The urban underclass is an international problem

As readers are doubtless aware, Britain’s experienced several days of rioting, looting and arson at the hands of what I can only describe as an ‘urban underclass’. The same thing has been happening here, in Milwaukee, Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities. There are a few common denominators to all these situations, both in Britain and in the USA:

  • They involve primarily young people of African extraction (be it Caribbean, African-American or other variations on the theme);
  • They are frequently co-ordinated by Twitter, Facebook or other social networking tools;
  • They usually target Caucasians or Caucasian-owned and -operated businesses.

I’m not being racist at all in pointing this out: it’s simply a statement of fact, readily verifiable as such by anyone wanting to check up on the situation for themselves. Trouble is, the mainstream media seem congenitally incapable of pointing out those facts, probably for fear of being branded ‘racist’. Since I don’t give a damn about being called names, I’ll take the risk and state the facts.

Fortunately, a (very) few local leaders are now showing the courage to identify the facts as well. Courtesy of a link at JayG’s place, we find two community leaders in Milwaukee who are speaking out. I believe their courage in doing so, and the undeniable truth of their message, deserves wider acknowledgment and circulation: so here it is in full.

We’re Reaping the Harvest We’ve Sown

Statement of Alderman Bob Donovan and Alderman Joe Dudzik

August 5, 2011

As elected officials, we are shocked and concerned about the senseless violence displayed by the large mob outside State Fair Park last night. On behalf of our city, we apologize to the victims and good patrons who endured or witnessed such horrific behavior.

Sadly, what transpired near State Fair Park last night is only the most recent mob riot spawned by a culture of violence that has been brewing in Milwaukee for some time.

And let’s face it, it also has much to do with a deteriorating African American culture in our city.

Are large groups of Hispanics or Hmong going out in large mobs and viciously attacking whites?


We are reaping the harvest that we’ve sown.

How so?

There are repercussions for the staggering illegitimacy rate in our African American community.

There are repercussions for having little to no positive male involvement in the lives of African American children.

There are repercussions for single-parent homes where children aren’t properly supervised, and where they aren’t held responsible for their actions.

There are repercussions for a staggering, decades-long near 50% unemployment rate for African American males in our city.

There are repercussions for having a failing public school system, and an outdated juvenile justice system.

There are repercussions for having one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the U.S., and for having kids raising kids.

The community was shocked when the violent mob of African American youths attacked white people in Kilbourn Reservoir Park on July 3. Then, a few eyebrows were raised at the F-bombs and shocking disregard and disrespect for Milwaukee police officers shown by a large and unruly group of African Americans at N. Richards St. and W. North Ave. last Saturday night.

And now this horrific mob violence near State Fair Park.

But for those who live in some city neighborhoods, this violence has been like a steady rain for far too many years now. And the reality is this summer it seems we have five or six shootings each and every weekend!

Unfortunately, this behavior is now all too common in some parts of the Milwaukee community.

Our hearts go out to the older generation of African Americans in this city who remember when their community had one of the HIGHEST marriage rates in the city. Sadly, many of these same residents are now scared of their own children and grandchildren.

Although we hope our law enforcement agencies are able to bring some of the thugs who were involved in these attacks to justice, no amount of millions of dollars in government spending or resources is going to truly address this problem.

We can no longer wish this violence would just go away, and we cannot ignore it; we must see it for what it truly is.

We cannot begin to address the underlying causes of the violence without change. We believe that change must come from within the African American community, where new seeds must be sown.

I hope those of you in the Milwaukee area will let Aldermen Donovan and Dudzik know that you appreciate their courage and candor in speaking out in this way. I can assure you that their words are largely correct. As a prison chaplain, I had to deal with the results of those problems on a daily basis. Nevertheless, I fear they may face retaliation from the ‘politically correct’ brigade, who don’t appreciate honesty at all. After all, their words are prophetic of what’s probably going to become an ever-increasing problem: and “a prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house“.

Max Hastings says much the same things about the rioters in England.

If you live a normal life of absolute futility, which we can assume most of this week’s rioters do, excitement of any kind is welcome. The people who wrecked swathes of property, burned vehicles and terrorised communities have no moral compass to make them susceptible to guilt or shame.

Most have no jobs to go to or exams they might pass. They know no family role models, for most live in homes in which the father is unemployed, or from which he has decamped.

They are illiterate and innumerate, beyond maybe some dexterity with computer games and BlackBerries.

They are essentially wild beasts. I use that phrase advisedly, because it seems appropriate to young people bereft of the discipline that might make them employable; of the conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong.

They respond only to instinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy the accessible property of others.

. . .

The depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with no skills, education, values or aspirations. They do not have what most of us would call ‘lives’: they simply exist.

. . .

An underclass has existed throughout history, which once endured appalling privation. Its spasmodic outbreaks of violence, especially in the early 19th century, frightened the ruling classes.

Its frustrations and passions were kept at bay by force and draconian legal sanctions, foremost among them capital punishment and transportation to the colonies.

Today, those at the bottom of society behave no better than their forebears, but the welfare state has relieved them from hunger and real want.

When social surveys speak of ‘deprivation’ and ‘poverty’, this is entirely relative. Meanwhile, sanctions for wrongdoing have largely vanished.

. . .

