By Andrew L. Jaffee
The BBC and other news services claim that French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy called the Paris rioters “scum.” While my French is a little rusty, I dove into Le Figaro this morning, France’s vanguard politically correct journal, to find out for myself. I also opened up a couple of French/English dictionaries.
An article by Jean-Francois Mattei, entitled “Violences urbaines, crescendo dans la barbarie” (“Urban violence, crescendo in cruelty”) blames the French state for mishandling the riots and notes “banalisation de la violence” (“vulgarization of violence”) and the “trahison de la langue” (“treason of the language”) used by Sarkozy. And, boy, what a PC rant.
But Mattei states that Sarkozy used the words “delinquents” (“delinquents”), “provocateurs” (“agitators”), and “racaille” (“rabble”). More specifically, “racaille” translates as “riffraff” — a “mauvaise personne” (“bad person”).
Today, rioters fired real bullets at French police. And these disturbances have very questionable beginnings:
…rioting began last week after two teenagers were accidentally electrocuted and a third was injured while apparently trying to escape from police by hiding in a power substation. Officials have said police were not chasing the boys.
News outlets are trying their best to rationalize the unrest:
Clichy-sous-Bois has a substantial immigrant population, a large share of public housing and a history of social problems.
Would Mattei et. al. see the French state go up in flames while they obsess over their white guilt? Maybe Sarkozy could have chosen better wording, but a rose by any other name?