Race and the Riots: A Reckoning

The Economist, September 3, 2011

If there was any consolation to be had from the recent English riots, it was that they did not pit one racial community against the police (as in Brixton and elsewhere in the 1980s), or one such community against another (as in Bradford and elsewhere in 2001). Yet the density of black people among the rioters suggests that race played some part, even if few politicians are keen to contemplate it. {snip}

Black people make up slightly less than 3% of the British population. But in the CCTV snaps of rioters that the police in London, Birmingham and Manchester have put on the internet, slightly more than half seem to be black. Many of the areas in which rioting took place, such as Tottenham, Hackney and Brixton, are largely black. In Scotland, Wales and north-east England, which have small black populations, there was no rioting.

Poverty can only be part of the explanation for this pattern. While blacks are, by and large, poorer than whites, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis are poorer still. There was no disorder in areas with large Asian populations, including in London; CCTV pictures suggest there were few Asian looters. {snip}

{snip}

The third issue, which is particular to ethnic minorities and perhaps black people above all, is racism, or the perception of it. The unrest in Tottenham began at a protest against the killing of an armed black man by police; some blame police racism for the ensuing violence. At the Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre in Camden, north London, Jessica, a black 13-year-old girl, says her brother was searched twice on a recent shopping outing: “It doesn’t look as though they’re going for any other race.” Stephanie, a 17-year-old girl of Bulgarian origin, concurs. When she hung out with a mixed-race bunch, the police used to search the black boys and nobody else, she says. Official figures lend some credence to these anecdotes: in instances unrelated to terrorism, blacks are five times more likely to be stopped and searched than whites by London’s Metropolitan Police.

Even if the police are more likely to pick on black boys, both the police and society as a whole are far less racist than in the past. Yet history lingers. A teacher says, “Everybody in the black community is told constantly that they’re victims. Parents think the police are racist, the teachers are racist and the establishment is racist. And they tell that to their kids.” If people believe the law to be racist, some may not regard breaking it as morally wrong.

{snip}

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  • Anonymous

    Why do they call them “recent English riots”? The rioters were NOT “English”. They were black. As to WHY the riots happened, it is due to the fact that England now has a large black population in its midst. The enemy is IN the gates.

  • Mike Harrigan

    “Black people make up slightly less than 3% of the British population. But in the CCTV snaps of rioters that the police in London, Birmingham and Manchester have put on the internet, slightly more than half seem to be black..”

    Slightly more than 1/2 the rioters were black in the extremely biased British MSM? That would probably mean the vast majority of rioters were black. The media there as well as here do all they can to hide black criminality and try to highlight White criminals as much as possible, in an attempt to make the sheeple believe White’s are far and away more criminally prone than blacks and other minorities.

  • Anonymous

    “blacks are five times more likely to be stopped and searched than whites by London’s Metropolitan Police”

    And are probably 50 times more likely to be criminals, and 100 times more likely to LOOK like criminals.

  • Anonymous

    “If people believe the law to be racist, some may not regard breaking it as morally wrong.”

    Excuses and more excuses. Everyone knows that destroying other people’s property is morally wrong, and that beating someone up is morally wrong. If they seriously do not know this, then they have no business living in a civilized society.

  • Jason Robertson

    I take many British newspapers and weeklies, but read The Economist only occasionally; and this latest quotation, as I recall, is more realistic than its previous comment.

    Successive events on this occasion developed as follows: (1) initial predominantly “black” protest at the police shooting a (mixed-race) man with criminal connections who had not fired at them; (2) immediate involvement of black street gangs hostile to the police, who extended the protest to attacking policemen,looting, and arson on a huge scale – flash mobs operating on a highly mobile basis in their local areas but also further afield – with an initially limited response by police restrained by low numbers and possibly fear of “racist” accusations; (3) widening of the looting by whites motivated by greed, opportunism and crowd excitement.

    Many factors, historical and recent, enter the explanatory mix, the “left” argument about inequality and unemployment, and the “right” argument about moral decline and national disintegration both having some merit, in proper context . Without going into detail about race and racism, immigration and multicultural legislation in the UK, family breakdown and the nature of adolescent gangs, transnational aspects of drug and gun traffic, gangsta rap and phenomena such as body-language and patois, police failures (in different ways), and the self-perception of blacks in a hitherto “white” aesthetic and technological environment, we can say that any proper explanation of such disturbances must take into account all relevant specifics of “black” (particularly Jamaican) “culture”, the psychology of crime, especially in relation to the biology of black adolescents (see e.g. Richard Lynn’s latest work and replies to critics). Even if the “authorities” are reluctant to publicise these matters, they must be (made) aware of them and take them into account, if any social control is to be effective in the long term. The fear of Asian and Jewish property-owners of violent black criminals may be a helpful factor.

    The otherwise far from admirable Tony Blair has twice come close to raising the “black” issue and also to proposing the earliest possible social intervention to prevent children growing up as delinquents, but the present crop of politicians in Britain, if they actually have any ideology at all, it is sadly an illiterate and unreflective “political correctness” damaging to good, intelligent and industrious people – whatever their “colour”.

  • Anonymous

    “blacks are five times more likely to be stopped and searched than whites by London’s Metropolitan Police””

    That is because the suspects the police are looking for are black males.

  • Anonymous

    The majority of the rioters were black because the riot was sparked by the death of a black man . The fact that there were non-blacks including whites, may be an indication that race relation between blacks and whites are better today than in the past. So they rioted together.

    The UK is a country where 50 percent of black males and 1/3 of black females have white partners.

  • ghw

    “If there was any consolation to be had from the recent English riots, it was that they did not pit one racial community against the police (as in Brixton and elsewhere in the 1980s), or one such community against another.

    The Wall Street Journal (Europe) said exactly otherwise. It specically stated that in some places it was blacks against Asians. That, btw, was the only newspaper I read which specifically mentioned race and assigned blame. The others all danced very carefully around the issue.

  • white advocate – Canada

    I can understand the objectives of the racial progressives, but I can’t understand how they’ve gotten their plan of action. Who decides what the next project is going to be? How is progress being measured? Most curiously, why not go big right off the bat? Let’s start with the name England. Obviously the land of the Engs, or at least it used to be until the third world arrived. A new name is needed to make every non-Eng feel included. Next, the monarchy has to be started afresh. Those long pedigrees are a barrier to outsiders become royal. The monarchy will be mostly white for a long time yet. This is not inclusive and does not reflect the diverse reality.

    I conclude the racial progressives are afraid of taking these two most obvious steps. Why?

  • OleSouthernGal

    Why were half the rioters black? BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT BLACKS DO – it’s RACE, stupid! Blacks only understand violence, and that’s what they produce. They’ll even destroy their own neighborhoods when there’s a chance to riot. They love rioting like Mexican men love cockfighting.

  • Kenelm Digby

    As ever, ‘The Economist’ magazine distinguishes itself by being unsufferably pompous – and managing to get all the facts base over apex to boot.

    Trying to deny that the riots were the inevitable result of black criminality is like trying to deny the nose on your face.

    Pontificating on the fact that black youths happen to be apprehended by the police dsiproportionately ignores the fact that black youth massively offend disproportionately – and are also responsible for the terrible knifing, shooting and mugging plagues that so disfigure London.

  • Bandmo

    Simple as this…….”If it is wrong, the blacks will find a way to master it”.