The images of black and brown youth rioting around Paris seem to have convinced many that France has a race problem. We Americans might even be tempted to congratulate ourselves that we’re ahead of France and other European countries, which are only now starting to grapple with racism.

But I am a young black male who has lived in both France and United States, and I can tell you that France’s problem isn’t about race. In a way it’s a more insidious problem than that, and I worry that events in France may actually be a sign of what could happen in America.

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