Paris is Singing! and Burning?
Parler Paris–your taste of life in Paris and France
Monday, November 7, 2005
New Fall 2005 Edition of The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France! Packed with almost 300 questions from real people, for real people…and the practical answers that will save you countless hours of frustration. If you’re moving to France, this guide is a must!
Dear Parler Paris Reader,
News of the concert fundraiser had spread far and wide — even my mother now in her home in New Orleans had read about it in the local Times Picayune! At 30 euros a ticket, it drew an impressive showing of the American community. I hobbled in on crutches, one leg in a cast from last week’s fall tearing ligaments and damaging my mobility, taking the almost-front-row seats just behind the Ambassadors Connie (Constance A.) Morella to the OECD (Organization for
The audience intently listened, clapped their hands and sang in unison to brilliant performances by Ammon Moore, Broadway musical star Ursuline Kairson, actress and Paris club singer Cynthia McPherson, opera diva Adèle Belmont, child prodigy 15-year-old Brian Levisalles, the Gospel Dream Choir and Louisiana native René Miller of the Wedding Band that regularly performs on the Pont Saint-Louis. Meanwhile, the rioting, car-burning and general unrest continues to spread outside Paris for the 12th night of violence.
To ignore the Paris riots would be irresponsible on my part, but I must tell you, that if it weren’t for my CNN news alerts, I wouldn’t know they were happening. That’s not to say that my head is “in the sand,” but living in central Paris, there has been no sign of the angered destruction taking place in the “banlieue” (suburbs) or in other parts of France — until last night, when a car was burned in the Marais.
I caution all those watching and reading American media so as not to overexaggerate the true situation. Remember that the American media is run by entertainment organizations that tend to sensationalize the news to build ratings. Remember that they usually take the same 20-second “sound bite” and run it every hour on the hour or more often leading you to believe the event is happening in continuous motion, rather than done and past. Remember that in Paris, the rich live in the center and the poor live in the suburbs — the opposite of the U.S. condition of the inner cities vs the wealthy “burbs.”
There is no question of the seriousness of the situation. For a very long time the poorly treated immigrant pot has been simmering and predictions of it coming to a boiling point have been whispered about. Now the time has come for France to pay for its mistakes vis a vis its poor and suffering immigrant population, mostly of North African and West African origin, who are jobless and grossly discriminated against. I remind myself that I, too, am an immigrant in France, but my white face and western background don’t threaten the French middle class.
Craig S. Smith of the New York Times reminds us that “Just two months ago, the French watched in horrified fascination at the anarchy of New Orleans, where members of America’s underclass were seen looting stores and defying the police in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.”
In his article “France Has an Underclass, but Its Roots Are Still Shallow” published November 6, 2005, he continues, “The corrosive gap between America’s whites and its racial minorities, especially African-Americans, is the product of centuries: slavery, followed by cycles of poverty and racial exclusion that denied generation after generation the best the United States could offer. France, on the other hand, is only beginning to struggle with a much newer variant of the same problem: the fury of Muslims of North African descent who have found themselves caught for three generations in a trap of ethnic and religious discrimination.”
Now both sides of the Atlantic are getting a taste for their just rewards. While the rioting is destructive, just like Katrina was, it sheds new light on problems that need to be addressed NOW, not tomorrow, and for our pain and suffering will come renewed enlightenment. Just like my cast will help heal my torn ligaments, so shall the uncorralled and violent expression strengthen the cause.
Call me the ultimate opt
imist as one of France’s more welcome immigrants, but I see a brighter future for an ailing community from a more tolerant government.
Paris is still Paris. Paris will always be Paris and this, too, shall pass.
Aa la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. Don’t forget to meet with me and other Parler Paris readers at Parler Paris Après Midi, tomorrow 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais. For more information, visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html
* PRACTICAL Q’s AND A’s
Read Jean Taquet’s latest November 2005 Practical Questions and Answers at /parlerparis/practicalanswers.html
* SEMINAR POSTPONED TO 2006
The Invest in France Seminar previously scheduled for December 28, 2005 here in Paris has been postponed to March 2006 and is projected to be a full three-day Living and Investing in France Conference! New Orleans is also planned for this power-packed conference in May 2006. Stay tuned as the details unfold by visiting /frenchproperty/conference/index.html. To be on a special mailing list for more information about the events, email Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected]
* READ COMMENTS AND SEE PHOTOS
To read comments from the attendees of the past Living and Investing in France Conference in San Francisco and the Invest in France Seminar in New York City, visit /frenchproperty/conference/conferencements.html and to see photos from all past events, visit /frenchproperty/conference/photos.html
* Launch of the Beaujolais Nouveau
On the 3rd Thursday of November every year, the tasting of the new season´s Beaujolais is a special event…Subscribers Read On…
Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e- mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. If you’d like to learn about the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week, now’s a special opportunity.
* Make sure your money goes as far as you do!
Save money when transferring from dollars to euros! HiFX takes the pain and guesswork out of currency conversion. For more information, click here. /frenchproperty/insider/currencyonlineconvertor.html
* Get all the insider information about what there is to see and do in Paris, from and for the very active Black community. This is the first guide of its kind, totally devoted to Black Paris. Click here for more details. http://www.insiderparisguides.com/black/index.html
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Paris is Singing! and Burning?
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