Ditto. I was there too. Opportunistic looting and burning down property came much later.
This has been one of the more interesting discussions in the Discuss List. However, it suffers from a common flaw -- strong representation of extremism and absence of representation of everyday life. Here are the people not represented:
1. Owners of small shops who are intimidated and injured and whose property and often life's work is lost during riots.
2. Residents of neighborhoods who would love to have a Safeway or Lucky's nearby, but can see that no store that does not need to be in their neighborhood would be there.
3. Blacks and other minorities who live uneventful lives, going to work every day, attending PTA meetings, going to their place of worship once a week. And who, unfortunately, are sometimes lumped in the same basket as the tug harassing store owners because they happen to be the same color.
4. Black students who go to school and stay in the school honor roll, and will have nothing to do with other blacks who routinely call them "sellouts."
5. Residents of real "police states," who would not be posting hyperbole on discussion lists -- first, because there are no discussion lists where they live; and secondly, because they would be summarily done away with if they created any discussion.
6. City police who are assigned to so called "crime ridden neighborhoods."
7. Victims of horrendous crimes perpetrated by civilians, or their surviving loved ones. Having their voices would counter the argument that crimes perpetrated by government are worse than those perpetrated by civilians. Or the argument that victims of civilian crimes have control over whether they are victimized.
The list could go on. But we all seem to live in group echo chambers, so no hope for a diversity of voices all in one place.