This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, August 08, 2016

The Conceit of Hypocrisy

"[French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has argued this is not the time to cast 'suspicion' on French police, while the nation remains alert to the threat of ISIL terrorism]"
"This is a dangerous argument. The Islamic State has shown it is able to exploit feelings of anger and alienation to murderous intent."
"Now, more than ever, the police need to build trust with minority communities."
The New York Times editorial, August 7, 2016
This is surpassing strange, an American newspaper of repute chastising the French government for its lack of vision in not coming to grips with its uneasy institutional relationship with its black population. A black population which now has aligned itself with the "Black Lives Matter" movement that saw its inception in the United States, propelled by the very reality -- historical racism and present-day incidents of violence against American blacks -- in response to police violence.

Adama Traoré’s sister, Assa second from right, looks as a man holds a placard with a portrait of Traoré in a march in Paris on July 30. Traoré died in police custody. (Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)

Adama Traore, a 24-year-old black man died while in police custody in a town close to Paris, on July 19. In a pattern that should be familiar to those who write editorials for the Times because it has happened time and again in American cities, occasionally exculpably vindicated, and just as often not. Mr. Traore's family insists when he entered police custody he was very alive, but dead a short time later, at the police station.

The autopsy the family demanded after an autopsy that claimed he died of a (sudden/instant/deadly) infection concluded that asphyxia was the cause of the death of this young man. There was no elaboration. But it seems that three police officers surrounded and bundled him, impairing his ability to breathe. The first claim by police after the death was that he had died of a heart attack. Little wonder the family and the black community in France are aghast and furious, taking up the banner of "Black Lives Matter".

The editorial in the Times appears to take great satisfaction in castigating France. One seems to recall in searching one's memory that in the early and mid-part of the last Century, France was open to welcoming, admiring and celebrating American black performers when in their homeland, the United States, segregation would not permit them to share civil amenities with whites. France doesn't have quite the racist baggage of the U.S.

It certainly has its own problems; the colonialism that produced French-speaking populations in Africa and brought them to the Republic which lauds itself on colour- and race- and religion-blindness in its equality-acceptance of all its citizens, is clearly marred by an undercurrent of white privilege and immigrant under-privilege. The response has been black and Muslim petty crime and renewed concerns over disaffected youth opting toward solidarity with Islamism.

The United States had no similar history of 18th and 19th Century colonialism; its history is that of a world champion intervenor and sometimes-bully. Yet here is the monumental impudence demonstrated by The New York Times, tittering behind its covered mouth, while gravely offering a lesson in racism-free relations for France's edification. In 1862 President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in the United States. Turn those last two numbers around and you have the year 1826, when France abolished slavery.

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