“What Racism Has Done to Baltimore”

“For a long time, our domestic affairs, or at least the portion of them most explicitly tied to race, have resembled a nightmare doomed to be repeated until the underlying conflict is resolved…
 
 It is true that we have grown adroit at feigning astonishment at the episodic convulsions of violence in American cities, but that doesn’t make them any less predictable or their roots any less apparent. With the exception of the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., every major riot by the black community of an American city since the Second World War has been ignited by a single issue: police tactics…
 
 (It’s worth noting our tendency to think of declining, mostly white Rust Belt cities elegiacally, and of largely black ones moralistically.)”
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