Driving Through a Parisian Suburb

I went to Paris with little idea of how life was on its outskirts. I grew up in the Bronx and simply expected that what Parisians call the suburbs, would be somehow equivalent to an American inner-city. There's a difference between crippling third-world poverty and the kind of poverty that you'd expect to see in a developed country.
As soon as we crossed a tunnel informing us that we were in Paris, my girlfriend looked to her left and spotted a family living in an underpass. I hadn't seen people living in such a visibly public place in any other city in Europe. The individuals were Sub-Saharan African, and I felt a squeeze in my heart, not sure if it was something that I was going to be seeing during my entire trip to Paris. But it wasn't just black people like me, the homelessness was systemic.
We drove a bit past the underpass, and came upon slow traffic near the red light that would finally release us into the city's inner roads. But as our car stood in that row of traffic, we noticed a group of teenage North African window washers. I precognitively saw them deciding to wash the car with foreign plates and a blonde driver at the wheel, and indeed I was right. Even as we waved and said no, they still grabbed the wiper. I tapped the window, but they didn't relent and simply became aggressive.
I grew frustrated as they rubbed something in the driver's side, and I punched the inside of the windshield, before putting on my wild Bronx face. I stepped out of the car, looking angry, and hoping that they would back away. Fortunately they did, the light changed, and I sat back in as we drove away. Putting on my seat belt, I realized that my very first few minutes in Paris had involved seeing a family living in an underpass and confronting a group of young, aggressive businessmen.
I couldn't admit it to myself, but Paris reminded me more of Rio, with its favelas overlooking beauty and wealth, than a city like London or Berlin. Later that night, walking around the Bastille, we stumbled past a mother and her two children sleeping inside of a phone booth. Throughout the day, I had seen a disproportionately high number of posters for the marine corps asking: "are you already a marine without knowing it?"
I thought back to the French foreign legion, and how France now had inside of its own border a massively poor population of unassimilated individuals, much like the US. Like the US, France has enough people to use in its 21st century post-colonial entanglements abroad, much like the current one in Mali. Like the US, France seems to have its priorities in wrong order; no country should be waging foreign wars in distant lands when there are mothers sleeping with their children in phone booths.
Maybe Depardieu was right to leave and become a Russian citizen. Because, why would someone want to pay 75% taxes in a country so polarized?