Friday, September 02, 2005

Good morning, it appears that we will have a lovely late summer day here.

I’ve been thinking about restarting my Philanthropy Friday hectoring but with Katrina and the fires here I’m not sure I need to. I will add the Croix-Rouge Française, the French Red Cross and Fondation Abbé Pierre for those who are interested in helping the fire victims here in Paris. Abbé Pierre provides advocacy, financing and rehabilitation of housing for the poor in France.

Sorry both sites are in French only.

France, and most of Europe is struggling with the integration of immigrants from the third world. Even when nominally welcomed, immigrants feel and are isolated from the larger culture. And a double message is often given; immigrant you must assimilate, immigrant but you can never be French (English, German etc.).

Now I understand more completely the point a friend and his cousin were making in a conversation I participated in prior to coming to France. These men are Ethiopian and immigrants, one to the US the other to France, both own businesses, both are successful and both are now citizens. The American cousin expresses the feeling that he is fully accepted in the US. His cousin does not have the same feeling about being in France.

Perhaps it is from the immigrant history of the US. When the immigrant achieves success many of the barriers and resentments fall away, but in Europe a divide continues to exist.

Now for my run.



Blogger W. S. Cross said...

I flew to Miami yesterday on business, and was surrounded by about a dozen Indian-Americans. All were speaking Hindi mixed with US English, and the funny thing was to close my eyes when it was English: I could hear a bunch of mid-western ex-frat boys talking sports, pussy, business and toys.

They move effortlessly between India and the US, and were heading to the Carib for a batchelor party. The cultural differences are still apparent. When I asked the groom-to-be why he was getting married, he replied "women are good for cleaning, cooking, etc." His mates pounded him on the back and laughed like frat boys anywhere. He was too embarassed to bring up sex, but I could see that was a component.

The American lifestyle, for all its flaws, will more readily accept the outsider. Europe is still unable to allow their newcomers in.

6:37 PM  

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