I got a RIOT for Christmas! What to do, what to do...


January 1, 2003, 06:26 AM
So I live in Palo Alto, here in the PRK, which can be accurately described as an "affluent" community. We have lots of cops, very little crime, and what is the highest property-value rate in the country, now. There's a house on my block selling for $1,750,000. And we don't even have sidewalks.

We're all millionaires, you see. But only if you sell your house and LEAVE. Our city council gets in trouble for micro-management, because we don't have any REAL problems, so they have WAY too much time on their hands.

Anywho, on Christmast Day, or night, since it was midnight or so, I'm at a local bar with a few friends. Right when we drive up, we hear gunfire from down the street. 5 booms, and a flurry of pop-pop-pops, like a .357 revolver, and a magazine of Nines. (You know you're a gun nut when you can identify ammo types from a distance. ;) ) Interesting, says us, as it's a ways away, and atypical for Palo Alto. Immediately the night is filled with sirens, as Palo Alto has an audio-triangulation system to track gunfire, so the cops knew right where it came from.

Within a few minutes the cops have the main drag through town blocked off a mere block from the bar. Being the Curious Idiot that I am, I'm outside watching the proceedings, and wondering whatintheSamheck's going down in MY sleepy little police state. Subsequently, I notice a caravan of cars pouring down the street towards the bar, but universally turning off the main drag towards the freeway at the intersection right before the bar. The few cars that missed the turn, which the caravan was taking by doubling-up the turn lane, immediately u-turned and followed them.

That's kind of interesting, thinks I. Lots of sorta fancy cars, (Sports cars with bolt-on exterior cosmetic enhancements, for the most part.) driven by young folks of monochromatic racial extraction, and loud with thumpa-bumping music beats, all pouring out of the block that the cops blocked off. And following each other STRAIGHT out of town. More than a hundred of them, by my instant estimate. And this is just one possible direction to use to leave the area.

It occurs to me that watching this on the street is not the best place to be, right this second. But hey, this is Perfect Palo Alto, there's a swarm of cops in visual range, and damned if I'm going to be chased off the street in my hometown. I did say Curious Idiot, after all.

Nothing happened while I watched, and the stream of cars petered out quickly. I went back in the bar, and hung out till closing, when we left carefully avoiding the crowd of nervous cops who still had the intersection blocked down the street.

Turns out it was the close of a Hip-Hop party a couple blocks down at the local Elks lodge. The hall had been chartered for 100 people for a "charity" event, to which something like 500 people had shown up. Private security had shut the party down at about 12:30, as per their charter, but the party had continued in the parking lot until gunfire brought the cops.

That got rid of everybody in the parking lot, but I guess they weren't done partying yet. Two local convenience stores got looted by crowds of fifty-ish people on their way to the freeway. Single clerks on duty could do little except dial 911, and wait until numbers had gone down enough to let them lock the doors. The cops, who showed within a couple of minutes of dialing, did nothing except "crowd control", and their presence stopped the looting. One guy was sitting across the street on his slightly crashed Mustang, with a couple of flat tires. He got a ticket for "sideshow" driving. Turns out he was from Suisuin, a town clear at the other end of the S.F. Bay, some TWO HOURS away.

What a pleasant Christmas present these folks brought to my town! I might could chalk it up to "instant impulse brain failure", except the part about a girl walking into the 7-11 a couple of minutes before it happened, and warning the clerk to lock his doors, as there was about 30 people on their way there with malicious intent! I guess he didn't beleve her, as there was no precedent for such behavior OUTSIDE OF THE L.A. RIOTS!

I suppose I should be greatful. No-one got shot. The looters just grabbed sodas, cigarettes, and beer, and shoved a few displays over.

But when I went to buy gas late last night at the station that got looted, I had to slip my money through the locked door to the enmbarrassed clerk even though I was the only one there! They didn't have a night window/drawer, because they had never needed one.

But really, this kind of crap makes me want to set up a nice water-cooled machine-gun emplacement, and brutally gun down an entire crowd! :ar15: This kind of behavior they visit on the community that has the kindness to host their event on CHRISTMAS DAY for crying out loud! :fire:

None of these folks qualified as poor. I saw them driving by. They had some pretty nice cars. There wasn't a beater in the bunch. NOT ONE.

I understand mob mentality, as expressed by the "ism" of relative intelligence defined by the lowest I.Q. in the group divided by the number of participants, but I'm afraid that doesn't excuse the behavior, at least to me. Particularly in the context of it was pre-planned to some degree, as evidenced by the warning delivered to the one clerk.

This stupidity was perpetrated by some 20% of the attendees, with planning, at two seperate locations that were in opposite directions from each other, but both directly along routes to the freeway. Gunning 'em all down is not a solution, as 4 out of 5 failed to participate in this orgy of uncivilized barbarism.

But understand, I am OUT of forgiveness and forebearance for Hip-Hop culture, despite Liberal racial activist pleas to the contrary. Hip-Hop culture happens to break down neatly along racial lines, and that I like even less. I really don't want to be racist, but these kinds of events make that mighty difficult when I WATCH who's doing it drive by, and they're doing it to MY community. :fire: :fire: :fire:

Don't these folks have any pride, or self respect? Are they going to get a bit older, and then wonder why it is that they have no credibility, and are viewed with suspicion simply because of the music they listen to and the color of their skin? Complaints about lost opportunities start to sound like so much whining at this point. Climbing out of negative stereotypes requires at least a cessation of negatively stereotypical behavior, one would think. :confused:

I'm not going to give in to what amounts to learned prejudice. That would be a failure on my part, I think. Bad apples do not reflect the whole barrel. RIGHT?!?!??

What to do, what to do, what to do...?

