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Little children shame us...

by proximity1 Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 09:14:38 AM EST

 A few weeks ago, Nicolas Sarkozy, currently the Interior Minister of France and an odds-on favorite for his party's nomination in the next presidential race in 2007, sent out letters to the parents of hundreds of minor-aged school-children who are enrolled officially in french schools, informing the parents that they should prepare to leave France by a date-certain or face deportation by the authorities because these parents, whatever the legal status of their school-aged children may be, are not legal residents in France.

The reaction of these targeted children's class-mates at a number of schools was as categorical as it was immediate: no measure should be spared to prevent their friends from being removed from their school and deported.

 The children made banners, posters, colored messages of support, wrote and recorded poems and songs of support, drafted letters to officials and signed and sent them jointly, assembled with their parents and teachers in protests--all of this in coordination with a spontaneously-formed group called "Schools Without Frontiers"--a variation on Doctors / Journalists Without Frontiers.

From the diaries - whataboutbob ?


 This movement was the subject of this morning's [listen to the program here] "L'École des savoirs"  program on
Radio France International.

story-brief from the web-site:

"Ylénia, a little eleven year-old Romanian girl, is an excellent student in her 5th-grade class in the Paris suburbs.  A few weeks ago, her parents' request for residents' status, pending over the past four years, was rejected.  The parents, students, the teachers...the entire school where Ylénia is enrolled mobilised to raise petitions and meetings at the suburb's departmental administrative offices.  4000 signatures later, the departmental administration promised a residency permit valid for a year.  At the same time, Nicolas Sarkozy announced his desire to regularize nearly 720 families of school-aged children enrolled in public schools.  A drop in the bucket in the view of the activists.  Between 10,000 and 50,000 enrolled school-children remain at risk of being expelled from the country by the 30th of June."

 To listen to these 5th graders explain in their simple, straight-forward, naïve manner, why they want their friend and class-mate to be allowed to remain, to hear them describe what to them is right and what wrong, is to feel at once pride and shame.

 These children, seeing things as they do, understanding the moral imperatives as some of the most politically-influential adults so high above them in rank and power, seemingly do not, shame us.  The childrens' trust in what they know is right  shames us.  Their grasp of right and wrong shames our own.  Their refusal to accept what adults yield to as "just the way it is," shames us.  By their example, we fall short.

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that's wonderful.

And a shame on Britain where similar campaigns have ended in failure on several high-profile occasions

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 13th, 2006 at 03:17:06 PM EST
For a comment.. just look at my signature.

Lovely

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 03:18:41 AM EST
with their wisdom. Great article!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 06:01:55 AM EST
The world might be a better place if we would only elect 3rd graders to government.

To be more serious how will this effect Sarkozy campaign?  Will the children's campaign hurt him, or will he get a bump from the right for his hardline stand against the immigrants?

The world will end not with a Bang, but with a "do'oh"

by love and death on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 09:21:20 AM EST
is how Sarkozy has decided to appear "softer" by agreeing to give papers to kids that fulfill a few criteria: (i) born in France, (ii) went to school in France and (iii) do not speak another language at home.

The glorification of ignorance and close-mindedness. It's sickening.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 09:45:15 AM EST
So, when Romania joins the EU is he still going to try and throw out children who speak Romanian at home?

Is he out of his fucking mind?

What's the matter with France?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 09:52:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy got 13% in the only national election he ran in (for the EP in 1999)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 10:17:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But he is supposed to be the frontrunner for the Right?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 10:18:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, sick-issime.

The irony of Sarkozy's immigration legislation is that had his very own laws been effect when his father emigrated from Hungary, the little bastard would not be in France today.

I don't recall who, in the press, pointed this out, but for me it was one of those 'ah-ha ..., aargh!' moments.

Yet Sarkozy, with the media in his pocket and propped by an army of PR advisors, will no doubt manage to spin the matter and come out smelling like a rose.

by cigonia on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 11:13:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can we make his rules retroactive?

I love these people who would deport their own grandmother.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 11:15:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just nitpicking, but I'm not sure. After all AFAIK his father earned citizenship by serving in the Légion Étrangère, and then he left his Jewish Greek mother when Sarko was a small child. (Yes, Sarko was a momma's boy, a girlie-man who is over-compensating today. I once wrote about an anecdote told by a relative of mine who met him as child, and BTW also about his Hungarian aristocrat origins.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 11:46:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the more accurate details, Dodo. [ although I don't see what's wrong with being a mamma's boy, as long as the boy knows the reasons why he's gravitating towards her ].

So I see Sarko's dad got into French panties ... er, citizenship ... via la Légion Etrangère. Double urp.

.

by cigonia on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 01:00:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see what's wrong with being a mamma's boy

Nothing. The problem is when he later tries to play the biggest macho :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 02:57:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that within a more reasonable world view, we ought not have to contend with penis size and mother-complexes when it comes to the safety of the world's population.
by cigonia on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 05:23:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Back when I was in kindergarten my teacher was outraged that I didn't speak English at home - you're in America now, speak English. Fortunately my parents didn't comply. Having immigrant parents speaking one language at home while you speak another outside it is the perfect way to learn an extra language well - a hell of a lot easier than trying to learn one in class later on.

btw, what did Sarkozy speak at home?

by MarekNYC on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 05:46:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As his father left his mother early, I suspect French.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 14th, 2006 at 06:36:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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