone a “neo-fascist” because they want to stop people from rioting.

    Calvin- thank you for your kind words of support. I’ll just add that there are a lot of white folks on welfare as well, and welfare dependency doesn’t really ultimately benefit them much either.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    Didn’t the failing of Muslim integration in France come under the watch of the socialists?

  • Baronius

    Like Al, I didn’t come away from this article with an understanding of the French election. The author uses language that made me believe he was lumping all non-socialists together as “the right”. Reaganism, fascism, monarchy, whatever. The Right in Europe means any number of different, opposing ideologies.

    I also got the impression that the author was trying to cushion against a Sarkozy victory. In the US, we are often urged to follow the leadership of the progressive European community on issues from gay marriage and euthanasia to Iraq and Kyoto. A sharp move to the “right” in Europe would embarrass the American left. This article seems to be saying, don’t listen to the election results, French voters are stupid and easily persuaded by posters. (The American voter is often criticized similarly.)

  • Calvin

    Thank you Al Barger for your thoughtful commments. I didn’t intend to imply that white people are all saints or that blacks are all in need of public assistance. But the political debate in the United States runs right along the racial fault line. For example, no one would really get worked up if I criticized white people for being on welfare. Amazingly, “white trash” is not a phrase that someone would generally be criticized for using publicly. The pressure to suppress thinking only arrises when one talks frankly about any problem that overlaps with race. When blacks or other other lower performing groups are brought up for discussion, otherwise well-meaning and intelligent people seem to turn off their brains to constructive criticism. Anything negative said about blacks produces the reflexive response among liberals and many conservatives that the speaker is a racist, or worse. This is a serious problem that needs to be brought up and discussed openly so that people can get beyong their paralysis and begin thinking again.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Baronius was getting pretty much the same thing out of the article I did. It was basically a very generalized broadside against anything that might be labeled “rightwing.” But exactly because of that rhetoric, I become skeptical of exactly what is meant when the evil “neo-fascist” Sarkozy is accused of “anti-immigrant and pro-nationalist rhetoric.”

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I would suggest that another self serving comment by a French king is à propos here. “Apre moi, la deluge”

    If Sarkozy doesn’t get elected, that is what France faces – une deluge islamique.

    Start dipping those baguettes in Humus, folks…

  • Zedd

    Calvin

    There are 30 million blacks in the US. This is a lot of heavy lifting for whites who are trying to lift blacks up out of poverty

    Stop with the insults and delusions.

    There are 7mil poor Blacks 15mil poor non Hispanic Whites.

    White TRASH is an awful way to desgnate a class. It makes my stomach turn. I wish you the best of luck in life :o)

    Al

    Kudos for clarifying things with Calvin. That is huge!! Those insults can be exhausting to face. Thank you.

  • STM

    the real worry here is not sarkozy, but the fact le pen has 10 per cent of the vote.

  • STM

    “Start dipping those baguettes in Humus, folks…”

    Start?

    Actually, that’s not a bad thing that one.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    THE DEMONISATION OF SARKOSY

    Zedd- I think you’re reading too much into Calvin’s comments there. Also, if we’re going to be onto people for being on the public teat, poor folks on welfare are only part of it – white, black or other. The corporate farms pull down HUGE chunks of public money, and about a bazillion other types of corporate welfare as well. I’m a lot crappier over a sugar farmer with a million dollar federal subsidy than a welfare mom getting a couple hundred bucks a month in food stamps.

  • m. d. kahane jr.

    well, we see that al is suddenly manifesting multiple personality disorder. ruvy in jerusalem is obviously not an an israeli since no israeli in their right mind would attribute humus to North African Muslims.

    the discussion about france by al and his “friends” in this string is so inane and so misinformed that it hardly merits a response.

    just one last thing before al’s multiple personalities come out of the closet again to applaud his brilliance.

    when you are making the tow-the-party-line arguments about free market reforms, reduced government spending, and the white man’s tax burden for black “inadequacies,” you should consider just for a moment the very wide disparity between what the American people have paid to support welfare programs from what they have doled out for such ill-conceived Republican projects as star wars, the deregulation of the savings and loan banks (ah yes, remember this fiasco?), the deregulation of the stock market (i.e. Enron), and the War in Iraq.

    they got you all huffing and puffing about welfare and racial problems, as they manage to redistribute wealth upward, to the few, away from you and the people you know i imagine. it’s crony capitalism and as mortgage foreclosures in los angeles increase by 800%, you free market boosters will soon have some time to reflect on the wisdom of the reforms you propose.

