Leonard Pitts Jr.: Animus of white working class deeper than politics
“White people riot by voting.”
Years later, I no longer recall who first shared that bit of wisdom with me, but I’ve always found it striking. Not, of course, that it is literally true.
As is attested by any fair reading of the history of urban uprisings — New York City in 1863, Chicago in 1919, Los Angeles in 1943, San Francisco in 2012 — white people riot by rioting, same as anyone else. But I’ve always considered the aphorism’s larger point unassailable. Namely, that when confronted with unwelcome racial or cultural change, many white people seek salvation and, yes, retaliation, …