America has received much of the world's attention on the issue of race over the past half-century. From segregation in the south, to busing students, to affirmative action, issues of race seem to be omnipresent.
The recent riots occurring in France, however, provide a glance at what is truly a multinational issue. Immigrants from Africa, predominantly Muslim, have been reeking havoc in the streets of, literally, hundreds of French communities. The rallying cry of these French minorities sounds eerily familiar to our own familiar past. Low wages, segregation and marginalization from society have all been blamed for the buildup of tension that has led to the destructive behavior.
In many ways it is a reminder of how far our country has come and still has to go.
The ugly Jim Crow laws of our past have been erased. Affirmative action has opened avenues of opportunity that formerly were nonexistent. Minorities now serve with distinction in our highest court, national legislature and the president's cabinet. It is no longer farfetched to imagine the day when a minority serves as the president of the United States.
We as Americans do, however, still hold issues with those new to our country. Although we are a nation built on immigrants, each generation seemingly finds a new group or issue to be at arms against. As members of the gay community seemingly become more willing to become open in their sexual orientation, the country proportionally becomes vocal against them.
If Americans wish to continue to hold themselves in high regards, it would be wise to notice the downfalls of countries that continue to suppress their minorities.