Friday, November 18, 2005

Smart conservative at work

This post by Slate's Mickey Kaus, below the one where he repeats Republican spin about Congressman John Murtha's speech against the Iraq war yesterday, reveals fundamental misunderstandings; it's about the now tapering-off riots in France:

A Black, not Brown, Revolt: A Martin Walker scener puts it more bluntly than Olivier Roy:

The sullen faces that gaze on the handiwork of the local rioters and sneer at the vans of the riot police are black rather than brown: Africans from Mali and Martinique rather than Arabs from Algeria and Morocco ... One of the striking features of the two weeks of rage that swept France is that so many of the rioters are black rather than Arab

This is, of course, encouraging. It suggests Europe is farther away from a general, penetrating Christian/Muslim or European/Arab split than, say, Mark Steyn would have it.

The criticism of Steyn presumably an attempt to maintain one's "even the liberal ..." credentials, but note the equations:

Arab = Muslim
Black not equal to Arab
Black not equal to Muslim
Martinique = African

His analysis thus pairs nicely with fellow smart conservative David Brooks' attribution of the riots to hip-hop music.

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