Friday, May 25, 2007

The french chose

May 6th 2007 will be remembered as the day the French chose. With 87% participation, this election is the most popular France has ever known. For the American republican agenda, the election of a fan, Nicolas Sarkozy, is great news of course. For the biggest businesses in France, he is also “The” man of the situation. For Israel he means an even more submitted France. But for the rest us, it means the end of the crumbs of morality that were left in French politics…

On the night of august 25th 2005, 17 people died burnt alive in a building turned inferno in the middle of Paris. One young woman lost nine of her relatives, including her four year old child, from whom she only has the new school year sneakers left. It is important to add that she is French. The first reaction Sarkozy had was to question if these people had “papers”…There was a time in France where a certain minority had to wear a yellow star on their clothes so that everyone knew “who” they were and eventually deport them to eastern Europe, to forced labour and a most certain death. Sixty years later, a new minority is being deported. They don’t need a star to be identified, their skin is dark and everyone sees they are originally African. They live in France, with or without “papers”. They work, eat, laugh and die in France, they are French. They are being deported to countries where poverty will kill them. Where work is closer to slavery considering the salary and the amount of work. Most young men will attempt to come back and many will die drowning in the sea, of thirst in the desert or simply killed by the mafia on their way to Europe.
The interesting thing is that, had they been white, Sarkozy wouldn’t have questioned if they had “papers” but would have cried crocodile tears. But in this case, most of the nation, after hearing the comments of Sarkozy, figured it wasn’t such a tragedy since most of these people shouldn’t have been in this building in the first place…and the ones who are French aren’t enough to be cried for…

This is the man the French elected.

A few months later began the biggest project riots France has ever known. Once again, Sarkozy was around to divide the nation a little more. It began by the death of two kids being chased by the police in Clichy (Paris suburbs). Interior minister Sarkozy immediately took the side of his forces and suggested the kids deserved what happened to them since they ran. Anyone who knows life in the projects anywhere on this planet knows young people rather run opposite from the state forces when they see them and especially in France where they are harassed many times a day by the police asking for there identity card (card that was invented during the French collaboration with the Nazis in 1941…). In France, if your skin is darker than white, you are stopped in the streets and asked to prove that you are French. And if you left the card at home, you are thrown into jail (beat up if you’re a young male) until a family member comes to get you out. When these two kids died electrocuted, the youth in that city started rioting. For the Americans it is hard to understand why these guys burn cars in their own neighbourhood, but the reason is simple. The purpose is to get the cops to come and fight, to get back at them. As irrational and counter productive as it might seem. The riots were starting to slow down when three days later; tear gas grenades were thrown into a mosque during the Muslim Tarawih Ramadan night prayer. The old women started to feint and the grand fathers went into shock. This was, as we say in French “la goutte d’eau qui fait déborder le vase” (literally: the drop that makes the vase overflow). Sarkozy’s first words weren’t to appease tension and promise to punish the cops who thought it funny to throw tear gas into a mosque; instead he questioned the sayings of the dozens of witnesses from the mosque, reminding them that their words are worth nothing in France and that Sarkozy’s state will take the word of half a dozen officers against the testimony of one hundred citizens if they are muslim…

This is the man the French elected.

After these riots, Sarkozy was able to convince the majority of the French that he was the man of order. However anyone with eyes can notice that he didn’t break the riots but waited until the youth got tired of burning or ran out of things to burn.
In my 27 years of life as a French citizen I have never seen a politician so hated. I have never seen any of our ministers get insulted by hundreds of youths the way he was. Never seen a minister insult the youth with vulgar words neither (called them scum, adding he’d washout the projects).

One may ask how he got elected if he’s hated. He got elected because there was no one else. He got elected because his best friends own the main medias and he was able to be on TV more than 4200 times in 10 years[1]. He is our Berlusconi.
He surfed on the strong French xenophobia to get elected, speaking about the flag (with 2000years of history, France doesn’t need a piece of cloth to feel alive) and the national anthem (which speaks about impure blood…); however his wife declared three years ago that she was proud not to have a single drop of French blood; which is okay but not if you’re that country’s first lady and not if your husband pretends to be the new Charles Martel[2].

We have a new generation of politicians in power now. They are in their 40s and 50s, full of energy and promises. They have been talking the talk a lot. We are all waiting for them to walk the walk, knowing too well they won’t. Politicians are not supposed to be business men. When they are, they work for private interests and not for the people. Unfortunately for the United States, the politicians act for private interests, mainly military and oil related. Just as elsewhere, French politics were always corrupted by private interests but still found some time to do a few things for the people, guaranteeing health and school. Times change, one may say, but the historical revolutionary flame is still burning in France. An aging country voted for a youth breaking ruling class, but time is in our favour…

[2] Part of the French state mythology. He is considered to be the man who stopped the “arab” invasion in the 8th century.