This is a story that every American needs to read, inasmuch as it is a sad, very troubling and real time, real life recounting of America's troubled history during the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's. The difference, this is Europe, and specifically Switzerland.
I have been warning my European friends of problems and challenges to be overcome, coming their way for some years now, starting with a speech I gave before a UN conference in 1998 in Lyon, France. I was booed then, by the French, but knew I was right, unfortunately. Europe is going to have to find a way to address its challenges, in ways that are not repressive on the one hand, and that doesn't "turn away" from its responsibilities on the other. The bottom line is that individuals, today, want "silver rights," or the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own steam. If we can find a way to empower and include people, crime and discontent will decrease, hope, opportunity, civility and community will increase, and a new Europe will be born for the 21st century. A Europe, much like America is this way -- made up of all of us. Read the complete New York Times story here.
Let me know what you think. Pass it on.
You can also search my Blog on stories I have written on the Paris riots of recent past. My point: the riots were not about Islamic extremism, but individuals who only felt that they were French when they paid their taxes. To the extent that they do not see themselves, understandably so, in French society, in French business leadership, and French public (governmental and other) leadership, then the future of the beautiful, amazing, magical place that we all know to be France, will be challenged.
Onward with HOPE
John Hope Bryant