Saturday, June 10, 2006

Crime and Semantics


School violence, like Time, stops for no man. France-Echos reported this story with a link to TF1, also the source of the photo. The incident took place at Anatole France Middle School. The bitter irony for me is in the names of these schools that have become sink-holes. Anatole France was a wonderful writer, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1921, and author of The Gods Are A-Thirst, about the transformation from idealism to fanaticism during the French Revolution. His style of writing was pure and classical, and could probably never be duplicated today, by anyone, if you paid them.


The principal of Anatole France Middle School in Marseilles was assaulted and beaten on Tuesday after trying to intervene in a group, composed mainly of young girls, who had come to the school on a punitive expedition. The police were alerted immediately and proceeded to arrest a young girl of sixteen, thought to be the instigator of the incident.

In detention, she explained to the investigators that she had set up this punitive raid in revenge against a classmate whom she considered responsible for her expulsion from school last week. A second girl was arrested on Wednesday. The four other young persons, from other schools, are still at large. "We have here a group of minors lacking direction and practically unknown to the police", indicated a judicial source.

The principal (a woman) "is doing well, despite bruises, a black eye and other injuries that were reported to the Medical and Legal Institute", said the administrators of the school, who also added that the principal was pressing charges. The teachers immediately exercised their right to a work-stoppage, but classes resumed again normally on Wednesday morning.

Last week, a physical education teacher at Jean Giono Middle School, also in Marseilles, was beaten up by three young persons while he was conducting class on a soccer field outside the establishment.

A contributor to France-Echos nicknamed La Pucelle wrote an angry comment berating journalists for the use of the word "jeune" (young) as being nothing more than a way of attenuating the gravity of their acts. For years, "jeune" has been synonymous with black/Muslim/immigrant/thug/vandal, just as in America we can only say "alleged assailant", or "teen", or "youth", although every now and then reporters here do specify the race, and police descriptions usually indicate race. But since 9/11 no one has been able to mention the word "Muslim", not in reporting crime, not in airport security checks, often not even in reporting violent acts in other countries.

Recently, in Canada, 17 "persons" were arrested on charges of suspected terrorism. Both Canadian and American reporters crossed the river Lethe before writing their articles, although eventually, and with what must have been a superhuman effort, they aroused themselves enough to blurt out the ethnic identity of the suspects. In his blog, Roger L. Simon says this (I'm not sure where he gets the word "lede"; is it ironic for "lead"?):


I can't say I'm surprised it took eight paragraphs before the New York Times deigned to tell us what might be behind (have motivated) the arrest of 17 people in Ontario over the last couple of days. In fact it takes them six paragraphs before they even name any names. And of course they hasten first to make sure we know most of these men (not yet identified as Islamists) are "young people," shades of the French linguistic obsession with les jeunes, lest we might think them representative of a hostile ideology. This political bowdlerization is accomplished in paragraph four. Think for a moment how the Times would have constructed an article (has constructed many articles) about the malfeasance of US servicemen. They sure wouldn't bury the lede. They would scream "American failure" at the top of their semi-refined lungs in paragraph one. Oh, well,... why doI even bother? (Even CNN has in their lede that the terrorists were motivated by Al Qaeda ideology.)

Another long and fascinating discussion of the Toronto arrests took place at Lawrence Auster's VFR.

Question: By protecting Muslims and other groups, are journalists complimenting them or insulting them? If Muslims and other groups do not FEEL insulted by this ludicrous pandering, why not? If they lack self-awareness, then they cannot possibly have a conscience. If they have no conscience then they have not evolved sufficiently to participate in Western society and should be removed. So, the press is telling us that these people are NOT like everyone else, and have to be treated with kid-gloves because they have the reactions of a violent and conscience-deprived nature.

But if you actually SAID all that to the press, you would be denounced, and in some countries fined or imprisoned. Words, not guns, have become a weapon of terrorism.

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