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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With respect to the tightening of immigration policy, this is much less to do with the aforementioned terrorist atrocities as it is with the long-standing French 'problem' with immigration from North African countries. There is a simmering resentment of immigrants from the latter that is easily played upon by the political right wing in times of economic difficulty. Successive right of centre governments have been cornered into giving credence to those fears in order to prevent too many votes going to the FN, and to capture a few votes from the Socialistes. Electoral promises were made, and Sarko has gradually been implementing a few surreptitious changes. They have remained relatively limited because French governments of any political hue are notoriously afraid of the reaction of the people (and the Parti Socialiste is generally speaking against more restrictions). They are also afraid of the reaction of the Muslim immigrant population - this has been estimated at 10% of the population - following the major riots of recent years.

So the government is stuck between the devil and the deep blue in policy terms - long gone are the inter-war and post-WWII days of a desperate need for immigrant labour - since the early 80s in fact. Today a sizeable proportion of the French population sees these immigrants as surplus to requirements, with growing influence, and a birthrate at twice the level of the non-Muslim part of the population. Some are very afraid of a Kosovo-style situation developing eventually, with scaremongering from the FN suggesting that with the current birth rates the size of the Muslim population could actually overtake that of the remainder within two or three decades.

In times of recession these problems can only get worse, so expect more political posturing from Sarko, not less. Nothing to do with 9/11 per se, other than that it was a good excuse to speed up certain reforms the French right wing has been looking at for thirty years or so.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Pete the frogblogger has actually summed up the french domestic situation very well; although the Kosova analogy might be a tad out, because of the inherently greater stability of french society. But then again, in 30-50 years time, when the foods running out but before the world de-population happens, who knows?

40-odd years ago a rather intelligent British politician called Enoch Powell made predictions about 'rivers of blood' in british streets unless limits were placed on immigration. OK, his style of speech was a bit lurid, but he was vilified from all sides for making his observations. Today, you can't even mention his name without someone jumping on the bandwagon and calling you a racist.

And yet, and yet - we have seen a few clashes on the streets of british cities, and unfortunately the BNP (British National Party) are a convenient scapegoat to pin the blame on. We've seen the banlieus getting restless on occasion - what next?
 

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I agree Frogblogger

I agree that there is an under current of animosity toward certain ethnicities in France, and recent events have been used as a guise to walk an anti-immigrant and racist agenda through official channels. Although we talk about race relations endlessly in the USA. And that might look bad on the world stage.
All our whining and crying over race in the USA. WE ARE SO FAR AHEAD OF FRANCE AND EUROPE. Sorry the USA rocks in this regard in comparison.
Especially in employment. Also the anti-semitism expressed by the mainstream media in France is plain alarming. In retaliation ethinic minorities tend to be
more in your face about their cultural background whatever it is. It is not a melting pot like the USA. More of a silent fuming on the backburner. France will need to go through some kind of change in the next years. I soppose most of Europe and the EU will as well. The good part is that the USA and Europe to me are overall culturally going in the same direction. I feel by 2050 the world language will be english although of course most people bilingual in their own language. So, I find this development of a common language exciting.

So as ex-pats, we feel some of the social bite of an anti-immigrant agenda even if it is not directed at us specifically. Some good points you brought up.

C. Nuttee
 

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Responding to the Immigration comment

I read in the NYT that the USA give 1 MILLION citizenships a year and as many green cards each year. Mostly to relatives of immigrants. People bringing their families over. WOW. The prediction is that by 2050 the USA population will increase from the current 300 million to 500 million. Although the birthrate in the USA is steady this additional population should more than pay for social services for the aging baby boomers. These are not babies coming to the USA. These are hard working, motivated adults wanting to make something of themselves in the USA system. It is really inspiring that so many people are attracted to immigrating to the USA despite the difficulties. I sopp0se many other countries like India or China don't have as many immigrants. So, although immigration is used by politicians to scare people to vote in certain ways. Immigration in the USA is going to make the USA a stronger place. Especially as all those workers
pay into the system, thus making the USA that much more wealthy. NEAT.
Sorry to be so enthusiastic. I am trying to say that immigration is not always seen as a bad thing by everybody.

For me immigrating to France has been financially terrible as I can not earn
as much as I did in the USA. That has been a lot to accept. My husband is a normal wage earner. Sigh, I would basically be loaded in the USA.

C. Nuttee
 

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As you've probably noticed, I've split off this latest twist of another thread into a thread of its own.

