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The American cycle of violence

First published: 09/06/2020

One of the most extraordinary headlines I came across last week topped an article in the magazine Live Science, and read “Will the US Really Experience a Violent Upheaval in 2020?” On first view, you may think this unremarkable, but written in 2012, it was amazingly prescient. Looking at America’s renewed convulsions and divisions over race, this article, which cites the work of tracing historical patterns, reminds us that the simple comparison between now and the late 1960s is narrow historically, and inadequate as a reflection on what’s happening now.

An elementary Wikipedia “civil unrest” search reveals the frequency and regularity of public expressions of outrage and protest, riots and insurrection. The list of 380 or so incidents going back to the 18th century…. Read on…