Sunday, April 12, 2009

Violent Bus Ride - The Victim Speaks

After the tremendous outpouring of comments and furious reactions relevant to the attack in the night bus (known as the "Noctilien"), readers will find the following testimony by the victim himself to be either politically correct to a shocking degree, or a refreshingly honest statement from a 19-year-old student who does not want to make a mountain out of a molehill. At any rate, those were the two main reactions of Le Figaro's readers.

My own reaction is one of amazement at the level of indoctrination manifest in the remarks of the young man who took the bus that night, who was clearly beaten up by thugs, and who, without quite going so far as to say he is grateful to his attackers for what they did, comes so close that he might as well testify for the defense should the case ever go to court. Having skillfully mastered "official thought", he talks as if he would gladly testify for the prosecution in the case against the police officer who released the video.

Here is the interview he granted Le Figaro. You be the judge:

- What really happened in the Noctilien bus that night?

- I had spent the evening with friends and was returning home to the 17th arrondissement. I was alone when I got on the Noctilien bus at the Gare de l'Est. I turned by back on four young men. While one of them asked me for a cigarette, the other went through my pockets. When I turned around I saw one of them had my wallet. Instinctively, I tried to get it back. That's when the confrontation began...

- The beating they gave you, very violent, must have seemed interminable...

- From a spatial and temporal point of view, I cannot evaluate what I experienced. Looking at the video allowed me to anchor the attack in reality. I just remember that they pushed me to the back of the bus, and that I was knocked to the ground. In a second phase, I went back to the bus driver before being kicked and punched. As the video shows, other passengers were also molested, in particular a young man who tried to help me.

- And the driver who remained seated?

- I feel no anger towards him. It was very difficult for him to react. He did what he could, obeying the rules: he stopped the bus immediately and phoned for the police. They came very quickly and arrested two persons; then a few days later two alleged accomplices were arrested.

- Some Internet sites affirm that racial insults were hurled at you...

- Personally, I heard nothing of the sort. These remarks, if they were made, were the consequence of my attackers being drugged or drunk. Moreover, they were not all immigrants. The video of my attack appears to be stereotypical, in view of the fact that that night I was wearing "bourgeois" clothing, and I was face to face with four young people who were making lots of noise. In no event do I want to be regarded as the symbol of a certain social image who was attacked by foreigners. I did not take it like that. Furthermore, one of the assailants in an overcoat, shaven, had very white skin...

- What injuries did you suffer?

- Except for a hematoma to the eye and some bruises, no injuries were found. Two days after the attack, I consulted a psychiatrist at the Hôtel-Dieu in Paris who told me that I appeared to have taken the whole thing well. Since then I've gone back to public transportation, even the Noctilien bus...

- This story came back to you like a boomerang via the Internet...

- Yes. On April 6, a friend told me that a video had been put online at Facebook. When I saw it, I was going to ask the person who had posted it to withdraw it. I didn't realize it would be broadcast on such a scale...

- This broadcasting of the video seems to have upset you as much as the attack.

- It's true that the situation is very difficult, very delicate. Many friends were shocked by the widespread circulation, which hurts me. To spread images on the Internet is very serious because it jeopardizes part of our legal principles. There was a serious amalgamation between the reality of the scene and its representation. This video was circulated at extremist sites and has been exploited by politicians. Now, I do not wish to be exploited. The subject is apt to generate radical ideas and I have no desire to encourage that. I had to get out of this reductive caricature. To be brutally at the center of a polemic of this magnitude is never pleasant. This hurts me greatly, since I had managed to overcome the event itself. I'm leaving Paris without hatred, in order to find some peace with my family.

Note: The young man's statements are worthy of closer analysis. The school he is enrolled in in Paris - the famous and very "progressive" School of Political Science is also an issue, as is the possible influence of the school's president on the manner in which the young man answered the questions. Le Figaro's readers touch on these topics in their responses (there are already 689 of them). I will try to deal with these questions in later posts.

The question is: was he told what to say, did he instinctively know what to say, or does he really believe what he said? Also, if he is now under some kind of police protection, can he really talk against the government?

The circumstances of his departure from Paris aren't clear.

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At April 12, 2009 9:14 PM, Anonymous dauphin_b612 said...

I didn't read all the comments but I thought "ip94" made some good points about the guy as just another conformist, and how he excused his "bourgeois" dress as women in mini-skirts might be blamed for "provoking" the assault they have suffered. Also, these "brave yutes" don't need to be on drugs or drunk to call someone a "sale blanc", a dirty white. And not only "da yutes" use the term, but adults as well.

What was laughable, was reading comments that said things like "yuck" or "cowardice", thinking they were referring to the young science-po student, but then reading that they were complaining about the comments by the "extreme" right. What idiots!

At April 13, 2009 9:27 AM, Blogger Félicie said...

"reductive caricature"

Oh, boy. That says it all. He has mastered the lingo. It is clear at this point that we are not dealing with a modest young man who doesn't want to make a mountain out of a molehill (molehill? MOLEHILL?), but with a young person who has been thoroughly brainwashed and who has fully internalized the self-hating and leukophobic (to use Ian Jobling's term) liberal ideology.

This is not a very kind sentiment, but I can't keep thinking that if this had to happen to someone, I am glad it happened to someone like this young man.

At April 14, 2009 12:48 PM, Blogger zazie said...

If he were a grown-up man, he would be despicable indeed! but he is only a kid that has been "brought up by the electronic nanny" (tv!), uncaring parents and teachers merely able to speak according to the prevailing ideology! Considering all this, I only pity him, por lamb!

At April 14, 2009 3:59 PM, Blogger Craig said...

By the "School of Political Science" do you mean he studies at Sciences-Po on rue Saint Guillaume?

I studied there for a year. While there was indeed plenty of the politically correct (anti-)culture so beloved of the Left present there, I personally left Sci-Po neither a liberal nor a bourgeois!

Indeed my years in the 3rd level system left me far more cynical and conservative than I was when I started, but sadly I saw far too many of my classmates and friends succumb to the pro-Obama/multicultural/pro-"choice" culture fostered by the professors and student organisations.

At April 14, 2009 4:52 PM, Anonymous Philipp said...

@ Félicie

I think you are right. However that this young man did not even realised what is going in France after he was brutally beaten up is even more scary than the indoctrination itself. When I saw the video, I got very angry but he seems to be more angrier at the person who posted the video in the internet than the thugs who beat him up.

After the Romans catapulted his brother's head in his camp, Hannibal said: "I see there the fate of Carthage".

Does this episode tells us the fate of the West?

PS @ Tiberge: Thanks for keeping us updated regarding this story!

At April 25, 2009 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not seen the video out of respect for the victim's wishes (and out of understanding of his appeal to the legal process). If zazie is right about his age, then she is also right in withholding criticism of him.

The responsibility lies with governments that deny innocent people the freedom that Bernie Getz has. If this boy had that freedom, and chose to waive it in favour of some kind of potential martyrdom, then so be it. But he should not, out of enforced weakness, be led into rationalising his unjustified beating as some kind of social heroism.


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