Monday, November 14, 2005

Liberté , Egalité, Fraternité…

A bitch has been struggling to get a handle on the current unrest in France. Having grown up in St. Louis, a bitch has always held France in high regard. But, having visited Paris only once, a bitch is wise enough to know that my ass doesn’t know much about France.

When observing the current unrest this bitch can only see it through American eyes.

And it looks rather familiar…

Unrest is like a forest fire. Kindling that is left unattended and neglected catches fire and devastates. Usually, the kindling is ignored as the culprit. The idiot who throws a burning cigarette but out their car window or lightening is blamed and the opportunity to explore why the forest fire was so fierce is lost. So, kindling piles up again and it’s only a matter of time before another huge forest fire breaks out.

In 1917, East St. Louis had a riot. In 1919, the Chicago Race Riot broke out after a black teen drowned while swimming off of a white only beach. America has had lots of riots over the years…Detroit, Boston, Chicago again and Los Angeles again and again. All of them got lots of press…hell, all of them made the fucking front page.

And America has a long history of ignoring the kindling and blaming the point of origin. As a result, we have missed opportunity after opportunity to examine the role of race and class in our society.

And what of our sister, France...who taught us liberty, equality and brotherhood...what of France? France staggers as their neglected kindling catches fire. There is anger over what many perceive as an ungrateful immigrant population and there is anger over the lack of equality and opportunity presented to some French citizens in a land made famous for offering both to all of her citizens.

And will this unrest be just another footnote in French history...another opportunity missed? Will she turn her back and let the kindling pile up again?

A bitch sees the recent violence in France through American eyes.

Liberté , Egalité, Fraternité…oh glorious, fantastical dream…

2 comments:

This Guy said...

I don't know how I feel about all of this, but that entry title makes me want to watch my Three Colors Trilogy dvd set. Thanks for hijacking 6 hours of my life!

Love Ya!

cats said...

you are so very right. i have the same thing going on at work. noone wants to deal with the reasons why unrest occurs. they only want to lash out at the individuals who they think caused it all.