(before anyone sez anything, NO I am not a fan of current American policy; I just enjoy a bit of irony. I'm warped that way.)
Mitterrand Blames U.S. On Social Policies
By Barry James - International Herald Tribune
Saturday, May 2, 1992
President François Mitterrand of France said Friday that the rioting in Los Angeles had been caused by the conservative policies of President George Bush.
Mr. Mitterrand also described as "scandalous" the legal verdict that acted as a spark to the riots. He said it had been "unbearable" for him to watch the videotape of the beating of a black man by the four Los Angeles policemen acquitted in the case.
"George Bush is a very careful and generous man but he has a very conservative political outlook," Mr. Mitterrand said in response to a question from a radio interviewer.
"American society is conservative and economically liberal," he said, using the French expression for laissez-faire capitalism. "Here we see one of the results."
Mr. Mitterrand's was not the only critical voice. Amnesty International, the London-based human rights organization, denounced what it called "routine police brutality" in Los Angeles and called for an inquiry into such behavior.
France has suffered outbreaks of racial violence, often stone-throwing confrontations between black and Arab youths and the police in immigrant-dominated suburban areas. But Mr. Mitterrand said there was "no comparison between what passes here and elsewhere."
The president said that the social welfare system helped to counter poverty and social injustice in France, where unemployment is touching the near-record level of 3 million.
The absence of such social welfare in the United States helped cause the riots, Mr. Mitterrand said.
"This is above all a racial conflict, and a racial conflict is always wedded to poor social conditions," he said. "Those who are at a disadvantage socially are at the same time at a disadvantage racially." President François Mitterrand of France said Friday that the rioting in Los Angeles had been caused by the conservative policies of President George Bush.
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