On the ‘Root Cause’ of RiotsRoundup
tags: riots, Ferguson
Political scientist Edward Banfield walked into a tsunami of criticism in 1970 when he made the politically incorrect observation that the black urban riots of the 1960s were an exercise by spirited young people for fun and profit.
Since then, hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into riot studies without producing any helpful insight into why people riot. Banfield’s observation, though more than four decades old, might be just as helpful as any of the ponderous social-science probes that massage data to sanctify settled assumptions.
Social-science research at best produces modest statistical regularities. At worst, it produces enough of a relationship for liberal ideologues to find a rationale for dumping more money into dysfunctional government programs. In this way, liberal whites can assuage their guilt and African-American interest groups can find a path to the federal trough.
Riot studies show the seamy side of social science. They begin with the premise that the causes of riots are to be found not in the rioters but in the larger society. The often-cited Kerner Commission Report on the riots of the 1960s began with the working title “The Harvest of American Racism.” ...
comments powered by Disqus
- It’s the 50th anniversary of the day Trump left college and (briefly) faced the draft
- Hitler Did Not Escape to the Moon or Argentina, He’s Still Dead, Study Concludes
- Former New Orleans mayor presented with JFK award for removing Confederate statues
- Which is the greatest 'witch hunt' in US political history?
- A Fake Site Posted an Apology for the Mormon Church’s History of Racism
- Yuval Noah Harari: Brexit will not halt drive to 'human unification'
- When did the Census begin to ask about citizenship?
- As historians and New York City educators, here’s what we hope teachers hear in New York City's new anti-bias training
- Historian's new book backs Taika Waititi's claims New Zealand is 'racist as f**k’
- Howard M. Sachar, GWU scholar and ‘trailblazer’ of Jewish history, dies at 90