Even before globalization began diluting its essence, France had changed more in recent decades than even the protean U.S. In a few dozen years it went from an agricultural country where telephones and decent plumbing were luxuries- in Paris, I once waited three years to get aphone lineto one with a cell phone in every pocket, high-speed trains rocketing through the countryside, and threequarters of its electricity derived from nuclear power. With danger signals like that flashing, the government's reaction has been a gaggle of gadgets: suggesting job seekers use anonymous CVs to give the Kemils and Mohammeds a better chance against the Jean-Pierres and Grards; pushing schools to teach the Marseillaise and respect for national symbols; urging TV channels to hire multi-ethnic presenters; banning the Muslim head scarf in public schools and threatening to outlaw the head-to-toe burqa; asking France's elite colleges, the so-called Grandes Ecoles, to reserve 30 percent of their enrollment for minorities (the schools, bastions of the haute bourgeoisie, said forget it).
In Search of Lost Identity Joseph A Harriss The American Spectator; Mar 2010; 43, 2; Docstoc pg. 44 Reproduced with permission of
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