France riots: Fuelled by everyday discrimination
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French society has been rocked to its core by the riots that spread across the country after police killed Nahel M, a 17-year-old boy of Algerian descent. There has been widespread and intense unrest described as unprecedented.

An absurd routine has developed in Marseille, where I have lived for the past year.

There was a rush to finish errands in the afternoon before shops and public transportation closed prematurely.

Police and rioters played high-stakes cat-and-mouse in the evenings, accompanied by the pulsating soundtrack of car sirens, helicopters and fireworks.

In the mornings, French talk shows often featured one-sided analysis.

There was a constant carousel of police union spokespersons, law analysts, and politicians who attempted to explain who, what, and – most importantly – why the riots occurred.

In the aftermath of the riots, many raised the same-old question regarding immigration into France, despite nearly unanimous condemnation of the police killing of Nahel.

The question always remained: “How have third- and fourth-generation French citizens of immigrants failed to integrate into French society?”

My personal favorite: “Don’t rioters know that what they are doing is ruining their own property?”

I question whether those who asked such questions were sincerely searching for answers decades after they were raised.