In Colombes in suburban Paris, youths pelted a bus with rocks, sending a 13-month-old child to the hospital with a head injury, Hamon said, while a daycare center was burned in Saint-Maurice, another Paris suburb.
Much of the youths' anger has focused on law-and-order Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, whose reference to the troublemakers as "scum" appeared to inflame passions.
No doubt the reporter interviewed the "youths" who injured the 13-month-old child, to determine that it was Sarko's harsh language, referring to the rioters as "scum," which sent the rock in the 13-month-old's direction.
If anyone had asked me to characterize the type of "youth" who would cause a head injury in an infant, or set fire to a daycare center, I might very well have chosen "scum."
As I wrote two days ago, Sarco's words (perhaps he now regrets them) have taken on a totemic significance. But it is getting more and more difficult to see how these "youths" do not deserve Sarko's epithet.
Update: Although Sarko's epithet has usually been translated as scum, the term he used, racaille, might better be rendered rabble. Bostonian, writing at Roger L. Simon, made me aware of background to the racaille story: Evidently, M. Sarkozy was echoing the term used by a woman questioning him during a TV interview, and she herself, fed up with the violence, used the term racaille. This part was edited out. One hates to think the French mainstream media were deliberately putting Sarko in a bad light.