Article of the Day: The Other France

The Other France

It’s been a few days since I’ve published an article recommendation. Despite my best intentions, time (or the lack thereof) often gets the best of me. Hopefully, this article will make up for my shortcomings.

France, for me, is more than just an area of interest, it is a passion. A passion nurtured through my childhood in Paris and my current longing to return. It therefore deeply pains me when I see my country thrust in such a negative light for the perceived treatment of muslim communities in underprivileged neighborhoods. France is such a beautiful country, yet the stigmatization and inherent belief held by a vocal minority that somehow your religion or ethnic background disqualifies you from being truly French, is not only abhorrent but anathema to the very concept of being French.

What’s more, the way that we, as a society, have dealt with this issue undermines France’s ability to speak out against other transgressions in other countries. How can the country known as a bastion of human rights speak out against injustices when they exist a few kilometers away from the glitz and glamour of the Champs Elysées?

This issue is profoundly troubling, yet articles like this fascinating piece in the New Yorker give me hope. There are people who are willing to break down the stereotypes and seek to build a more wholesome and inclusive France. Citizens, from all walks of life, coming together with the realization that France as a country is only as great as its people are united. This year has been a particularly painful one for my our country, and it is in these moments where our collective ability to address these fundamental problems will define us for years (if not generations) to come.

This piece shines a light on the kind of people we, as a society and as a world, need to focus on: the community organizer, the disenfranchised youth working to make his kids’ lives better. Let’s stop focusing on the lives of a handful of mentally deranged extremists and instead focus on the good. That is what this piece does, and I seriously hope it brings about many more like it!