  • jayson

    Al,
    Neo-fascist and Neo-Nazi are not “the same point.” You know that.
    Al says: “That pattern might be ‘referred to as racist,’ but that doesn’t for a second mean that it is. Those patterns might be because of bad white male oppressors – or they might be because of the inadequacies of the under represented group.”
    Al, sorry you seem to misunderstand what I’ve said. Plenty of experiments have been done in France with resumes that are identical in qualifications except for names, traditional French ones and obvious Arab ones. Guess who overwhelmingly got interviews? The same is true for applications for housing/rentals. It has nothing to do with white males; in fact, this sentiment appears to encompass large numbers of the white French population, men and women.

    Calvin writes: “Isn’t this just a broad stroke, a negative stereotype, against the white people of France in general? We have the same “debate” in the United States. White people are made scapegoats for every problem of minorities.”
    Well, no, Calvin. Here you’re introducing a claim into our discussion/debate and attributing it to Kahane and me. I’m not sure why you’d do that. I’m sure you didn’t mean to do so. IN fact, NOONE said “the white people of France in general.” The fact is that enough of them have acted in a way to form a pattern. It’s simple inductive reasoning from repetitive examples.perhaps start with this BBC article

    Okay. Let me try to address your (sorry I don’t have time to deal with Calvin and Al’s comments separately; if Baronius actually wants to make some logical arguments I’m happy to engage him)comments in points.

    1. You don’t respond to the claim that race coded language was, it is well-documented through first hand confessions, a successful strategy of the American Republican party beginning with Wallace/Nixon and running through Reagan, perhaps to the present. The analogy is with Sarkozy’s language that attempts to attract voters from Le Pen, a man who has made a researcher on the problem writes : “For the younger generations, ethnicity primarily signifies an experience of difference and discrimination (racism, social exclusion) simultaneous with the loss of cultural identity. In other words: even though the lifestyle of second-generation immigrants in France may have little to do with an “Arab” or “Algerian” way of living, they are constantly made aware of their background in the form of the stigma they experience in their day-to-day interactions. In effect, these young people are victims of the “post-colonial syndrome,” in which an Arab or Muslim background becomes a symbol overdetermined with all the negative imagery built up over decades of colonialism. In this way, social marginalization is also consistently reinforced by cultural inequality.
    This cultural inequality translates to institutionalized discrimination in areas such as housing, employment, educational opportunities, and political representation.”
    A fear of Islamic terrorism is understandable in a Post-9/11 world where attacks have followed elsewhere. But there is little evidence that these youth in France have any connection to radical Islam at all! Many of these youth listen to American hiphop and imitate the dress of that culture as well. I imagine they don’t like Bush, but then few people do in Europe. According to polls, only Poland, across the entire continent, would’ve voted for his re-election. That concern about islam voiced in some of the posts here is out of place.

    5. No one is asking the “White man” to pull up an entire population of blacks, as you misrepresent this situation with straw arguments. One is asking the white French to pull himself/herself up morally. When people have the same qualifications for jobs (we’re not talking about affirmative action) and they have arab and black African names, then they should be given the same interview opportunities as people with names like Dubrois. Same goes for housing. Similar problems with quality of schooling. Economic misery in their areas,etc.

    6. Lastly, there’s the issue touched on above that arab and black youth feel and perceive exclusion and hate toward them in French society, even though most of these youth were born there. Recently a major French soccer player has come out publicly in opposition to Sarkozy because he considers Sarkozy’s language to be preying upon racial hatred (which makes Sarkozy racist even if he’s not calling for the systematic annihilation or enslavement of arabs and blacks). Maghreb youth are frequently quoted in the French and international press on the issue of their alienation. Here’s one from a BBC article: “France, unlike Britain, tries to keep religion out of public life. Everyone is supposed to be equal, regardless of cultural background.
    Try telling that to Ali, who is 24 and unemployed.
    “France has betrayed the young people of the suburbs. When you’re called Ali you can’t get a job. The French don’t accept Islam. Politicians promise us mosques and so on, but at the same time they smear us and call us terrorists.”
    Again, the question is what will a statesman/woman do to heal this situation? Sarkozy and Le Pen are volatile. There are more diplomatic and respectful ways to reconcile the situation, which will take years.
    But hey, this is all just a bunch of puffery to cover up the fact that I’m anti-white. Would be hilarious if some weren’t implying it so seriously.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    m.d. kahane jr.

