The Gentlemen Revolutionaries

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Monday, November 07, 2005

The Irony of Equality

1789 was a pretty big year. Thomas Jefferson brought the first macaroni machine to the US, Benjamin Rush started a temperance movement (a bit of irony for my fellow noble Dickinsonians), the United States had its first national election, and that pesky little place called France was having a revolution.

In the past few hundred years a few things have changed. Macaroni now comes in a box and if served without cheese is really weird and the majority of people who know who Benjamin Rush is are probably alcoholics.

Some things have also stayed the same. Tomorrow there will be elections all over the United States and France will be starting another revolution.

One of the greatest Ironies is that the French Revolution has created the current situation. One of the results of the Revolution was that racial identification was made illegal. If you are French you are French. You are not African, Asian, Catholic or Muslim. You are French. The result is a large population that identifies with who they are but are not allowed to do so. Having an ethnicity is a crime.

Being told that everyone is equal when in reality certain ethnic groups, in this situation largely Muslim immigrants, are not being treated equally is a powder keg waiting to explode. This is not separate but equal but it is instead unrecognized and marginalized.

The current organization of the French state has done nothing to help the situation. The French government appears to have focused a large amount of energy and effort to preserving order but not enough effort has been placed on the ability to regain order. The French Police have been castrated to a point where they are not able to take the appropriate actions against the rioters.

This statement may seem to be at odds with what was posted before. It is important to take note that I am not justifying the riots. I am explaining them. The French government must act to regain control but once the fires have cooled it is just as important that the French people re-examine their values and realize it is time to embrace people as being diverse and embrace diversity as a wonderful thing, rather than something to fear.

The fact that the rest of Europe is slipping into disorder has larger implications that I really must consider before I write about it. My guess is it has something to do with TO being a dick but I am not sure.

1 Comments:

Anonymous British Pete said...

It truely is amazing how fast and far these riots have spread.
With over 300 French cities, cities in The Netherlands and Germany rioting we might be seeing the effects the high unemployment and lack of racial identity.
What has astounded me is that not only are french muslims rioting but white french as well.
I really do like your analogy to 1789 as well. Elections, revolution, and macaroni.... could be the new name for a Smeni current affairs book.

By the way, watch the Dems win Virginia today in a landslide.

8:00 AM  

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