Is America on the verge of race riots?

I don’t think there’ll be riots but (I also posted this in a Pit thread) there are some relatively normal-looking people completely unafraid to spout some terrifying opinions about Barack Obama on camera:

Generally, (not always), actual riots occur among those who feel that they lack power. (Lynchings were not typically riots, being carried out without the throwing of stones or incendiaries and without mobs fighting each other. Southern lyncings often occurred with the compliance of the local police. There were lynchings in the North that did occur during riots, but the people rioting tended to be those competing for lower paying jobs against blacks and immigrants.)

I suppose that we could imagine a scenario in which the current economic situation reduced large swaths of white neighborhoods to poverty, leading to violence that could be directed against Obama or against blacks as being “like” Obama, but I am not expecting that to occur.

Yeah, that had been discussed in this thread, where more actual information about the video and its background has been presented.

I’m inclined to agree with this, but I depart from the superficial conventional wisdom in believing that this would, ultimately, be a good thing. We’re really finding out who people are now. The pressure is starting to push people out of their ideological closets, and to show their true colors. If that means the Right is forced to confront the ugliness on their margins, and to carve them away in order to survive as a viable political force, that can only be healthy for the Right and the Left.

(And for the record, this goes for the Left as well. There was a lot of stupidity among the Left over the last twenty years; for similar utilitarian/survival reasons, a fair amount of it was pared away or at least back-burnered, which accounts for the current resurgence. It’s a natural pendulum, and the means by which the country as a whole moves forward and abandons obsolete thinking.)

So: Race riots? No. Temporary foregrounding of ugly racial paranoia, followed by ruthless culling of those who still cling to those outmoded beliefs? Yes.

It wouldn’t surprise me if things got out of hand at one of Palin’s rallies, simply from a small group getting too verbal for the comfort of the larger group and then acting out violently if the larger group tries to shush them.

That isn’t what I think of when I think “riot,” though.

Palin is going down a very dangerous road for her political future. If something happens while she’s speaking, I think she’ll be in disgrace.


Free digital!

How about pillaging? I’ve always wanted to pillage something. If you promise me pillaging, I’m game.