Sunday’s rioting in Huntington Beach, California is sparking a national conversation about white youth and violence. It’s about time.
I know this is a touchy subject. Some of my best friends are white, and some of them have teenage or twenty-something children. And of course I don’t favor racial profiling, even though I cross the street when I see a group of young whites lurking on the sidewalk.
No, not all white youth are thugs. But as Gawker‘s Cord Johnson noted, the statistics on white violence are grim:
For instance, according to research from the Department of Justice, 84 percent of white murder victims are killed by other white people. Similarly, white rape victims tend to be raped by other whites. White-on-white violence is a menace to white communities across the country[.]
Johnson wonders, reasonably, about white parents:
More important than white politicians are the white parents. I’d like to ask the caregivers of the children in these videos what they’ve been doing. When did so many white parents fall asleep at the wheel? You can complain about poor schools all you’d like, but the fact of the matter is that it’s the parents of these children who are letting them leave the house looking like slobs in their baggy board shorts and Hollister t-shirts. It’s the parents of these kids who are letting them listen to violent, self-destructive trash like “Anarchy in the UK” or “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” – performed loudly by noted conservative rocker Johnny Ramone.
Like I said, it’s a sensitive topic. But Sunday’s rioting after a surfing contest in Huntington Beach, California has forced it. Rampaging young whites destroyed cars and looted businesses. Police arrested eight white youths and resorted to rubber bullets and pepper spray to break up the violence. Ryan Hartzog, a local businessman whose bike shop was looted, was not surprised:
Every year the U.S. Open was getting a little too crazy. We figured this was going to happen.
I think it’s their culture. The parents of these young whites watch CNN and the kids see Ted Nugent say “Suck on my machine gun.” Or they watch a Pennsylvania police chief’s YouTube videos celebrating guns and calling for an armed uprising against the federal government. So we shouldn’t be surprised when young white thugs often riot after sporting events, whether their team wins or loses.
Again, there are good whites. But for every one white valedictorian, there are a hundred others with thumbs the size of lemons from popping open beer cans and texting while they drive. Yes, whites are almost twice as likely to drive drunk, and young whites send most text messages. Put the two together and it’s bqhatevwr … and you could be their next victim.
So yes, let’s have that conversation about violent white youth. It’s about time.