It's Tuesday, November 25th, 2014. Ferguson, Missouri is burning.
I live several states east of there, but I've sat up all night watching live streaming feeds of the rioting in Ferguson and St. Louis, MO. The grand jury's decision to whitewash and stonewall the murder of Michael Brown came out at 9 PM hereabouts. I think the first police car on fire came an hour later, and the night devolved into one store after another being looted and burned.
It's quite something to watch image after image of flaming stores come rolling up on the screen. For the amount of property destruction going on, the police are being remarkably restrained. They have the weapons to put this situation down real damn fast if that was their goal, but it isn't. They say they haven't fired a shot, which is a remarkable change of pace from the full clip execution of Michael Brown back on August 9.
If they were to shoot anyone in the current riots then they'd be the bad guys in today's news cycle, and that's where they plan to win this thing. They actually want riots, and they want to look like decent guys for a change, all for today's news. Behaving themselves puts all the criminal color onto the black community for carrying on the way they do.
These riots will be covered in the media as yet one more historical example of black people getting mad and burning down their own neighborhood, just like in Watts and Detroit in the Sixties. Black residents burned down the very places they work at every day, shop at every day, just senselessly wrecking the small businesses of their very own community.
And there it is, that stupidest of questions, that rhetorical question most white Americans will ask one another this morning, "But why do they burn down their own neighborhood?"
And their only answer will be, as always, to shake their heads and shrug their shoulders and never, ever understand. They just can't come up with an answer. And with no answer, there is no need, no way to seek a solution. So they don't.
Follow me below the squiggle and hear the answer.