    Hmmm… A name that looks like a Jewish name, Kahane, with a goyisher “jr.” on. Interesting.

    I’m not a native born Israeli, Mr. Kahane, if that is what you mean. But when I look out of my window to the east, I see the hills of Samaria, when I look out of them to the north, I see Ariel, and I have a an Israeli ID inside of a plastic blue jacket that says “Medinát Yisraél” on it, if you even know what that means…

    I may not be an “Israeli”, but in my police uniform waving my ID and police ID, most folks sure take me for one.

    I draw my conclusions on my own, and I stand by the ones I have drawn here.

    Sans Sarkozy, une déluge.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Mmmm. Humus! My wife thinks it’s Greek not Arabic, Ruvy? Maybe Aristotle was an Arab?!

  • MAOZ

    #26 Ruvy “…when I look out of my window to the east, I see the hills of Samaria, when I look out of them to the north I see Ariel….”

    And when you daven in your village, you face south, right?

    #24, m.d. kahane jr., “ruvy in jerusalem is obviously not an israeli…. — man!, did you blow that call or did you blow that call?!

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    MAOZ,

    Of course I face south when I pray – just like the Moslems do! Heh heh! Of course, in East Talpiot, I faced the north. But the Moslems in Jebl Mukabr faced south…

    Ma la’asót?

  • MAOZ

    Ma la’asot?

    Lehagid “Toda laE-l she’ani Yehudi beEretz Yisrael!”

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    MAOZ,

    Amén v’amén!

  • Zedd

    Al

    No I read exactly what he said. It was insulting.
    No one lifts me.(?) I suppose he is delusional. I am a tax payer like he is. That was a ridiculous statement. Some individuals enjoy the fantasy that they are holding humanity up based on their biology mainly.

    Actually corporate subsidies also need to be considered. However that is for another thread.

  • Alex

    Zedd, I think that you are the one who is off the mark, not Calvin. It is insulting to say, “Stop with the insults and delusions.” Your comment that “There are 7mil poor Blacks 15mil poor non Hispanic Whites” is a red herring. These numbers deliberately make it seem as though poor whites were a greater source of social tension than the less numerous poor blacks. You can have a look at a recent review of crime rates by race.

    I think you are the one who is resorting to insults. I have lived in a majority black community for years and I attended a racially mixed school system when I was younger. I grew up experiencing enormous feelings of hostility from blacks that I believe liberal views on race have served to exacerbate. I cringed in class every time a teacher talked about “white” racism. I wonder if one day teachers will tell students about the racism I and other white kids experienced as we tried to walk to the next class through the school hallways.

    “White TRASH is an awful way to desgnate a class. It makes my stomach turn. I wish you the best of luck in life”. I think you just misunderstood Calvin’s comment on this. If you take a moment to reread his comment above, I think you will realize that it was expressing a sense of shock that saying “white trash” would not get some one into trouble.

    You state in your last post that “no one lifts me”. I completely agree and I absolutely respect that sentiment. No man CAN lift up another man. I think that was Calvin’s main point.

    Regards

  • STM

    Chris: the Greeks and the Turks/Arabs share many types of foods – kebabs being the obvious one.

    Well, they taste the same at 3am whether they come from a Turkish, Greek or Lebanese shop.

    But all those dips and what not, they’re also shared but some have different names. Vine leaves are another classic example … popular all over the middle east, and loved in Greece (and Melbourne) :)

  • STM

    Could moonraven be back in a number of guises – attempting to tone things down, and only partly succeeding, the keyboard fingers twitching involuntarily as the wire between brain and hand goes loose again?

    Sure looks familiar, a couple of recent posters.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jayson, first of all, no – I do NOT know what the big difference is between being “neo-Nazi” vs “neo-fascist.”

    One is asking the white French to pull himself/herself up morally. When people have the same qualifications for jobs (we’re not talking about affirmative action) and they have arab and black African names, then they should be given the same interview opportunities as people with names like Dubrois. Same goes for housing.

