Archives For sociology

The current bit of unrest in the United Kingdom has everybody making armchair sociological statements about what is going on with the poor and disenfranchised. I am here to set everything straight for you. There is a movie called “Fear Of A Black Hat” that came out in 1994. It is a mockumentary in the vein of “This Is Spinal Tap”. Think “CB4”, but actually funny. And relevant. In “Fear Of A Black Hat”, there is a scene in which the lead rapper in the film is discussing his new book. He makes reference to “the riots”. The riots he is talking about are the LA Riots of 1992 that were sparked by the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King for allegedly being a black male.

The statement translates directly to what is going on now in England. What is going on is the inevitable pressure release that unequal power dynamics will lead to. The underclass can be disenfranchised for only so long before they have to take to the streets and blow off some steam. It is like great tectonic plates rubbing against each other. The plates will go year after year just grinding against each other, building tension. But after a while, that tension has to be released and you get an earthquake. People die and millions of dollars worth of property is destroyed. Tragic, but unavoidable. The causes of much of this tension can be traced back to people with stupid ideas in their heads (you need to read the article that links to).