November 10, 2005

USA Today: French Riots Are Acts Of Civil Disobedience

This portion of an editorial from USA Today is crazy:

The riots in France that started in the Parisian suburbs are ringing alarm bells throughout Europe. These incidents of civil disobedience should serve as lessons to neighboring countries on how not to treat a minority population.

First, this is a rather tortured use of the term "civil disobedience". Websters Dictionary defines "civil disobedience" as the "refusal to obey governmental demands or commands especially as a nonviolent and usually collective means of forcing concessions from the government". Murder, looting, destruction of hundreds of automobiles, etc. is more than merely refusing to obey a governmental demand. Of course, there is nothing non-violent about the actions of the rioters.
When I think of civil disobedience, I think of such great men as Martin Luther King or Ghandi. Yet, I do not remember either torching automobiles, nursery schools, synagogues or handicapped women.

Second, if you read the editorial, it does nothing but reveal that the writer is an apologist for the lawless rioters. Essentially, these youths were forced to riot due to the government's failure to solve their poverty or otherwise cause their assimilation into France.
Why focus on the rioters as the victims? What about those that have been killed, hurt or those that had their property destroyed? What is so difficult about realizing that sometimes people are wrong and have done things that they should not have done?
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