Those High-Spirited French “Youths”

Cultural Enrichment News

In last night’s news feed I included an article about the most recent eruption of cultural enrichment in the banlieues of Paris. In the comments on that post, our French correspondent Robert Marchenoir provided some clarification of the latest incident, including local color that isn’t available in the media reports.

I have combined two of his comments and edited them slightly to make the post below:

A few clarifications on the latest immigrant riots in Bagnolet next to Paris.

The first dispatches, such as the WSJ article, mentioned that the deceased motorcycle rider was a pizza delivery man.

This is disingenuous, because it suggests that a lawful, hardworking citizen was harassed by the police while minding his own business and helping the economy run.

Actually, he wasn’t delivering pizza at the time. He rode a trial motorcycle unlicensed for use on public roads. Furthermore, he was doing so in a noisy, disruptive, aggressive and dangerous way, as immigrant youths have taken to doing in city estates, for fun as well as to assert their dominance on public space.

Such antics generally include revving up the engine constantly in order to do as much noise as possible, riding on the back wheel, and riding very fast in residential areas. It’s called a “rodeo” in French.

Residents of “enriched” neighbourhoods are routinely submitted to that particular form of harassment. Beyond the annoyance and aggression, it’s definitely dangerous for pedestrians, children, old people and even other drivers.

In Bagnolet, on the day of the accident, this had been going on for quite a while when the residents complained, and the police came to the scene.

Usually the police do not bother to intervene when they receive such complaints, firstly because there are so many of them, and secondly because it’s very dangerous to try and stop those rogue riders.

They usually flee from the police, and, not infrequently, get killed in an ensuing accident. Then the police find themselves in a life-threatening situation while “elder brothers” congregate and a riot breaks out.

– – – – – – – –

Coming next in the scenario, the immigrant community pretends that the “youth” has been killed by the police, the authorities chicken out and put the police version on the same level as the immigrants’, the policemen are submitted to a humiliating inquiry, and politicians, from the right and the left alike, call for an improved “dialogue” and more public funds being poured on city estates.

This incident was not different.

Knowledgeable bloggers researched the wrecked motorcycle from published media images, found out that it cost 6,000 euros, and asked how an 18-year-old was able to purchase one with the wages of a pizza delivery job.

Notice the cookie-cutter paragraph at the end of the WSJ dispatch:

“Tensions between young people and police have long simmered in housing projects in France’s suburbs, feeding on poverty, unemployment and anger over discrimination against minorities.”

This has been printed and said so many times that nobody bothers with a reality check any more. Surely it should be a matter for thought that in this particular incident, the aforementioned explanation is just a load of [insert expletive here].

“…feeding on poverty…”: nope. Not when you’re able to afford a €6,000 motorcycle (that’s $8,500) at age 18.

“…unemployment…”: nope. This one had a job delivering pizzas, as the mainstream media obligingly rushed to inform us.

“…and discrimination against minorities”: nope. Actually, it’s rather the opposite. Try riding a motorcycle in a city at 51 km/h if you’re a white, aboriginal French person. You’ll quickly get a hefty fine, and points will be nipped off your license. If you don’t pay, you might even land in prison.

The communist mayor of Bagnolet made some disgusting comments, saying that the death of a youngster is always unjustifiable (which suggests that the police are, in some way, responsible), and that the message of emotion of “the young” has been heard, so would they please calm down now.

According to a communist mayor, the arson of more than 30 cars and numerous rubbish bins, voluntary destruction of a bus stop, murder attempts at policemen with firebombs and a handgun — all this is but a “message of emotion”.

And it should, and has been, “heard”.

Brace yourselves.

For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.

8 thoughts on “Those High-Spirited French “Youths”

  1. By not addressing these issues ages ago or now, what you are going to see is a mssive push back by the indigenous Europeans, and its not going to be pretty.

    Exit Question: Will the Leftist media treat them as a hagard indigenous people whose rights, culture, and way of life are being trampled on, or will they be called Nazis?

    Rhetorical, of course.

  2. A few clarifications on the latest immigrant riots in Bagnolet next to Paris.

    As a frequent visitor to Paris I know of this area because it is where Eurobus is based. I don’t use it – preferring the train to/from Gare du Nord which has also seen its share of trouble. But I know a lot of young Americans on a budget go to Bagnolet to get a cheap Eurobus to Brussels, Germany, Italy, or other parts of France. To make matters worse for the no doubt unsuspecting American visitors is the awkward timetable Eurobus uses which means tourists often arriving at Bagnolet, which is also a Metro stop, very late at night. Needless to say the PC Rick Steves crowd do not inform their viewers/readers of any danger travelling through such areas.

  3. EV,

    Exit Question: Will the Leftist media treat them as a hagard indigenous people whose rights, culture, and way of life are being trampled on, or will they be called Nazis?

    Rhetorical, of course.

    Too true. In the 1980s every Western journalist used to refer to the Maronites fighting in the Lebanese Civil War as fascists and portrayed them as the worst side who deserved to be disinherited of their country. Yet a few years ago Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader of the Progressive Socialist Party in Lebanon, was asked about this and he rubbished it saying the Maronites were the most liberal of any faction in that conflict.

  4. This story struck me as fishy right from the outset. Avery you are right that Bagnolet is on the far Eastern border of central Paris, where the Eurolines bus terminal is. And indeed when one heads past the Périphérique (the central Paris ring-road) in an Easterly direction there is a banlieue there. However…

    That banlieue is quite astonishingly poor, and from what I experienced contains immigrants from the far-far-East. Mostly Mongolian in appearance. The poorest of the very poor, and far too terrified at being deported to cause any trouble whatsoever. Trust me, you’d need to spend only five minutes walking down the roads of that neighbourhood during the Sunday flea market witnessing the most measly of possessions being offered up for sale on the pavement (spread on white sheets to aid a rapid scoop-up when the police come); to be convinced as I am that the idea of any of them owning a €6000 motorbike is ludicrous.

    But if you head a little West back into Paris proper and the 20th Arrondissement (not destitute banlieu at all) you have areas like Maraïchers and Gambetta whose populations are dominated by 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants who I think much more likely to have committed this nonsense. Mark my words, if the police do end up arresting someone you’ll see that they will have travelled out to the banlieue with the express intent of causing trouble.

  5. Thrasymachus,

    Interesting comment. Would you say then that Bagnolet – specifically the Eurolines terminal area – is relatively safe at night for an area on the outskirts of Paris?

  6. Avery,

    Yes I would. There is usually a security guard on duty. But more importantly the bus station essentially exists in a traffic island in the peripherique.

    The worst you’ll encounter is a drunk at the metro ticket machine or having your bag being pinched if you don’t pay attention: I’ve never known any violence (or indeed the bag pinching scenario). Though given the queues to check-in back in the day, I almost resorted to it myself. This is all two year old info: when the worst I saw was a drunk trying to get money at the Metro ticket machine.

    If security is a real concern for you, and you have to travel by coach, consider travelling to the other Eurolines terminal at La Défense: most of the same destinations are served, though less frequently.

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