Carry on, folks...
Cheers,
Bev
 

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All our whining and crying over race in the USA. WE ARE SO FAR AHEAD OF FRANCE AND EUROPE. Sorry the USA rocks in this regard in comparison.
Especially in employment.
I suspect you're going to get a little bit of argument on this point. At least I hope you do, because if you don't I've underestimated the debate skills of our European members here.

While I sort of agree that the US's policy of "affirmative action" has done a good job of integrating minorities into the work force, especially at upper levels where they just weren't 30 or 40 years ago, I'm not sure "positive discrimination" is going to find a home here in Europe anytime soon.

The nature of discrimination here in France (at least) is considerably different than the (let's face it) racism that developed in the US over the centuries. In fact, I don't feel comfortable calling the discrimination in France "racism" at all - it's far more culturally based. And it's that cultural basis that results in us "foreigners" feeling that we're being discriminated against, too, even if we're (to use an old American expression), "free, white and 21."

And there are ways that the French and Europeans are way ahead of the US, too. My first time living in Europe, back in 1989, I was seriously impressed by the number of mixed race couples you see just out and around - most with babies or children - and no one hassling them or even "looking funny" at them.

Anyhow, let's throw this topic out on the floor and see what we come up with...
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Frogblogger-good points

I agree that both in the USA and France the happenings in 2000 etc. have been used for political purposes.
 

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I just had another thought Frogblogger. Hey by the way I know of another Englishman who is married to a Thai woman living in Thailand. His name is Brian B.

My new thought was about Germany. I have a dear old friend who is German in Paris and he said that about 25% of the German population is now muslim. The birth rate is higher for these communities and as a result as much as 50% of new births are muslim. So, as both the USA and Europe become less traditionally eurocentric, for me the solution is to continue the wonderful democratic ideals in the midst of these changes. The USA is unique as it was founded on ideals. Ah, as an ex-pat I feel the USA has a bit more light around her for that reason. Although she is an annoying and noisy country she seems to have some more light because of the striving toward ideals.

Another interesting issue is should Turkey be allowd in the EU. For me I actually liked Sarkozy's solution of their being a mediteranian EU. Also Poland's inclusion in the EU has
brought a lot of Polish people all over europe. I also have a good friend in Paris who is Polish
and he has tried to get a USA visa to visit but there are very tight restriction on Poles visiting the USA because to be honest they rarely return. And the cost of the visas are prohibitive.
Me and Jacyk laugh because we thought that if they ever allowed that three month tourist visit thing like they do for Germany or France, England etc. That immediately 2 million polish people would do a great exedus to Chicago and never be heard from again in Poland.
This is a big issue for Polish people that although these newer EU states have some new freedoms. There are also the realities of their economic situation and history to contend with.
As a result Polish people will unlikely be given the three month open tourist visas like the older EU countries any time soon.

Just talking away, I don't start back to work until next week, and my three year old son is in school, than will have no time again once I go back to work next week.

Christine
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My new thought was about Germany. I have a dear old friend who is German in Paris and he said that about 25% of the German population is now muslim.
Germany has around 3 million mainly Turkish origin Muslims, ie approximately 3.6% of the German population (source: Total population - Federal Statistical Office, 2004 figures; Muslim population - Federal Ministry of the Interior estimate).

It may have gone up a little over the past five years, but I doubt another 20 million have suddenly turned up!
 

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immigration and politics

Frogblogger, I should have specified in the major cities of Germany. I just start writing in a conversational manner.

I just read this in the New York Times on the front page, how a republican heckler
disrupted Obamas speech on health care trying to use immigration as a scare tactic. at least highlighting it.

the article is titled something about"Breach of Protocol, Lawmaker Outburst etc.?" It is right on the front page.

...copied some of it NYT's article, shows how the right is trying to use immigration as a scare tactic.

..."In an angry and very audible outburst, Representative Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, interrupted President Obama’s speech Wednesday night with a shout of “You lie!”

His eruption — in response to Mr. Obama’s statement that Democratic health proposals would not cover illegal immigrants — stunned members of both parties in the House chamber.

Democrats said it showed lack of respect for the office of the presidency and was reminiscent of Republican disruptions at recent public forums on health care.

“It is outrageous,” said Representative Joseph Crowley, Democrat of New York, who said it reminded him of the “antics that are being used to disrupt and fog what is going on.”

After the speech, Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff who sat a few rows in front of Mr. Wilson, said he immediately approached senior Republican lawmakers to encourage them to identify the heckler and urge him to issue an apology quickly.

“No president has ever been treated like that. Ever,” Mr. Emanuel said.

