Wednesday, March 22, 2006

French Racists and the 10 Condiments!

Note: This is an essay covering topics of geopolitical import. Please read it carefully, for it explains in intricate detail how, starting with the Bryant Gumble Revolution, America overcame its demons. Because of a poll that was recently conducted, the essay begins with France, a country that has failed miserably because it lacks the ability to act upon its introspection. This leads the essay to a thoughtful examination of the crucial period of the early 80's. I then develop and conclude with a significant insight into what historians will call the Condi Rice Era.

The essayist apologizes for following the strict structure of the essay form. (Essay comes from the French word "essai," which can be loosely translated as "trial," "attempt" or "experiment." And this essay is just that. It is a trial, an attempt at understanding the present and predicting the future. So, dear Reader, your patience is appreciated, as is your open mind.)

Part I: The French Problem
I was shocked to find out today that French people are racists. And this news doesn’t come from a Bush administration official, PNAC or the Wall Street Journal, but from the French themselves. Indeed, a recent poll indicated that 30% (or something like that) of the population (of that former Roman territory) considers itself racist.

You know, while living there, I kind of suspected this. There were the tell-tale signs: I saw mostly white folks stores like the Bon Marché, yet there were just a few chez Tati. I also noticed that even in France's capital city there are poor, non-white people living in sub-standard conditions. (Now, to be fair, they do provide the poor with health care and numerous childcare options, but that doesn’t make things alright with me. I don't care how much you help people--it's the thought that counts. So, even if French people are helping poor African immigrants, it doesn't matter because their heart is in the wrong place, as the survey says.)

Part 2: A New Age Dawns
Television news has always been a progressive reflection of society, so a lot can be learned looking at how France and America® do things. For example, when I was in France, another thing I noticed was that French TV hosts are almost always white. That’s a problem because TV hosts can and do change the world. Luckily for us, America solved its racism problems a long time ago. This was known as the Bryant Gumble Revolution. This was when all Americans quit being racist because we finally understood that people with colored skin were not always like Richard Pryor or Malcolm X. Rather, they were just like us! Since then, we've had people like Barack Obama. He transcends race, as do most people who don't talk about it much.

But let's leave Barack aside a moment, for I do believe we are at a crossroads: America (and the world) are currently in what serious historians will probably call the Condi Rice era. It is an age of glory, truth and justice for all creeds and colors. History is over and race is an afterthought. What proof do I have of this? Well, though we are still awaiting the arrival of the Ten Condiments, we do still know that the present era represents a profound change. How profound? Well, for the first time, the Senate heard a black woman’s testimony without challenging her veracity.

Getting back to France and the poll that shows they are racist... I think this poll represents an important step in American journalism: the AP did, for once, report what a French person thinks rather than what an American person thinks a French person thinks. Really, this is important, so I checked with my contacts at CJR, FAIR and Media Matters and they agree. (Does that make me a reporter now, like Ben Domenech, and not just a blogger? Gosh, I hope so!)

This new pollalso really just confirms what those car burnings were all about. Now, you think I’m going to say "because racism exists in France, that ’s why those disaffected youth took to the street to protest that (as well as the sinister forms of institutional racism that frame their lives.)" Well, this time you’re right. Racism--and class difference--exist in France, that ’s why those disaffected youth took to the street to protest. What do you expect, France is still socialist and now the people are revolting against the sinister forms of institutional racism that frame their lives. Luckily, in America, we no longer have to worry about government repression because neoliberalism and capitalism have brought us all the freedoms we need.

You may also remember that last weekend one million (1,000,000) French youth marched peacefully to protest a new law that allows employers to fire young people pretty much at will. While the car fires showed how disorderly French youth could be, this protest shows how spoiled and utopian the French are. Fighting for your rights is so passé, and now it may get you fired! (“You’re fired!” That’s so classic!)

Part 3: Confronting Our Demons
Now, you’re thinking: “what about Katrina?” I’m here to report that there was, kind of like for Karballah and Fallujah, a lot--a lot!--of false reporting. For example, all those reports about violence in the SuperDome, they were false. Really--even Voice of America says so! Those people, mostly African American it appeared to me, were not as disorderly and violent as it might have seemed. It was just an impression, thank goodness, and that really reminds me of why the Bryant Gumble Revolution was so important to our country and why Condi Rice is proof of the absence of racism in America. It’s all very logical if you think about it and that is why the 10 Condiments (whenever they come and whatever they say) will be so very revolutionary.

In conclusion, I think I understand why the French are racist and, more importantly for today’s news, why they consider themselves such. France has prosecuted numerous territorial, imperialistic wars. Think Napoleon, South-East Asia, North Africa, West Africa, Canada, and a dastardly (and successful) pre-emptive strike on Wallis and Futuna. This did not just come from the blue (or should I say Le Grand Bleu), but from a deep-seated belief that they were not just equal to, but better. The Best. The Best. They have HUGE egos.

Now me, I'm a huge--HUGE!--Lee Greenwood fan (I own “God Bless the USA/Proud to be an American”--I even have the American Idol version of the song that came out after, well, you know). Anyway, I think that Lee and I agree that there is a difference between pride and thinking you’re the best. I really don’t think he is trying to say America is “The Greatest.” He’s just saying we’re great, really great, but not necessarily The Greatest.

And that’s why Condi Rice is such an important figure in this essay and, dare I say, in the whole world. She’s now our Secretary of State and has John Bolton (he happens to be white so she’s not racist either) working for her at the United Nations. Since America is a land of equality and opportunity, we will be able to convey those and other ideals (democracy and freedom, for example, and our greatest gift, representative capitalism) to the world. Maybe we can spread a little humility, culture and tolerance for other races too, because, obviously they need it! In fact, I suspect that one or several of the 10 Condiments will focus on this and they will actually replace the UN Charter. Furthermore, they will be written in English Only, and French will no longer be one of the official diplomatic languages, precisely because the French are racist.

Part 4: The Final Countdown
In a final conclusion, I feel compelled to address those critics who say I'm leaving out our own history when I don't mention Native Americans, Latinos, Asians and other people whose skin is not white. My point is that things have changed and that Americans need to have a different mindset. Back in the day, we used to send people of color away. For example, we sent Josephine Baker and James Baldwin to Paris not because they weren't welcom here, but to show how amazing these black folk could be. And though the Liberal Left will say they were fleeing oppression here, that's just not true. They were sent to the even more racist country of France as punishment and show them how life was actually pretty darn good here. This recent poll just proves my point again. Furthermore, if any residual racism lingers here after the pronouncement of the 10 Condiments, it will no doubt dissapear quickly. (My concern is that the Condiments will not appear until the burning Bush. I know that this may be as worrisome to you as to me, but rest assured: anonymous sources tell me that Barbara's hair spontaneously combusted several weeks ago.)

So, in my last conclusion, , I will say, without equivocation, that France is racist and the age of the 10 Condiments lies just around the corner. This will be much better than the Teresa Heinz 57 (so verbose that Kerry clan) or heavy racist French fare such as the Hollandaise 11, the Dijonnaise 24 and Beurre Blanc for Dummies .