Elaine Ganley of the Associated Press:
President Jacques Chirac said Monday that the unrest in France’s poor, largely nonwhite suburbs revealed a “crisis of identity” that the entire nation must heal with firmness and with measures that combat what he called the poison of discrimination.
Chirac – speaking to the nation for the first time since the unrest erupted Oct. 27 — said France must instill values and hope in the “sons and daughters of the Republic” growing up in the poor, largely immigrant suburbs ringing French cities.
French law must be obeyed, he said, but all of France — its companies, unions and the media — must work to change decades of discrimination with new hiring policies.
“These events testify to a profound malaise … . This is a crisis of direction, a crisis of reference points, it is a crisis of identity,” he said. “We will respond by being firm, being just and being faithful to the values of France.”
One wonders what gave him the first clue. Now that Chirac finally gets it, perhaps he could teach a few of the American elite that we have similar problems here in River City. That is if he can break the attention of our power brokers away from their Hudson Valley foie gras and Dom Perignon lunches long enough to march them through the grim reality of places like nearby Southeast DC.