This is the first black race riot in St. Louis history. (See the comments below, turns out there was a big one in Alton in 1969-1970). As far as riots go, this one was pretty weak, though I don’t think it’s over yet. For one, these kinds of things take 72 hours to wear out, and for another, Al Sharpton is coming to town, so just his coming might recharge their batteries.
A couple of things to remember:
* This should prove once and for all that crime causes poverty and not the other way around.
* Race riots are not expressions of racial hopelessness and despair, they are expressions of racial power. Note that before 1963, almost all race riots were white-led, including two in East St. Louis in the summer of 1917. After 1963, they have been almost all black-led.
* Until this weekend, St. Louis was (relatively) riot free because the cops historically did a good job instilling a sense of fear into the thick skulls of our Bellcurvii. In other cities where there have been black riots, blacks have been pandered to and coddled for a long time.
* Now that our winning streak is over, it must mean by definition that the cops are starting to lose their mojo over Bell Curve City, and that St. Louis blacks don’t fear “da man” as much as they used to.
* I find it curious that when we experienced our first one (in a long time), almost all the rioting was in North County, and not just for the fact that the events which sparked the riots happened there. Why did it hardly spread into the city? Offhand, I think the answer may be that the city cops have always impressed me a little more in terms of trying to stay one step ahead of the ooks than the suburban cops in both the bigger and the postage stamp municipalities of North County and more than that those great “internationally accredited” county browns. Another possible explanation is that there has been a quiet concerted effort on the part of St. Louis’s civic elite to dump the worst blacks out of the city and onto North County, to make the city safe for hipsters, yuppies and gentrifiers.
* The QT on West Florissant at the Moline Creek is a total loss. First it was looted, then someone in a truck hauled off the ATM, then it was tagged with graffiti, then it was burned. The reason it got hit hard is because Michael Brown was either headed to or headed from there when the Ferguson cops accosted him. Then the next businesses to be hit were the nearby AutoZone and Zeiser Tire, where the impoverished people stole car batteries and rims. Then it spread from there.
* This photo that’s getting a lot of play on Twitter is a fake:
For one, it’s an older photo, because this is close to Commercial Street between Carr Avenue and the Martin Luther King bridge; this area is now part of the Lumiere Casino development, and it looks different now. Second, I doubt that railroad viaduct would have ever been called on to transport flatbed railroad cars carrying tanks. Third, any train on those elevated tracks will be either headed to or from the tunnels carrying that same train track line underneath the Arch grounds, and I don’t think those tanks could fit in the tunnels.
* This was the safest place to be in Ferguson last night, and maybe also the next several. I’m not kidding, either; didn’t hear about any damage to this place much less any attempts to B&E.