Here are some odds and ends that have occurred to me on the topic.
|These folks live somewhere, just not near us. Image source.|
- The people you see on your TV or on YouTube vandalizing and looting in Baltimore are not vampires. They do not emerge from coffins in a faraway castle whenever there's a shooting of a black man by a white cop and then return to their coffins to sleep for months once the looting is done. They are all someone's neighbors every day. Just as we only sling #blacklivesmatter around on Twitter if there's a white guy involved in a shooting, we only worry about these looters when there's a riot. It doesn't seem to occur to us that they're always out there, stealing, smashing and hurting.
- Things the rioters probably never hear: "You were out doing what?!? You just wait until your father gets home! He's going to tan your hide!" See also: tweet embedded below.
- What's it like to live amidst these people? What's it like to grow up among them? When I was, say, 8, I used to think that teenagers were demigods. Everything they did was cool and I wanted to be just like them, even more than I wanted to be an astronaut, cowboy, train engineer or French existentialist. How can we expect kids to grow up with any moral sense at all when their idols come home laughing and joking, arms full of booty? How about when their idols come home with the goodies and there are no responsible, adult men who beat some respect for property into them?
- This reminds me of the Geronimo book I blogged about yesterday. Geronimo spent years murdering and looting and then whined about how the white man didn't keep his word. I dunno, Geronimo, I'm not sure that anyone was really all that interested in keeping a treaty with a unpredictable, amoral thug. In the end, US troopers tracked him and his tribe down and mopped the floor with them. The outnumbered and outgunned Apaches did their best to make everyone mad and then were shocked when they were wiped out. There's a lesson for the Baltimore rioters here somewhere, I'm sure.
- Expecting the parents to take responsibility for their vandal-children seems to me to be the act of pure optimism and / or cultural ignorance:
.@BaltimorePolice issues statement to parents, urging them to please bring their children home amid #BaltimoreRiots. pic.twitter.com/mL97hmqdC4
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 27, 2015