'The country's colonial legacy,' Part II:
A friend of mine, who grew up in a former French colony that's still part of the French neocolonial system, told me that France's colonial past has everything to do with today's problems, agreeing it's absurd to think that an Algerian or Moroccan is somehow 'French.' But he was adamant that the same racist mentality that justified colonialism is still alive in France and the real cause of current woes. Here are a few of his thoughts:
-- "The French brought in these people to perform menial jobs the French didn't want to do. The immigrants were happy and content after escaping their old poverty. But the French never had a plan for the second and third generations of these immigrants. They never thought it out. They just assumed the children of immigrants would keep doing the same jobs. They look down on them." ... He added these second and third generation offspring have no concept what their parents or grandparents escaped -- and only measure their lives by what they have and what is offered in the rest of France.
-- "The mullahs know this and are filling the voids."
-- My friend, who is now a Canadian citizen and considers himself French-Canadian, said he could never have risen as far in France as he has in Canada. ... "I'm so glad I didn't settle in France." ... He said that Canadian and American immigration policies, while flawed, are far superior to those in France and Europe. "In France, you arrive and you are a citizen. In Canada, you arrive and you have to ask to become a citizen. In Canada, you don't become a citizen until you want to." ...
File under: For what it's worth ... I found the conversation fascinating.Update
-- More on the subject from CSM