Over the past two decades, la racaille has become les racailles. Ironically enough, while the phenomenon grew and numbers went exponential, the word left its uncountable shell to become fully countable. One should hold on to whatever seems reassuring.
Une racaille is a small street thug. Une petite frappe. Racailles are sociological delights. Fully identifiable. Just like small children, la racaille needs the entire panoply: ghetto accent, ghetto brands, ghetto accessories, ghetto references and ghetto aggressiveness.
While foreigners see these French thugs with nothing but amusement, Parisians are authentically scared of them. As the Parisian male has lost most of his gender’s attributes over the past three decades, all of the city’s testosterone seems to be held by les racailles.
Running into une racaille on the street thus leads to genuine moments of discomfort for the Parisian. Physical discomfort first. Most Parisian men have never been in a fight and fear la racaille’s verbal and physical brutality. Parisian women dread la racaille’s aggressive and disrespectful ways. Social discomfort also ensues: la racaille embodies France’s cultural and social collapses over the past decades. Best not to dig. La racaille hates and despises the Parisian. While most Parisians cannot fully resolve himself to hating and despising la racaille. Which makes la racaille hate and despise him even more. In the end, la racaille if full of misinformed angers. The Parisian is full of guilty angelism. All in all, lots of emptiness all around.
La racaille makes life in France less enjoyable. Parisians enjoy with parsimony outdoor public gatherings for “c’est plein de racailles“. Newly-formed adjective racailleux describes these high density environments. Areas like Les Champs-Elysées or Châtelet are being deserted by Parisians for they are just too racailleux.
A very limited array of adjectives apply to the word racaille. Young Parisian women disdainfully talk about “petite racaille“, or “petite racaille de merde“. Young Parisian men prefer to talk about “grosse racaille“. More fear. ”Fausse racaille” usually applies to white racailles. There is no being tough if you are white in France. Verlan words caille-ra or caille are also used by younger Parisians who listen to rap. Older Parisians vastly ignore the phenomenon. Depending on their upbringing and political beliefs, they will either talk about “des jeunes“, “des jeunes de banlieue“, ou “des loubards“.
While Parisians know better than to look a racaille in the eyes, they love to make fun of them in the discreet comfort of their little apartments. All Parisians have their own interpretation of ”l’accent racaille“. Sentences pronounced in that accent are usually sprinkled with misused verlan words and awkward ghetto-like gestures. Parisians with zero street cred at that point will start saying “zyva” (vas-y in verlan). Zyva was street 25 years ago. When talking in that accent, Parisians will usually bust a “9-3″ in there: 93 is France’s ghettoest département and Parisians are keen to let you know that they know that.
To crown the collapse of the French woman, many young women from la banlieue become “racaillettes” – just as easily distinguishable and aggressive as their homies and also walking in packs. La racaillisation of French youth is a rampant phenomenon. Direct consequence is the massive spread of a ghetto subculture characterized by a certain hatred of France, and a fascination for le rap, le foot et l’islam.
Parisian’s attitude towards les racailles explains the spread of the phenomenon as much as it announces the future of the country. Parisians are right in the end… they should practise that ghetto accent.
Useful tip: Regular French kids wearing brands like Lacoste or Tommy Hilfiger don’t do it to look like daddy; they do it to look more street.
Sound like a Parisian: “Non, c’était pourri, y avait plein de racailles, on est partis tôt.”