When Americans fight about race or culture, the fight is almost always really about social class. And that shows up in today’s discussions about riots and policing.
The Daily Caller recently sent a video correspondent to Brooklyn Center, Minn., scene of many police-shooting-related riots, and to Washington, DC, home of America’s ruling class, and asked people in both places when and if rioting was justified. The answers differed sharply.
- In Brooklyn Center, where the destruction was visible firsthand, respondents (nearly all black men of various ages) overwhelmingly opposed rioting. … A man in construction gear remarked: “I guarantee you the people that were looting, nine times out of 10, weren’t from this area
- On the streets of Washington, … support for riots among the capital’s bourgeoisie was almost universal. One young woman said that “if change needs to be made, and it’s not getting done in the traditional avenues, then rioting is a good option.” Another opined, “I think that all violence is bad violence, but in the case where systems aren’t responding to any other forms of change, I can understand people getting frustrated to the point where they need to take other avenues.” A third commented that looting is “very small compared to” the “systemic oppression” in America. Many more echoed such views. …
This is mostly a class divide. The women interviewed in DC share the up-talk and vocal fry that characterize well-off, college-educated young women today. They aren’t people who run or depend on small businesses that can be ruined by one night of destruction; they aren’t people whose wages might suffer from business closures following mass violence. They speak in the most abstract of tones. …
Funny example of their hypocrisy:
Today, there’s a lot of voyeurism among those encouraging violence. Last year, sports reporter Chris Martin Palmer became the face of this sort of thing when he tweeted a photo of a burning building in Minneapolis with the caption “Burn that s–t down!” (The burning structure giving him voyeuristic tingles was, it turned out, a low-income housing project, the Minnehaha Commons affordable-housing project.)
Palmer’s tune changed when rioters came to his neighborhood. He fumed: “The[y] destroyed a Starbucks and are now in front of my building. Get these animals [the f–k] out of my neighborhood. Go back to where you live.”
Not so virtuous when it’s your property being burned, eh?