Peter Frost: French Lesson

The gruesome attack on Charlie Hebdo has earned condemnation around the world…

…Yes, violence is serious. It’s a crime when done by an individual and war when done by a country. It’s a grave breach of the rules that govern our society. Whatever differences we may have, they are to be settled peacefully, through the courts if need be. Violence is just not to be done.

Except it increasingly is. The attack on Charlie Hebdo is not an isolated incident. It’s part of a worsening trend of violence by people described as jeunes [youths] or simply not described at all. That was not the case in the recent attack; the victims were too well known. But it is generally the case, and this conspiracy of silence has become something of a social norm, particularly in the media.

Yet statistics do exist, notably those compiled by the Gendarmerie. According to French criminologist Xavier Raufer:

The criminality we are talking about is the kind that is making life unbearable for the population: burglaries, thefts of all sorts, assaults, violent thefts without firearms, etc. In these specific cases, 7 out of 10 of these crimes are committed by people who in one way or another have an immigrant background, either directly (first generation on French territory, with or without a residence permit) or indirectly (second generation). (Chevrier and Raufer, 2014)

The word “immigrant” is misleading. Many if not most are French-born, and they tend to come much more from some immigrant groups than from others. In general, they are young men of North African or sub-Saharan African background, plus smaller numbers of Roma and Albanians.

This criminality, when not being denied, is usually put down to social marginalization and lack of integration. Yet the reverse is closer to the truth. The typical French person is an individual in a sea of individuals, whereas immigrant communities enjoy strong social networks and a keen sense of solidarity.

This is one of the reasons given why the targets of the crime wave are so often Français de souche [old-stock French]. “Whites don’t stick up for each other”…


In a way, we out-bred*, non-tribal Europeans (or their descendants) are a poor match for urban warfare against immigrants who  resent us and are still bound by some extent by clans.  

Not all the migrants are still clan-bound, but Islam itself, especially the radical brand, also provides a type of social glue that we are lacking.  

Those immigrant groups that are living in the West but are generally prosperous and satisfied do not pose the same kind of threat.  For example, the Chinese in Vancouver often live together in neighbourhoods, but those areas are not anymore dangerous than average. 

*Out-bred: we do not marry our close relatives, unlike tribal/clan societies.

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