These kids are what they are because nobody makes them be anything different or better.

A key factor in delinquency is lack of effective sanctions to deter it. From an early stage, feral children discover that they can bully fellow pupils at school, shout abuse at people in the streets, urinate outside pubs, hurl litter from car windows, play car radios at deafening volumes, and, indeed, commit casual assaults with only a negligible prospect of facing rebuke, far less retribution.

John Stuart Mill wrote in his great 1859 essay On Liberty: ‘The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.’

Yet every day up and down the land, this vital principle of civilised societies is breached with impunity.

Anyone who reproaches a child, far less an adult, for discarding rubbish, making a racket, committing vandalism or driving unsociably will receive in return a torrent of obscenities, if not violence.

So who is to blame? The breakdown of families, the pernicious promotion of single motherhood as a desirable state, the decline of domestic life so that even shared meals are a rarity, have all contributed importantly to the condition of the young underclass.

. . .

A century ago, no child would have dared to use obscene language in class. Today, some use little else. It symbolises their contempt for manners and decency, and is often a foretaste of delinquency.

If a child lacks sufficient respect to address authority figures politely, and faces no penalty for failing to do so, then other forms of abuse — of property and person — come naturally.

So there we have it: a large, amoral, brutalised sub-culture of young British people who lack education because they have no will to learn, and skills which might make them employable. They are too idle to accept work waitressing or doing domestic labour, which is why almost all such jobs are filled by immigrants.

They have no code of values to dissuade them from behaving anti-socially or, indeed, criminally, and small chance of being punished if they do so.

They have no sense of responsibility for themselves, far less towards others, and look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game.

They are an absolute deadweight upon society, because they contribute nothing yet cost the taxpayer billions.

There’s more at the link. Much of what Mr. Hastings says about the British rioters is, of course, entirely applicable to those in Milwaukee, or Chicago, or Philadelphia. The ‘underclass’ is essentially the same, irrespective of its location. Its racial composition in England is much the same as in the USA, too.

I can only assure you that such riots wouldn’t last long in my neighborhood. That’s because all of us – black and white, old and young, male and female, whatever – would stop them. We’d do so any way we had to, up to and including the use of lethal force, without any hesitation whatsoever. I can’t help but wonder what’s happened to the people of so many towns and cities in formerly-great-Britain, or in Milwaukee, or Chicago, or Philadelphia, that they permit and/or tolerate such nonsense in their neighborhoods. Shame on them for their timidity and unwillingness to police their own areas and people. (On the other hand, perhaps there’s hope yet: apparently sales of baseball bats and police-style batons have skyrocketed on Amazon in the UK! I guess, since most British householders can’t legally own guns or defensive knives, they’re the next best thing . . . )



  1. In reading of the recent riots, I could not help but remember the scenes from the recent Michael Caine movie, Harry Brown.

    I can only guess that the reality in Britain is much worse than was portrayed in the movie.

  2. PPPP,

    It's really bad. These riots are merely the tip of a multicultural iceberg.

    It's frightening.

    The fuse has been lit and it's short. Soon the entire civilized Britain will explode in flames that will make the Nazi blitz bombings of the early 1940's look like a Sunday school picnic.

    But, the general public in Britain and america has been too complacent for too long. Many would have reacted to stop the horrific carryon, but the progressive Liberals put a "Political Correctness" STOP sign in their path.

  3. It's not just the laws forbidding access to the means of self defense, it's also the laws that essentially forbid self defense.
    If any of those looters should meet with one of those bats, there's good odds that the people defending themselves will get harsher sentences than the looters.

    This is not lost on "youths", who will often try to provoke such a response just to laugh when the person standing up to them gets thrown in jail.

    A few years ago a brittish newspaper held a poll, where an MP promised to push legislation on whatever the readers wanted most. The winner was, with a wide margin (80% if memory serves), a law to protect people who defended themselves and their homes from prosecution. (Basically a "Stand your ground" law). The MP called it ridiculous and refused to introduce it.

  4. All very true, and VERY sad… It is not like these rioters don't have an option of education and social skills; it is that they choose NOT to avail themselves of it, preferring to prey on those who DO have productive lives.

  5. I really hope this sort of thing does not come here to New Orleans. The western suburbs have a somewhat defensible border in the 17th Street Canal, but I can see it getting real ugly in the city itself. Real. Ugly.

  6. For those interested in the perspective of one thoughtful English police officer, I highly, highly recommend Inspector Gadget's blog. He also has links to other British law enforcement blogs.


  7. Many years ago while backpacking in Washington my party had conversation with a long-serving park ranger. He was telling us stories about tourists and bears. One of the ones that stuck in my mind: A woman laid a trail of popcorn to bring a bear into camera range. It worked fine up to the point where the bear failed to understand "it's all gone." The woman did survive her injuries, though.
    I hope Western civilization does, because there ain't much popcorn left.

  8. What's particularly interesting is that the people stepping up to organize their communities for self-defense and drive off the rioters are predominantly of Middle Eastern and Indian subcontinent descent- Turks, Kurds, Indian and Pakistani.

  9. One big difference here in some parts of America. Riots will not last long if they overflow into some suburbs.

    Too many hunters in too many neighborhoods are fed up with the whiny, "entitled" rioters. They WILL meet the rioters with overwhelming force.

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