Riots, How Very American of You

Ethnic violence, charges of the police using excessive force, strife, and riots. Los Angeles, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington DC?

Try Birmingham, England. Try Belgium. Try Paris, France. US readers may be caught unware of the riotous month just past in Europe. No blaring headlines from the mainstream media, no 24/7 coverage on the cable networks, no dead and dying series from Spiegel Online.

One element from the enlightened in the US is the fact that Europe is a land of pure environmentalism, pure happiness, pure healthcare, and pure hearts. Don’t get me wrong, Europe is an excellent place, but it does have many problems. As does any country or region. This fact is often overlooked by our betters both in the US and Europe.

Europe has real problems socially, economically, and demographically. Great, problems are meant to be solved. Europe will solve it’s problems one way or the other. It is the inability to recognize these problems that is indeed the biggest problem facing Europe.

Even given the 5th night of rioting in Paris, the possible 2007 Socialist presidential candidate can’t resist the swipe at Nicolas Sarkozy, the French interior minister, with a not so subtle American brush:

Laurent Fabius, a former Socialist prime minister and also a potential presidential candidate in 2007, mocked Sarkozy's frequent visits to areas such as Clichy.
“We need to act at the same time on prevention, repression, education, housing, jobs ... and not play the cowboy.”


This photograph from the on-going riots in France gives a clue on how to move forward from the lawlessness and mayhem (not to mention economic malaise) that was October (November?) in Europe. As Theodore Dalrymple said, quoted here earlier:

The situation has, in my view, been inflamed by years of reflex political correctness on the part of the authorities and the authors of official reports that coin phrases such as “institutionalised racism”  –  a blood libel, in the sense of being impossible to disprove, if ever there was one. We now live in a political culture in which a sense of grievance stands as its own justification: you are wronged if you think you are.

Oh, the photo. Hopefully it will be resurrected. Note that it forbids ‘left turns’. Europe has had enough left turns to unfortunately last itself for some time.