Something is very wrong in France - this much can be said without controversy. Beyond that, however, it tends to get a little murky.
The story seems to be that the French-born children of immigrants (mostly from African countries, though even that seems to be in dispute now) have finally had enough of being treated not even like second-class citizens, but rather more like trespassers in their own country (they are French citizens, after all). The riots began nearly two weeks ago in suburban Paris, and quickly spread to cities all over France. Cars have been burned, buildings vandalized and - more recently - people killed. It's a horrific example of what can happen when people who have nothing but numbers on their side decide they're tired of the status quo.
Chris' comment this morning as we watched CNN (the news today is that the central government has given the French states the authority to impose a curfew) was that it just shows there's no accountability for poverty - it's easily ignored by those in power. Well, no more. Of course, the end result is unlikely to be good news for the disaffected youths involved in the riots. They'll probably be further ostracized by the police and the rest of the French citizenry. I wonder how long it'll take next time for the bubble to burst.
For two takes on the situation, here is the New York Times' story today, and the American Progress Report's look at the underlying causes of the unrest.