    Your moral argument against the white French is less than convincing to me. There are differences between the cultural groups, and people know that they’re buying into them statistically.

    You want to be fair – but when does this “fair” become stupid? People know that if they hire certain groups, they’re looking at different likely things to take into account. You hire a young woman, there’s a good chance of her taking maternity leave. This group is known for low absenteeism – that one for high rates.

    Of course, generalized stats might not correspond to this new guy. It’s not fair to him that the sins of other people of his grouping have poor work records. But how fair is it to demand as a moral prerequisite that employers do not take into account things they know are likely to affect their business?

    Some of that kind of thing may be just pure hateful prejudice toward people who are different from you. But a lot of it is a recognition of real differences in group behavior patterns. I’d suggest that if you have a system of “morality” that demands that people ignore facts, you’ve got a false value. Any supposed moral rule that requires you to play ignorant of truth is illegitimate.

  • jayson

    Al, I must not be understanding you correctly. You are saying that the behavior of a group is reason not to hire its members when they have the same qualifications on paper. That’s an interesting view. But you forgot to establish that that group’s (here, arab’s and black African’s’) behavior has been shown to be incompetent on the job. Can you please cite that evidence? Does it even exist in the American case (though you’ll remember we’re talking about france). Otherwise, you’re begging the question, and I’m sure you don’t mean to be, since that is one of the main ways that racism functionsl–through inferences based on assumptions/values or insufficient data and not well-tested empirical evidence. I’m sure you know what you’re talking about, so please send me to that source. Thanks!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Oh yes Jayson, you’ve found me out! I’m really Grand Poobah of the Klan.

    Perhaps you think you’ve got some clever lawyerly game of “gotcha” on me. You seem to be playing a game of “smear the queer” or in this case, “smear the racist.”

    It’s cute, but it’s silly. You make some generalized claim about supposed scientific testing of racist attitudes with a controlled test of fake resumes, and expect me to take that lame shit as proof that it’s all whitey’s fault, quad erat demonstratum.

    Now, I’m always happy to bash the French, cause they really beg for it. Still, with limited knowledge of French political nuance, I’m not just going to reflexively assume that the answer to any problem real or perceived involving race is ALL FRENCH WHITEY’S FAULT.

    You judge people based on the best information you have. To some extent, of COURSE that involves race – and gender, age, religion and politics. It is simply correct and intelligent to readily substitute knowledge of an individual versus generalizations about his group. The English don’t take coffee – they prefer tea I’ve heard. But if I met an Englishman and he liked Joe, that’s either an exception to the rule or counter-evidence against the whole idea.

    But you seem to have decided that whitey’s making the Muslim youth riot, cause they’re so mean and racist. Am I to assume that means that these malcontents are NOT sucking on teats of the government of the people they so despise?

    And I’m supposed to show what is it now exactly to prove I’m not a “racist?” Nigga, please!

  • jayson

    al,
    You argue with nothing but emotional appeals, versions of name-calling, lazily asking that they do the work of actual reasoning. The Klan, lawyerly game, whitey, muslim,lame etc. etc. etc. Your attempts to persuade strike me as stupid, incapable of logic, racist, unethical, etc. But to say that is beside the point. The fact is you fail to support your claims with anything put such adjectives. You are the one claiming that a group, arabs and black Africans in France are not hired because of some kind of behavior. I simply asked you what the evidence was? Otherwise, don’t try to distract people by making such proofless claims. So now what do you try to do? But the burden on me to prove to you that some “lame” experiment with the resumes is to blame for your inability to support your claims about worker productivity. Sorry to drop to your level, but you are “impossible” to reason with. If you’ll excuse now, I’ll argue with people who disagree with me and who actually have the decency to support their claims with evidence, instead of name-calling and avoidance strategies (even if unconscious, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt).

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    This article talks about the reluctance of the police to call an attack on a French Jewish woman by Moslems in France racist – all they did was carve a swastika into her. It wasn’t THAT bad…

    I’ll grant you that if Jews do not leave France of their own accord in the light of these continuing attacks and murders by Moslems, it is their own fault. But from my little roost here is Samaria, what I see is a French nation that is anti-Semitic sitting as quietly as it can while less civilized Moslem hoodlums attack Jews.

