February 26, 2015

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Anyway, I thought this kind of nit-picking harassment only happened in made-for-TV movies. And if anyone’s fashion needed policing, it was the guys: Come on, you”€™re wearing shower sandals with socks, sweatpants, and a man dress, and you”€™re giving me guff? Coco Chanel must be rolling around trying to stamp deportation papers in her grave.

I confess, I was intimidated and a little scared. And coming back home alone from the subway stop in Saint-Denis around 8 PM a couple of nights later was scarier. Granted, my judgment may be altered by the fact I”€™m getting older, and many things scare me more than they used to”€”including the ground, which might decide to rush up and break a few bones if I don”€™t keep an eye on it. But I”€™ve spent around 10 years of the interim living in Uptown, Chicago, where I became inured to crawling around crime scene tape to go fetch the groceries; so the influences warping my perception probably cancel each other out.

However, I would never have thought to compare Saint-Denis to Chicago. Or even a war zone (rim shot!). There was no evidence of formal Sharia law. No one tried to tear off my wicked skirt, and I could hear emergency vehicles going about their business unperturbed, contra the more extreme “€œno-go”€ claims. There are non-halal butchers in the market, there’s still a sushi restaurant, and as far as I can see, the entire town is not made to go down on its knees to Mecca five times a day. In fact, the world’s oldest Gothic cathedral is not only still standing, but being renovated.

If you”€™re feeling generous, you might argue that Peterson was trying to express a truth he felt in his feels rather than cynically exaggerating to improve his visibility; and Fox made his arguments look much worse than they were by running them through the old echo chamber. But the end result of clumsily overstating the case was to make it easy for those who reap the benefits of importing cheap labor to tar similar arguments, however modest, with the same brush.

The so-called no-go zones are nothing so dramatic. The new world order isn”€™t always about honor killings or spectacular shootings; it often looks more like a slow erosion of culture, of dignity, of the ability to walk through the street without being shoved or snickered at.

But since rich white French people who are now dead did a lot of bad things, it’s perfectly just that poor white French people should be messed with, in revenge, indefinitely. Right? Because what’s important is your ancestry, not what you”€™ve done yourself”€”although, if what you”€™ve done yourself is to make enough money to live in the nice parts of Paris, this isn”€™t something you need to worry about.

Can someone tell me how human beings always manage to circle back around to racism and sauve qui peut? It’s dreary.


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