Other Democrats said they did not want to dwell on the outburst or allow it to overshadow what they saw as an effective address by the president. But they also said it bolstered their contention that some Republicans were not interested in constructive dialogue, and they noted that Democratic plans specifically barred coverage for illegal immigrants.

Republicans also said the heckling was out of line. “I think we ought to treat the president with respect,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, “and anything other than that is not appropriate.”

Mr. Wilson seemed rattled in the wake of his comment, and quickly left the chamber at the end of the speech.

His office later issued an apology, saying: “This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the president’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility.”

Mr. Wilson also phoned the White House and reached Mr. Emanuel, who accepted an apology on behalf of the president.

Critical body language and murmurs of disapproval are typical at presidential addresses and part of the political theater. But members of both parties were trying to recollect such a pointed attack from an individual lawmaker at a presidential address and noted that a similar remark could draw a formal reprimand if delivered at a routine session of the House..."

cont.

c. nuttee (i love my name)
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Frogblogger, I should have specified in the major cities of Germany.
Not even in the major cities of Germany. Different sources estimate the number of Muslims in Berlin at between 5.9% and 9% (the latter including naturalised German citizens, and from an unverified Muslim source).

Just a quick glance at a couple of other German cities, selected at random - Hamburg has approximately 70,000 Muslims out of1.8m (just under 3.9%). Heading south, Munich has around 85,000 Muslims (population 1.34 million, so roughly 6.3%).

Perhaps your friend was referring to the number of foreigners in certain German cities, rather than Muslims? Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich are all somewhere between 22% and 26% with respect the number of foreigners in each of these cities (the highest proportions in German cities).

(One city where there is an estimated 25% Muslim population is Marseille).
 

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thanx for giving me the benefit of the doubt frogblogger

Again, thanx for giving me the benefit of the doubt. Nice conversing with you.
I wanted to add that he did mean foreigners in general whom he refers
to them all as muslim but then I would have to admit his racist bent and
I like him. So yes, thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt.

Did you see that New York Times article excerpt? Isn't that horrible that
in an audience of professionals, civility was lost by that crazed republican?

I for one have a beautiful Obama poster in my sons bedroom and another
poster from a french magazine with all the indigenous cultures of the world
described in detail. Both in very expensive plastic poster covers with frames,
because I want him to look at these images growing up.

Personally, I think interracial marriage will solve many of the worlds problems.
That and the attaction of the American television series. Sex and TV American
style. Oh, I am Dutch and Native American and a Tad Polish, raised on an Indian Reservation in the USA and spent many years in Mexico as a teen. Two very little used languages by the way, Dutch or Native American, the spanish does
come in handy.

C. Nuttee ( I love my name)
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
All our whining and crying over race in the USA. WE ARE SO FAR AHEAD OF FRANCE AND EUROPE. Sorry the USA rocks in this regard in comparison.
Especially in employment. Also the anti-semitism expressed by the mainstream media in France is plain alarming.
As Bev suggested, I'm a afraid I can't let that one pass! ;)

It's important on forums like this one to try to avoid rhetoric, or at the very least to provide some evidence in support of claims. Otherwise we can be guilty of misleading people with less knowledge of the topics and countries concerned.

Alleged anti-semitism in the French media is a case in point. France has some of the toughest anti-semitism laws in the world. A free press has a whole range of perspectives on the likes of the Middle East conflict, some will be in favour of Israel's position, some have less sympathy. If you must make sweeping generalisations about bias in the French media, especially on sensitive topics such as this, then it is vital to supply supporting evidence. Otherwise, best not to make claims like this in the first place.

With respect to the alleged superior performance of the US in terms of racial integration, I am highly sceptical to say the least. A few thoughts...

Do blacks and whites live in mixed residential areas? Is residential segregation not still largely the situation throughout the US, 30 years after Civil Rights?

Are mixed race marriages easily accepted, as in Europe? If not, why not?

What about racial disparities in mortality rates?

Massive wealth differentials? The average white is 10 ten wealthier than the average African American. The racist element to this stems from the fact that investment is rewarded rather than waged labour, and the African Americans started with a rather large handicap in that respect.

Health care inequalities?

It seems to me that institutional racism is alive and well in the US, although these days racism manifests itself in a less overt manner in the West generally.

On the current uproar over the question Obama wishes schoolchildren to ask themselves, "What can I do to help President Obama?". I'm trying to imagine how Republicans would have reacted had it once been suggested schoolchildren ask themselves "What can I do to help President Reagan?" My guess is that they would have been delighted kids were being taught the virtues of patriotism. I suspect there are racial undertones to the current reaction - to a European it doesn't make much sense that a relatively innocuous question could cause so much fuss.

