Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The French Riots - Why Won't They Learn?

Now, I'll be the first to admit that France and many other EU countries have a lot of problems. I have seen a tremendous amount of bloggers talking about the riots in France and how it is emblematic of much deeper problems with French social policy and economic structure. Bloggers have been using the riots to attack France on all sorts of policy and societal issues. France has taken all of this negative criticism bitterly, which seems to have fueled the critics attacks even more because it lends to the idea that the French might be a bit snooty and arrogant.

That's what I love America. Because, I am sure that if any of our allies ever had harsh criticism about our policies, we would never get defensive, call our friends traitors, start boycotts against their beverages, or re-name food to spite them. We would never turn a deaf ear to our critics and say "you are with us or you are against us," or "you have no right to criticize us, we always know what is right." We, in America, take all criticism constructively. We would listen to our friends and try to learn from their different perspective, even if in the end we decided not to agree with them. That is what makes us so much better than them. We would never hold to the illusions that we are infallible or anything.

Additionally, it is a good thing to know that we would never gloss over the fact that we have had numerous riots in the U.S. by disgruntled/disenfranchised groups when criticizing the French riots and the causes. That would be just darn ol' hypocritical.

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