Kids Today

Rioting: The Unbeatable High

September 26, 2016

This is what happens in a world without fathers. When there is no discipline, adulthood is perpetual adolescence. The fatherless Puerto Ricans in my Brooklyn neighborhood get their fades retouched every three days. This means lining up at the barber’s for hours waiting to get the same ridiculous haircut they’ve been getting their whole lives. They get mani-pedis, too. Without a dad to slap you upside the head, life becomes one big spa and there’s nothing political about it. On 9/11 Puerto Rican teenagers on my neighbor’s roof were laughing and yelling, “Yeah! Bomb that shit, nigga!”

This is something the pundits on CNN haven’t touched on. We assume life as a young black or Hispanic in the inner city is a living hell. I’d argue it’s pretty darn fun. Sure, seeing your friend lying dead on the street is an alarming splash of cold water to the face, but everything leading up to that is a giant sleepover. There’s no homework, no job to go to, no responsibilities—just cereal for lunch on the front porch and a Romeo-and-Juliet rivalry whenever your thirst for gossip and excitement deems it appealing.

Taleeb says the black community needs to accept a diversity of ideas, but so do we. We need to accept the possibility that not everyone’s a pundit. Not everyone is a revolutionary. The riots in Charlotte are not a political protest based on the assassination of an innocent black man. They are a stupid, thoughtless, and unbelievably fun vacation from reality. Facebook millionaire David Choe still cites the L.A. riots as one of the most exciting times of his life. “Stores were raped to the ground,” he laughed while describing the van he and his brothers set on fire. Later, he realized his parents’ store was part of the raping. “We spent the next few years on welfare,” he lamented. Like the song says, “Tomorrow you’re homeless. Tonight it’s a blast.”

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