  • jayson

    Ruvy. Better check your facts before sending readers to such sources. It turned out that “attack” was a fake, in fact a piece of islamophobia.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Jayson, you gave me a link to an article that was three years old about a faked attack in the 16th arrondissement in Paris. What I gave you was a link to an article that was from 27 April of this year about an attack that took place in Marseilles.

    Geography must really have changed in the last three years to bring Marseilles to the 16th arrondissement of Paris – not to mention immense changes in the laws of physics that make an event that took place three years ago something that happened last week. One would think we had become divinities!

    Go back and read your own link, Jayson – and ask Chris Rose for the link to the tutorial for making it live. He’s a nice chap and will be glad to provide it for you.

  • jayson

    Ruvy,
    Apologies that it’s not the same incident, though it’s an exact replica of the one proved to be a nasty piece of islamophobia bait. The story was not picked up by any major news organizations. Why do you think that is? Even the one you’ve cited states that police wanted to verify the claims of the event. Why? Because nutjobs bent on pushing Holy war and hate are always staging such pseudo events. And now you’re bringing them into this discussion! Take claims in the article or in the discussion above and argue with them, but leave your unverifiable distractions out of this. If you don’t believe there’s any racism against blacks and arabs in France (you’re happy of course to ignore the issue of non-Muslim arabs and blacks)then just say so and leave. You obviously aren’t here to reason about anything. Thanks.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “it’s not the same incident, though it’s an exact replica of the one proved to be a nasty piece of islamophobia bait. The story was not picked up by any major news organizations. Why do you think that is?”

    A link, sir? Any link, French, English, a minor blogging site (other than your own), something?

    I’m sorry, Jayson, your allegations are just not enough here. I’ve provided something to back up my words, though you may not like it. Can you do the same?

  • jayson

    p.s. Ruvy, so that you don’t misunderstand me: your apparent response to the supported claim that anti-arab and -black racism is a problem in France is that there’s arab racism and assaults on jews in France. Noone’s saying there isn’t anti-semitism. But that’s another issue to be dealt with. Perhaps you wish to publish something on that so we can start a new discussion. For now, that simply does not follow from our points about racism against arabs and blacks in France (indeed, Le Pen and the Front National have shown people how to hate and be afraid of jews, arabs, and blacks all at once).

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Jayson,

    You’ll not hear me argue that there is no discrimination against non-whites in France. The same ugly bigotry that the French carry against Jews, they carry against others. You are correct that LePen is an anti-Semite, though he’ll deny that till the sun sets.

    But, why must you deny what Moslems do to Jews in France? French Jews have figured it out (finally) and are either buying homes here or coming here, or running off to Florida. In Florida, they’ll eventually encounter the same crap they have to deal with in France, but it’s not for me to tell them these things…

    Your own comments above tell me that in every warm liberal “humanitarian” heart there is a cold spot for Jews. And the history of my people – in France and elsewhere – proves that assertion.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jayson [comment 39] sez: You are the one claiming that a group, arabs and black Africans in France are not hired because of some kind of behavior.

    Jayson, you are purely incorrect as a matter of fact here. I am NOT making a claim to knowledge, but simply doubting yours. Plus, it strikes me as awfully convenient that you are having such trouble grasping that very simple distinction.

    My very broad general understanding is that there are a lot of Muslim youth in France without jobs, and that also (perhaps related, but how?) many of these Muslim youth are engaging in crime, looting and burning and general civil unrest.

    For my part, I have accumulated some general knowledge of the world, and modern Muslim unrest. However, I don’t want to over generalize, and I don’t know a lot of the specifics of the French situation. So, I refrain from making any grand judgments about the Muslim community in France – or about Sarkozy and his supporters.

    YOU, on the other hand, see (presumed) unemployed Muslim youth rioting, and go straight to blaming whitey. If there is unemployment among the Muslims, you treat that as proof of white racism. Plus, you’ve got a scientific study with fake resumes that “proves” it. So then, anyone who just isn’t buying that must themselves be “racist” – whatever that term even means. Obviously though, “racists” are bad people who shouldn’t be listened to.

    However, that doesn’t mean that people you might decide to label “racists” are always necessarily incorrect or trying to be hateful. I might tend to be inclined to have some sympathy for French employers here, particularly in consideration of all that rioting. If you’ve got a group of people absolutely behaviorally earning a reputation for being violently anti-social, can you really legitimately blame employers for being skeptical of buying trouble for themselves by hiring them?

