THE PARIS RIOTS….Over at the European Tribune, J?r?me ? Paris writes that the Paris rioting has hit his aunt’s neighborhood, and he has something he wants to clear up:

One thing to note is that these neighboroods are not ghettos. My aunt lived there most of her life, she was a teacher in a nearby pre-school and has a mostly normal middle class life. There are lots of minorities, lots of kids with dysfunctional families, an obvious lack of jobs, and decrepit buildings, but it’s not a rundown place, it’s not cut off from the rest of the country, and there is a lot of solidarity between the inhabitants.

….What is real is that France made a choice 30 years ago to preserve the jobs of those already integrated, and made it difficult to join that core. Thus unemployment, or unstable employment (temping, short term contracts, internships) touches only those that are not yet in the system ? the young and the immigrants, or those that are kicked out ? the older and less educated blue collar workers in dying industries. So in neighboroods where you have a lot of young immigrants, the problems are exacerbated.

Right wingers mostly blame the riots on Muslim separatism. Lefties mostly see callous social welfare policies at work. I don’t pretend to have an informed opinion of my own, but I think it’s at least important to understand that there’s more going on here than just the conservatives’ simplistic “clash of civilizations” storyline. Read J?r?me’s post for the other side of the story.

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