Two months since the riots, and still no “National Conversation”

Two months since the riots, and still no “National Conversation”. By Michael Tracy.

We are now approaching the two-month mark since the riots that erupted across the United States in late May and early June. …

Yet if one surveyed the national media today, you’d barely even know anything happened. Nor would you likely be aware that those who bore the brunt of the destruction — largely minorities whose sensibilities don’t fit into any neatly-delineated ideological category — are still acutely suffering from the fallout. …

Complicating matters is that the riots occurred in tandem with a protest movement now believed to be the largest ever in U.S. history — one which saw demonstrations, vigils, and general rancor extend even into the most unassuming expanses of suburban and rural America. …

[It’s] clear that the severe ramifications of these riots have been widely ignored — if not consciously obfuscated — by a media class that was near-unanimous in its approval of the accompanying protest movement. That they could have so quickly “moved on,” particularly from the wreckage of Minneapolis/St. Paul — where residents commonly told me that their lives are still in “agony” — is galling.

I’m not a rocket scientist, and it doesn’t take some kind of profound journalistic acuity to walk around riot-affected areas, talk to citizens, record their stories and impressions, take some photos and record some video, and compose some tweets. And yet, I heard from hundreds of people across the United States and world who were shocked that they’d have never been aware of what happened in Minneapolis/St. Paul if not for my dinky little Twitter thread.

When I visited a month after the peak of the riots, much of this major American metropolis still [lay] in ruins. Not that normal life hadn’t mostly resumed; it had. But it’s resumed in the way that war-torn areas configure some ad hoc routine that enables the resumption of semi-normal activity amidst the rubble and despair. In speaking with locals, many of whom have lost their livelihoods and/or had to plead for their children not to be burned alive, it often seems like the extent of the ruination they’ve experienced was barely ever appreciated in the first place. …

[The] media class members are themselves deeply invested in what they regard as “the movement,” however diffuse and ill-defined this “movement” may be, and they are extremely reluctant to produce any coverage which might reflect poorly on said “movement” and potentially undermine its moral and political legitimacy …

Fort Wayne, IN doesn’t immediately come to mind as a likely candidate for a riot location, but one nonetheless took place. A coffee shop employee told me that their window was smashed by white kids with skateboards. As in many other places, the resulting plywood has served as a canvas for a city-sanctioned communal art project. …

Of the dozens and dozens of randomly-selected black Americans that I have so far spoken to across the United States, only two expressed what one might call a “positive” view of the riots, and they were both young men. Everyone else I have encountered is unabashedly scornful of rioting, and many even express apprehensions about the basic logic of a movement referred to as “Black Lives Matter,” which incongruously appears to them to have caused increased suffering in their predominantly black neighborhoods. Here’s an interview I conducted on video with a black man, Tony in Milwaukee, who describes what it was like to escape from a riotous mob on his way home from work. “It’s crazy man. I really don’t understand it. Cuz they sayin’ Black Lives Matter and all this stuff,” he said. “But man, you’re hurting the black community.” …

In Chicago, as with many other cities, small businesses now display signs declaring themselves “Black-owned” or “minority owned” — partially as an expression of pride, but mostly to dissuade further rioting:

Does the ubiquity of these types of signs, in which owners declare their ethnic or racial status, seem healthy to you?

Kristallnacht in 1938 saw signs in German shop windows indicating which ones were owned by Jews, so the rioters would know which ones to smash up.

Lots more pictures at the link, and some tales of what really went on. The rioters and arsonists were mostly white. Most blacks, apart from young men, deplore the damage and are not on board with BLM.