    Frankly Brother Harsin, your thinking in this column and the comments lacks sophistication or nuance.

    Your attempts to persuade strike me as stupid, incapable of logic, racist, unethical, etc…I’ll argue with people who disagree with me and who actually have the decency to support their claims with evidence, instead of name-calling and avoidance strategies

    I’ll try to slow down on the ad hominem name-calling… oh wait, that’s YOUR quote.

    Being stupid, you’ll have to forgive me for being a little slow on the uptake. What is that I’m avoiding?

  • jayson

    Ruvy. No one is denying, certainly not I, that there is white/Christian or muslim racism toward Jews in France. But again, a. That is not the issue under discussion which this article treats, and b. one has to be careful about the assumptions of a phenomenon’s range (a handful or millions), which requires more than opinion. I don’t see anything more to discuss with you.
    Al, when I say you have a claim in that sense I mean it’s implied in other claims you have. People do not immediately unpack all their claims, and you in particular seem to have trouble understanding what is implied in your grand claims or objections that are claims.Your claims are opinions. You talk about your broad general knowledge of muslim youth rioting,etc. in France. You mean your opinions about it. Your knowledge comes,as you’ve shown, from no studies, no books, nothing but your opinions. I no longer have time to discuss with you.

  • jayson

    And lastly (yes, you may savor the last word, Al), when I said, “Your attempts to persuade strike me as stupid, incapable of logic, racist, unethical, etc… I’ll argue with people who disagree with me and
    who actually have the decency to support their claims with evidence,
    instead of name-calling and avoidance strategies,” what I meant was your verbiage may have struck me as all of those things, but I didn’t say any of that as if that would pass for reason-giving in our disagreement. You can’t make a post without peppering it with your dramatic adjectives that you hope pass for sound argument. Good luck to you.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jayson sez when I say you have a claim in that sense I mean it’s implied in other claims you have. People do not immediately unpack all their claims, and you in particular seem to have trouble understanding what is implied in your grand claims or objections that are claims.

    In other words, you want to make up a bunch of claims that you think I’m really, really meaning but that just haven’t said, and you wish to consider me discredited and unworthy of your superior logic and honesty on the basis of what I really, really mean rather than anything I actually have said. Now, I admit to being just a dumb Kentuckian. But even out here amongst the hillbillies, you’d get laughed off a third grade playground trying to pass off that kind of foolishness as an argument.

    You talk about your broad general knowledge of muslim youth rioting,etc. in France. You mean your opinions about it. Your knowledge comes,as you’ve shown, from no studies, no books, nothing but your opinions.

    Now you’re just being an ass. I haven’t read any books specifically about Muslims in France – as if that is the only legitimate source of knowledge, or even the best one. I’ve read enough news stories and statistics to have the general idea that France has a sick economy with high unemployment, especially among the unassimilated Muslim youth. I’ve seen plenty of video and news reports of the rioting to get the point of thousands of cars being burned, and violent unrest. That’s about as much as I’m claiming to know.

    Those are basic facts and observation, not opinion. I’ve offered very little opinion on the situation, other than to be skeptical of your cheap shots about “neo-fascists” and “racism.” One might consider those loaded terms to constitute “dramatic adjectives that you hope pass for sound argument.”

    Basically, you’re just pissy with me for pointing out that they simply do NOT pass for sound argument. You have no actual argument other than broadly calling Sarkozy a fascist and a racist – with no substantive examples to show what those terms even mean.

    Instead, in a parody of French stereotypes, you have simply adopted a ridiculous tone of haughty superiority and condescension – as if THAT proves anything. Then you want to simply declare victory and go home.

