Acción afirmativa para Europa

La violencia en Francia, alimentada por un desempleo preocupante y por los violentos métodos de la policía, refleja el fracaso total del modelo francés de integración social. Pero la violencia en otros lugares de Europa, como los atentados en Londres en julio y el brutal asesinato del cineasta holandés Theo van Gogh en las calles de Amsterdam en noviembre de 2004 ya habían mostrado, clara y dolorosamente, el fracaso de Europa en integrar a sus minorías.

A medida que los motines en Francia se desvanecen, los políticos franceses se angustian sobre la manera de proceder. Hace cuarenta años, después de que la segregación legal de blancos y negros terminara formalmente en Estados Unidos, este país se enfrentaba a problemas similares. Sin embargo, la respuesta de Estados Unidos muestra que la integración no puede verse como una calle de un solo sentido. Además de imponer exigencias y limitaciones a las minorías para unirse a la mayoría, la sociedad debe estar dispuesta a exigirse a sí misma un espacio para todos sus ciudadanos.

Como un modelo potencial a seguir, Europa debe mirar las políticas de la llamada "acción afirmativa" que Estados Unidos promulgó para proveer oportunidades a los negros. La "acción afirmativa" o la "discriminación positiva" como algunos han llamado a estas políticas, empezó con los ingresos a las universidades. Pero, a principios de los años 1970, el Presidente Richard M. Nixon amplió el alcance de la acción afirmativa.

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