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It's not the French that have a neocon/neolib stance, it's the neocons/neolibs that have adopted the longstanding French position, which has worked to integrate every single wave of immigrants up to now. Just not in one generation.

Integration is working in France, even if it's not fashionable to say so, and even if there is a real problem of ghettoisation of a minority. But it IS, at heart, an economic problem rather than a racial one.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 20th, 2009 at 05:54:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And, it is absolutely true, even if not yet economically and politically yet confirmed, that we are far more race blind (cops excepted, as they are now trained to be racist) than america, and, as you say, the integration model makes this possible.

When you do not integrate, people stay 'other,' it's as simple as that.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Jan 20th, 2009 at 06:02:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And, it is absolutely true, even if not yet economically and politically yet confirmed, that we are far more race blind

As a practical matter, given the realities, I completely fail to see how this can be seen as something positive.

by MarekNYC on Tue Jan 20th, 2009 at 07:06:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On one level, I see your point, that the really vulnerable among us here are disproportionately racial minorities, and this would seem to need to be addressed.

On another level, though, at a really fundamental level, race-blind means just that - a black person is french just like a white person is, there is no differentiation, if you speak french properly, have the standard french general culture, everyone is the same, color no matter. There are problems, clearly with people of north african descent there is job discrimination and general racism, but it isn't having anything to do with color in my opinion, but one of integration, nothing which can't be solved in another generation, like for poles and italians in their waves of immigration before. There are no statistics but I strongly suspect, and observe, much higher levels of marriage between people of different color, and more mixity in the schools, than what I saw in the US, that's for sure, though granted I saw rural Michigan and then Minneapolis.

France needs more equality, via more efficient redistribution, and effective full employment policies. The latter point has been a horrible thorn in the integration story. If these things can be accomplished, that will take care of the problems we have in a generation or less.

None of this takes away from the amazing American accomplishment though. I certainly never thought it possible.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 04:37:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as defined by who?  the ministère de la Culture?

redstar: ... it isn't having anything to do with color in my opinion ... There are no statistics ...

From an earlier diary:

European Tribune - Racism in French employment

L'âge et l'origine, principales discriminations à l'embauche (2006 November 21)

<...> the "first national barometer" carried out by the temporary work agency Adia with Jean-François Amadieu, professor at Paris I University and director of the Observatory of Discriminations. Made public on Tuesday November 21, the study shows that most kinds of employment discrimination, with the exception of that against the handicapped, have gotten worse in comparison to a study from 2004.

6461 CVs were sent over the course of a year in response to 1340 job offers. The results (invitations to a job interview) obtained by a "control" candidate (male, 28-30 years old, having a "stock French" last name and first name, without photo) and by candidates more likely to be discriminated against were compared.

The big loser is the "48-50" year old who is selected the least often, regardless of socio-professional group, labor pool, company size, or work sector: among 100 invitations for job interviews that the control candidate received, this category received three times less (32), especially if he is a white-collar professional (14 invitations, while older blue-collar workers get 50). The white-collar professional of North African origin gets 17 positive responses, his blue-collar counterpart 47. Generally, as a consequence of his ethnicity, he only has 36 chances for a job interview, while the "stock French" candidate has 100.



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 08:13:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"we are far more race blind than america"

This may be based on old information. My experience is that the forced integration of schools and the military starting in the 1960s has paid off. Certainly in more cosmopolitan places like Boston and New York there is pretty broad acceptance of all races. But here in arch-conservative Colorado Springs we have so many mixed race military families that it is almost the norm. It is not even commented on to see families with random backgrounds including orientals, blacks, and whites. In malls and stores one might expect such acceptance simply on a practical basis, but surface tolerance at least extends even to cowboy dance halls, nightclubs, and motorcycle bars where one might expect the most racist types to hang out.

Not to say that there isn't still overt racism; we had a hate crime in our neighborhood just a few months ago. But I think that the broad acceptance of Obama reflects specific government anti-discrimination actions taken within the past four decades.

by asdf on Tue Jan 20th, 2009 at 10:37:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Definitively not, if race blindness means really blindness. So specific anti-discrimination actions are as well not race blind. Race consciousness is definitively much higher in the US even than in Germany, where it is probably higher than in France. The acceptance of Obama can even be improved due to that, when many Americans have the impression, that 'it was time for an AfroAmerican' to become president.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Jan 20th, 2009 at 11:52:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But it IS, at heart, an economic problem rather than a racial one.

Don't you realize that the two are intrinsically linked?

Integration is working in France, even if it's not fashionable to say so, and even if there is a real problem of ghettoisation of a minority.

Just a hell of a lot slower than if the government and the elites felt that it wasn't somehow taboo to rely on anything else than the invisible hand.  I'll give you an example from the political realm: I've read that non-white socialists complain of two factors that prevent them from getting even a minute fraction of the power that their numbers would indicate. The first is that the leadership often worries that putting up a non-white candidate would reduce the party's vote share - something that racial gerrymandering works to counter in the US. The second is that the leaders tend to want to help their friends, and since social networks are definitely not perfectly racially integrated, and the folks at the top are white, that means that the whiteness of the existing power structure tends to replicate itself. Again, same problem in the US, but explicit ethno-racial political organizing works in the other direction.

It's not the French that have a neocon/neolib stance, it's the neocons/neolibs that have adopted the longstanding French position, which has worked to integrate every single wave of immigrants up to now.

ditto for America, in both cases we are talking white immigrants. But that's not what we're talking about here. You still haven't explained to me why it's wrong for the government to take an active role in ameliorating certain social inequalities, but not others.

by MarekNYC on Tue Jan 20th, 2009 at 07:05:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, the idea is that if you treat them as social inequalities (ie economic), you solve them irrespective of their proximate cause (ie recent immigration, or divorce, or poor educational background, etc...)

Affirmative action has other consequences. Gerrymandering creates rentes de situation and fractures society around community lines.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 05:37:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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