Did French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy Say "Scum?"

November 3, 2005, 11:50 am


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.

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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?

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Related: Europe

3 Responses to “Did French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy Say "Scum?"”

  1. netwmd.com - The War to Mobilize Democracy » Blog Archive » Paris Riots: BBC Edits Sarkozy Scum Reference Says:

    [...] Yesterday, I pointed out that the BBC incorrectly quoted French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy as calling the Paris rioters “scum:” 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”). [...]

  2. Jeff Solomon Says:

    Again the proof is in the pudding. The constant world mollycoddling of the Muslim has again set the stage for the destruction of private property at the hands of these “rabble-rousers”. It shows us the importance of strict immigration policies and the targeted governmental screening of those that have declared themselves the enemies of democracy and all that is decent. We must stop organiziations such as the ACLU from using the Constitution as a protective vest and stop squandering our valuable resources on untargeted verification so as not to seem we are targeting a specific group.

    The enemy has declared himself and we must defend ourselves against him.

    It is unfortunate that the French government cannot use the real force that they need to contain these enemies of the State or for that matter, the enemies of the world. We know who that enemy is and we must protect ourselves, no matter what the cost.

    We must wake up to this threat before it is too late and we must isolate these new enemies of ours.

  3. publisher Says:

    While the French are being indecisive about dealing with the rioting, there does seem to be some movement in Europe to address immigration:

    French gov website

    EU website

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