Anyway, this is a French forum thread, so I don't want to go into this much more - unless the thread gets back on track, maybe it should move over to the Lounge...

Just a few final points...

Europe has been a melting pot for different races and cultures for far longer than the US.

People are attracted to emigrating to the US because they will go anywhere where there is a chance of a better life, ie a better life meaning not starving to death or being discriminated against on sexual, racial, tribal, religious grounds. It's not that they see the US as a shining beacon any more than Europe - it's just that they are desperate. Plenty do try to go to Europe, but in certain cases these are areas of highly dense population with limited employment opportunities, and further immigration would just exacerbate the problems. So immigration laws are (currently) tight.

For immigrants to contribute to a nation's wealth, they have to be able to get a job in the first place. Remind me, how many unemployed are there in the States right now?

The USA is unique as it was founded on ideals. Ah, as an ex-pat I feel the USA has a bit more light around her for that reason.
Take a look at the constitutions of any democratic country around the world. The same ideals are to be found, wherever you look. And going back to the 13th century, there was a certain manuscript called the Magna Carta which was a precursor of constitutional law, influencing the US Constitution and the development common law and numerous constitutional documents.

By the way... while on the topic of racial discrimination... did the light of idealism you mentioned shine on the Native Americans, at the time the US Constitution was being drawn up?
 

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Froggblogger and Bev,

You do not see brown face in any good job in France, teacher, nurse, any kind of government job, all good jobs are given to french people, yes a few ones in the media, in the USA it is totally normal in all employment sectors. Sorry to be so realistic.

C. Nuttee
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You just can't make categorical sweeping statements like that and expect them to be given credence.

There are less mixed race and peoples from minorities employed in the better jobs in France, but "none"? Of course there are.

The situation is gradually improving, with recruitment campaigns aimed at the minorities, improved legislation tackling discrimination, better education. But problems persist - particularly French problems, as the integration of Muslim minorities into the French way of life has largely failed (blame on both sides), and those concerned are mostly living a cultural alternative reality. This is not a problem the US has had to cope with.
 

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Also I watch French talk shows and the things I hear are really awful compared to the USA, the inuendo, and what sickens me is that these undermeanings are not called out as wrong. Plus, I have NEVER seen an brown teacher in a french school yet. I soppose they exist, where only brown kids go. In the USA that is normal, totally normal. Just take a walkabout town. It does not take a particularily intelligent person to see that in the USA brown people are normally employed while in France they are in lower jobs. It is a fact of life here. Not in the USA, you see brown people in all manners of employment. Not just shop girls and daycare workers. In the USA you see brown people in all employment sectors. Even president.

C. Nuttee
 

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okay, I will make this place a deal. You show me one brown hand you have shook in the course of your daily transaction in the official french system and I will agree that France
has the minimal levels of employment opprotunities the USA has. THE MIMIMUM.
In the USA, people of all backgrounds own businesses, OWNE,D not just shop people. They
teach in the public schools, they work at the government offices, they are the nurses
in the hospitals and the legal worker throughout the system. In France you had better
be French to have a good slot. A good job. In the USA the employment opprotunities are open to everyone. That is the difference from the USA and France. Employment. Also you can get a job at 55-65 in the USA which is IMPOSSIBLE in France. sorry usa rocks. c. nuttee
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Your comments are pure rhetoric, and bordering on racist themselves. I know many French people, from all backgrounds, who would feel very insulted indeed by such exaggerated and occasionally completely untrue assertions.

Unless you can avoid all the unfounded stereotypes, there is little point carrying on with this thread. It would be a shame to close the discussion, but rebutting claims of this kind made without the slightest supporting evidence is extremely time-consuming.
 

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I don't know any french people like this

My husband ex is algerian and so my sons half sibs are half arab.
In all my years teaching english at a high class school all I have
heard is awful racist stuff. Look, when I shake the first teachers
hand in a french school that is brown of any kind I will post it here.

In the USA it is normal for brown people to be throughout the system.
I am brown and I am very comfortable to talk about race stuff.
Your little tantrum DOES NOT SCARE ME FROM THE TRUTH.

NO YOUR LITTLE TANTRUM DOES NOT SCARE ME FROM THE TRUTH.

C. Nuttee
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Jolly good, but reverse racism is not acceptable, and pigeon-holing the entire French population as intolerant bigots is as bad as the alleged discrimination that you are accusing them of. I am sorry that you do not realise that.

This thread is full of exaggerations and false claims, and is going absolutely nowhere, therefore it is now closed.
 
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