It's weird how all these spontaneous riots keep happening.

Jacobin makes a good point as the usual suspects hit the airwaves and editorial pages to tut-tut about "black-on-black violence" and lecture us about supposed rioters:

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Long before broken windows, the partisans of law and order claimed that protests are bound to cause riots, and that riots are bound to cause violent crime and neighborhood decline. In the decades since the urban uprisings of the 1960s and 1970s, the myth of the “riot effect” has been deployed to rationalize the massive expansion of urban police forces and with it, the escalation of policing to the level of low-intensity warfare.

Fifty years after the Watts Rebellion, and more than four months after the first shots were fired in Ferguson, we continue to hear the same refrain. Here is Time: “Can Ferguson Recover? The Lasting Economic Impact of Violent Unrest.” USA Today: “Some Fear Rioting May Seal Ferguson’s Fate for Decades.” And National Review: “Businesses and neighborhoods may never recover from the present anarchy.”

The recent revival of urban protest has prompted a revival of that hoary urban legend, in which property owners and officers of the peace are the hapless victims, while targets of state terror are the aggressors. The riot is made out to be the root of all evils, the rioter the source of all maladies. But the legend quickly unravels in the face of the facts.

Go read the whole thing.

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