  • jayson

    Well, Al. You can have the last word, but not if you’re going to call me an ass and other such things. IN fact such b.s. name-calling is not only childish, it is against Blogcritics posting policy. Why are you even here? You have constantly told me that my arguments are not persuasive to you. When I at least try to explain to you what racism is through widely accepted definitions and when I give you links to articles that show how someone like Sarkozy has cynically taken up the language of clear racists/fascists like Le Pen you don’t even acknowledge the points, much less the links. I even went so far as to try and outline your own claims and look at your evidence. It’s clear to me and I’m sure anyone else who has studied basic logic and argumentation that you say the same thing again and again, and when I try to explain to you the problems in your inferential leaps from data to claims you just project back on me the claim that I’m not reasonable or persuasive but you fail to explain why except with ad hominems about b.s. studies about resumes which you compound with more claims about “muslims” and group behavior (group behavior which has never been established; only existing as your unsubstantiated hypothesis), while a pattern of white behavior has indeed been established, and again not by all whites, which is the straw argument you made in response. Really, Al. Do you think anyone besides us is still reading this garbage all the way through. Perhaps they find this exchange perversely entertaining, but that’s about it. If you want to go through my claims, as I have generously and in good faith done with you, carefully examine them, and show me the error of my ways, without packaging your analysis with anti-white this and that, lazy this and that, ass, etc. then fine. Otherwise, please go away, and let me move on to arguments with people who will actually engage me without all this namecalling.

  • Zedd

    I heard today on The BBC that Sarkozy is at 52% and Royal at 47%. What they said is that in French politics that means Sarkozy’s got it. Royal has been threatening that if Sarkozy wins there will be riots in the streets. While its thought to be a political scare tactic and the last kick of a dying horse, it is anticipated that through Sarkozy’s tenure, there will be turmoil in the immigrant and youth community because of unemployment tensions.

  • Zedd

    Alex

    Calvin said

    -results in more handouts to minorities, (ME!!! Yeah!!!) but does not really improve the situation. There are 30 million Blacks in the US. This is a lot of heavy lifting for whites who are trying to lift blacks up out of poverty. It is much easier to help improve people when they are prepared to carry most of their own weight

    I am not sure what you are on about. Were I trying to make a comparison of what group causes the most social tension I would have been direct and have dealt with that topic. Perhaps you haven’t read my comments on BC but my response would have been well directed and there would have been no confusion about the matter. I commented directly to what needed to be corrected at the moment. His numbers were wrong. Calvin made a statement about there being 30million poor Blacks and that it is difficult to pull THEM (meaning me) out of poverty. My correction was that there are 7million poor Blacks. Listing all Black people (30mil including me) as poor and saying they all need HIS assistance to be pulled up IS incorrect and insulting. What if some stranger said that all Alex’s are poor and need my help to be pulled up. They need to take MY advise and take responsibility. You would be offended. That was an offensive statement. The fact that you cant see that is problematic.

    He also said:

    -Demanding that Blacks or Hispanics take responsibility for their actions and their lives is looked down upon as mean spirited

    Should I not be insulted that he is saying that HE demands that I an adult woman who has worked my way through college and paid every penny working up to three jobs at a time, are demanded by HIM (a perfect stranger) to take responsibility for my own life. As I work to pay my mortgage as a widow every month and put money in my kids 529s for college, pay for cheer, gymnastics, orthodontist, tennis, investments, summer camp, car note, insurances and life. As I take care of broken appliances, decorate my home, paint, do minor car and home repairs, do volunteer work and work in the inner city am a Sunday school teacher and a loving mom; as I have moved up incrementally in the corporate world….., I should take HIS advise to take responsibility for MY life. Who is he and what has he done to deserve the role of adviser in my life??? Would you not be insulted? Who is he to demand that I take responsibility for anything? Does his being born with no melanin give him the right to be so offensive and presumptuous without anyone correcting him?

    My question is why didn’t you wince when you read that? What in your intellect convinced you that what he said was a reasonable statement. Do you hold White supremacist ideas also? Do you have fantasies and delusions of holding me up too?

    If you must speak about a topic it is only proper to speak intelligently with authority else the integrity of the entire discussion is compromised. Your conversation becomes useless if it is based on ignorance and false data. There simply aren’t 30million poor Blacks. Why that causes you to retort in anger is bizarre.

    Perhaps you would like to share?

  • Zedd

    Alex

    Anything negative said about blacks produces the reflexive response among liberals and many conservatives that the speaker is a racist, or worse. This is a serious problem that needs to be brought up and discussed openly so that people can get beyong their paralysis and begin thinking again.

    Its because we have a 350yr long problem with racism. The sensitivity comes from the FACT that we have a horrible track record in dealing with African Americans.

    Did this just not occur to you not in the slightest? I am surprised.

  • NONE (USA)

    sarkozy is bad news. plain and simple.