Americans watched the fires burning in
I figure that's when you felt it. Whether you live in
This could happen here, as it has happened before.
Here's all that it takes: A bad police shooting, or a merchant killing a black kid for stealing candy, some frightened white guy on the train with a gun, and political activists begin shouting race.
Watching the fires burn in
Some of you may have opted out, but I just couldn't. I remember
Then as now there was the anger and the fires and the looting and the politicians wringing their hands, afraid to offend, later meeting with gang leaders to have "a conversation" for peace.
It is the liturgy of race and rage and violence that many of us, unfortunately, now know by heart. And it was a warning.
The first warning, of course, came as they all do: unintentionally, this time from the foolish mouth of
She was commenting on the death of
Protesters wanted to protest. Most were peaceful. And that's when she issued her now famous quote that should be seared on the mind of every mayor in the country.
"It's a very delicate balancing act," she said, "because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well."
Space to destroy? They used that space all right. They burned cars in it, and businesses, and senior citizen housing, the cops retreating to give the rioters "space to destroy," the thugs advancing, as the rest of us watched.
One man, an African-American in his late 20s, was interviewed as the rocks began to fly. He sounded heartbroken, talking of how stupid it is to destroy your own neighborhood.
And I felt for him and for all the African-Americans watching, cringing, I'm sure, seeing those vicious thugs so prominent, dominating the news, the law-abiding pushed out of the frame.
Brown wasn't a hero. He was a large and violent man. He shouldn't have died, but he also shouldn't have tried to grab a cop's gun.
Yet he was made into a hero by cynical manipulators of the left because he was black and the cop from
What's different in
Large urban areas are aging fortresses that for generations have housed failed liberal policies designed to benefit Democratic politicians. There is a cost to such failure.
Democrats court Hispanic voters and accommodate unskilled labor from
And urban public education, for example, continues to shovel thousands upon thousands of kids out the door with few skills for the future. The administrators have nice pensions, the vendors make a profit, and the party bosses are supported by these special interests.
There are success stories, yes. But far too many kids are left to pick up rocks.
"You know it could happen here," said Patricia, a middle-age woman working in a sandwich shop on
"All it takes is something," Patricia said. "Some good young man getting shot by police. Some child getting shot by some store owner. Something like that and then we'll be
There was a liquor store. A few old gents strolled past, sipping breakfast out of brown paper bags. Farther down the street was a convenience store, where I met the manager,
"You pray to G0D to stop it, but the people are so angry," said Nassir, from
It is a despair that is sullen. It is tired and it is numb.
And it is flammable.