On Blast, from the Past

This essay got me booted off the American Conservative blog nine years (!) ago.

We’ve been on the road to the Current Year for a while now. Plus ca change, and hope.

This Ain’t the Summer of Love

“Really? Is this really happening?”
This ain’t the Garden of Eden,
There ain’t no angels above,
And things ain’t what they’re supposed to be,
And this ain’t the Summer of Love

The post-racial dream has become a nightmare. The use of social media to take over public space by surprise (the definition of “flash mob”, alas) for the purpose of recreational racist terror is this summer’s trend.
Affected municipalities across the country brace themselves ahead of heat waves and large public events; holiday weekends loom like potential squalls on the horizon. Recession-lean budgets strain to add police (“…we have deployed additional officers…”): more police aren’t always enough (“…shootings happened despite a high police presence…”). Businesses lose money and fear for the safety of employees. Some are harassed for closing their doors to the chaos.
Suburbanites surrender the city and stay home; events are cancelled, scaled back, starved. Organizing ad hoc via social networking for the purpose of amusement, black adolescents terrorize parts of the country like al Qaeda only wishes it could.
It all seems so long ago now. Once, liberal Americans anticipated with perverse ecstasy a violent racist reaction to an Obama presidency. This is not what they had in mind…

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