The always simmering and intermittently volatile mix of race, class, police tensions and austerity is exploding again. My sympathies to everyone involved in the UK troubles. There are many whose lives will never recover. Their stories will fade into private grief and desperation as soon as the news cycle shifts.
I’m not willing to point fingers. But I was struck by a quote by Jonathan in The Guardian today:
“The year we realised our democratically elected leaders can no longer protect us.”
We heard similar quotes after Hurricane Katrina and from Rwanda. But the knowledge of our vulnerability is too trenchant to remain long in the public sphere or within private ruminations. We’ll make ourselves forget so we can function. Maybe this is the point at which we meet our need for God or spirit. When we realize that our bankroll isn’t thick enough, our education is insufficient along with our good looks, skills and network.
So much of life — from our finances to our health — is, at least in part, a confidence game.
So much of life is chance — we, any of us, could be a looter in London, a Manchester shopkeeper, an Enfield cop or spy. The U.K. is very different than the Middle East but the simmering, periodically exploding anger of the marginalized and disenfrachised is the same. Will we learn? Slowly and painfully.