Black rioting and looting are not caused by any conflicts between US cops and black criminals, although these can be used as a pretext. Events in South Africa show that it is in fact a far more widespread, global phenomenon.
And in this case blacks form the country's majority, targeting a powerless minority: so, who's racist and xenophobic now?
For a week, at the end of January, a mob in South Africa lynched Ethiopians, Somalis and immigrants of other nationalities living in Nelson Mandela's country, and raided and looted their stores.
At least 4 people were killed and over 160 were arrested in Soweto, during a wave of anti-immigrant protests and violence.
The Daily Mail reported:
The 19-year-old mother of an infant who died after being trampled by a mob during the looting said she was accidentally caught in the street chaos. Some witnesses, however, said the mother was herself pillaging when she was knocked down with her baby strapped to her chest...These are savages, who don't care about human and non-human lives alike.
In a separate incident, a truck carrying livestock overturned on a highway in the Johannesburg area last week, and people carrying knives and buckets descended on the injured cattle and slaughtered nearly three-dozen for their meat, according to Eyewitness News, a South African media outlet. The driver alleged that people on a bridge threw objects at his vehicle, causing it to crash.
That the violence began in Soweto - the same district of Johannesburg that became the symbol of anti-apartheid protests - is particularly ironic.
The recent unrest, one of the worst in Soweto since the apartheid era, started on 19 January when a Somali national allegedly shot and killed a 14-year-boy who was among a group of people attempting to break into his shop.
That was the signal which started the crowd's rioting and targeting of immigrant-owned shops, in a repetition of what happened in the country during the episodes of xenophobic violence in 2008 that killed more than 60 people. Anti-immigrant attacks seem to occur periodically in South Africa.
The media, as usual, try to exculpate the criminals with references to "the frustration of the poor":
Such episodes reflect the predicament of South Africa, a regional hub with gleaming infrastructure projects where many people nevertheless feel marginalized by high unemployment, a lack of opportunity and a gap between rich and poor that is starkly visible in leafy, spacious suburbs, on the one hand, and the shacks and so-called "matchbox" homes of the townships where blacks were confined under apartheid.But it's evident that these attempts to find excuses are due to the mob's skin colour, and to a lack of will to admit that black proneness to violence is not the fault of whites, with their "evil racism" and apartheid, after all.
Soweto came under the world's gaze in 1976 when it erupted in student-led protests. Parts of it are relatively affluent today, as malls, gyms and new homes attest. But poverty is still widespread.
Witness Phindile Shabangu said that the mother of Nqobile Majozi, the baby boy killed by the crowd, "was caught in a stampede after emerging from the shop with eggs and drinks, and that the mother didn't even notice her baby's dire state while she was trying to pick up fallen items."
Video footage showed rioters looting shops sometimes in view of police, and one clip showed an officer apparently participating in the free-for-all.
The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa, a group representing immigrants, urged the government to approve hate crimes legislation that it said would curb a culture of "impunity."
Didn't they say that, with the end of apartheid, racism would be eradicated from South Africa?