Sunday, October 16, 2005

"In Africa we had no money, but something like this we have never experienced"

C'est la honte d'habiter là. On n'est pas des chiens !
Laetitia Van Eeckhout has an article about a day in the life of a squat

What a "scandalized" Le Monde reader feels the need to complain about regarding race, meanwhile, is… semantics!

Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch tells ombudsman Robert Solé that the word "race" should not be used in the daily newspaper. That "faulty concept" has "a past that is… horrible", she exclaims, as, in typical haughty Euro-fashion, she shakes her head at the clueless Yanks' living in the past.
The English word race has entered American usage with a slightly different nuance, even though it is the inheritor of the same 19th century "scientific past": it designates statistical categories still in usage (unfortunately) over there.
Unfortunately, indeed. Because it is illegal to gather information on race in France, when (North) African violence breaks out there, the media attribute it to "les jeunes". This, everybody will agree, is a tremendous step forward. If only clueless Yanks would look towards avant-garde Europe, they could be fortunate and learn a thing or two…

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