My totally "incorrect" heading above completely contradicts an impression that the media has laboured to build up. Most media stories about the British rioters highlight middle class whites. Blacks are rarely mentioned.
One hard-working geographer has however mapped out all the known data about the rioters and where they rioted and superimposed that map on maps of London demographics. He finds that the toxic combination is race and poverty. Poor blacks were the main culprits. Poverty alone was not an important factor as there was little rioting in poor white areas. The big riots were mostly in poor black areas and most of the rioters were poor blacks
Both theoretical and empirical evidence shows that it is improper to disconnect the August 2011 riots from race and ethnic culture. It is, likewise, inappropriate to associate it with the uneducated, low-skilled white lower class ('chavs'). It was severely underrepresented in the riots, and did not produce riots in numerous poor non-black areas. None of the socioeconomic factors have the same predicting power as black ethnicity in this case. In fact, they are meaningless to the riots when not a correlate of black population.
Why the black community played such a prominent role in the riots may be disputed. But it is clear that role of the black community was greater than that of any other group, and it should be accordingly regarded in the media.
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