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Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Philly v. Paris

I found an interesting entry this morning on Ripclawe's narcissistic blog (his word). The article(s) he discussed are really timely in light of the rioting in Paris and the parallels I've been considering between (failed) immigration/assimilation and the African-American issues in America.

In a nutshell: It seems that recent African immigrants in Philadelphia are doing "too well", and thus making the local African-Americans mad. Hunh? If it wasn't so sad, it might be really funny. From the Philadelphia Inquirer article (requires free subscription):

"There's anger about African immigrants coming here and doing so well," she said. "You see them fixing up their houses, buying cars."

Another way for African youths to deal with the hostility and cultural differences is to assimilate

Hmmm.... It strikes me as a really bad idea to "help" the successful African youths by promoting assimilation with the local African-American culture, since it seems one of the points for harrassment of the children involves "being good in class".

When I compare the situation outlined in this article with the Paris riots, I can't help but wonder what's different about these two immigrant populations (the West Africans in Philly and the North Africans in Paris). I can think of two possibilities that would cause such a difference (though I'm sure there are more, since nothing's ever easy):

  1. The American society is more immigrant-friendly than the French.
  2. The religion of the French immigrant group is not the same as that of the Philadelphia group.

Pick your favorite; either line of reasoning is fascinating.

Go check out Ripclawe's entire blog entry - and while you're there, read his "Quote of the Day" by Booker T. Washington. It's a doozy.

Update - 12:00 noon: I'm just all outta sympathy for the "youths" in Paris. Seems they set a disabled woman on fire. What was the word? Scum? I think that's a little mild under the circumstances.

Earlier polimom posts about the Paris riots:

Paris Riots: Parallels
Non-Assimilation and US "Racism"