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January 1, 2003, 06:56 AM
We experienced this same lunacy a few years ago, during the Florida A&M University's Home-coming. This is a predominately African-American school, our second University (We're also home to Florida State University - Go 'Noles!), and they get away with a lot. This time, a horde of their students descended on our largest Mall, and proceeded to run riot in the food court and surounding shops. True Mob Mentality. More than a hundred were arrested, but released in the interest of "Community Relations". :mad:
The result is that the Mall is virtually shut down during Home Coming for both Universities. :eek:
I think everyone is racist to a degree - it's a built-in natural imperitive to support and foster your own kind. Bigotry is another thing altogether. But when people of one "demographic group" exercise this kind of behavior, it paints the whole group.
Much of what is thrust on the public in the name of "Equal Rights" is pure B/S, and does no one any good. It's got to work both ways to work at all.

January 1, 2003, 07:43 AM
I don't think it makes you a racist at all. It makes you a REALIST. You don't place prejudice on the entire black community, just those that decide to take part in the activities you describe above.

Now I'm not sure if it's media bias, or what, but those kind of activities, from what I have seen, are common to that particular group. Usually young, black males, probably under the age of 25. There are other races involved, but the majority seems to be black.

Does this make the entire black community bad? Hell no, but I wish that some of the more respected and popular would step up to the plate and try to put an end to this behaivor. It looks bad for their community, as well as America as a whole. The same applies to the KKK and other racist groups.

Kids these days are being taught that being a minority means that you are owed something due to centuries of past repression.

I grew up in Fairfield (Right near Suisun) and went to school in Napa. Two very different groups. I was "jumped" twice in Fairfield (Luckily I was a blackbelt in Jujitsu) by wannabe gangbangers. All were black males in their late teens. Before I moved out of Fairfield, it got progressivly worse and worse every year. When I moved down to San Jose, I didn't notice much of this type of activity.

I think as long as they want to be the victim of prejudice, they will be. I don't like to sound like a racist, but they bring it upon themselves.

I think professional sports and rap music has a lot to do with these sort of attitudes. As long as ganbangers are made to be millionares and idols, this sort of attitude will continue on forever. It's time for pro sports/MTV, etc. to step up and not put up with some of the crap that just leads to the degeneration of Americas youth. Black or White.

Did anything I just say make any sense? :scrutiny:

January 1, 2003, 08:16 AM
Hip-Hop culture happens to break down neatly along racial lines, and that I like even less.

Last stats I saw, most of the people listening to Hip-Hop are paleskins... maybe the music and the culture are different beasts... I'm no expert. But in rural Massachusetts, the kids driving around in lowriders are all white... they do the whole schtick, with the baggy jeans, hats sideways.

As to minorities getting a slide from the media on bad behavior issues, I'll agree; I've certainly heard things on TV from "community leaders" that make anything ol' Trent can say look like peace offerings by comparison.

For me, this isn't racism... it is bad-behaviorism. I don't like formalized idiocy from anyone. :fire:

January 1, 2003, 09:58 AM
I was living in Los Angeles and working in Beverly Hills during the South Central Riots. I can tell you from personal experience that the looting and destruction done in and around Beverly Hills was perpetrated by wealthy young jerks driving nice cars, a few Ferraris and even a Lamborghini among them. It's odd to see some kid dressed in clothes that cost about 10K, drive up in Ferrari, get out with a baseball bat, smash the window at the local Radio Shack and drop a color TV in the passenger seat of his ride before tearing out of there.

Oleg Volk
January 1, 2003, 12:05 PM
But really, this kind of crap makes me want to set up a nice water-cooled machine-gun emplacement, and brutally gun down an entire crowd!

Just in case anyone wonders about that statement, it was likely intended as a metaphore for the feeling of indignation. Rule 303 is a bit excessive for looting, though not by all that much.

I've observed and read about plenty of cases of theft, vandalism and other anti-personal behavior by people who get off on their perceived immunity from prosecution. Not sure what can be done about it, but the uncertainty about the balance between police reaction and property owner reaction keeps such events to a minimum in more civilized (aka redneck ;) ) locations.

As for people united by ethnic, religious or degree-of-intoxication bonds...how do you think Walter Williams and other real humans feel about similar-looking trash making life harder for the rest of us? The Blacks I know hate such rioters much more than even I do, as they run a real risk of return bigotry over the incidents.

January 1, 2003, 01:19 PM
Real risk of return bigotry?
You mean like in "the last guy I met that looked kinda like you ripped me off, damaged my property, hurt a family member or some such, so I'll just waste you first and save time and trouble" ?

Happens all the time and it's only right half the time.
Has more to do with attitude than skin tone. Since it does, it's more of a shame, because attitude is changable.

January 1, 2003, 01:31 PM
I still can't believe this happened in Palo Alto. Not surprising what happens when you put one of the richest communities right next to one of the poorest (East Palo Alto), divided only by a highway.

HRG: Having met the Mountain View SWAT team in downtown Palo Alto (they were returning from training), I assure you that - had things escalated with force - there would have been an appropriate response of equal or greater force from the LEOs.

Something tells me the Elks are going to screen their hall rental applications a little more carefully in the future.


January 1, 2003, 01:51 PM
Uh , last time I checked East Palo Alto is right next door to you and is a clone of the Sowetto district. Did you think that they would "stay in their place" forever. Logging road don't look appealing to lowered cars.:cool:

January 1, 2003, 02:22 PM
Ok, co-miseration is a wonderful thing, sorta.

Just in case anyone wonders about that statement, it was likely intended as a metaphore for the feeling of indignation. Rule 303 is a bit excessive for looting, though not by all that much.

Yes! Precisely. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely DO NOT advocate outright slaughter as any sort of solution. If anything, I'm irritated at a set of circumstances that put me into that sort of frame of mind. I despise the idea of killing people.

We have a local radio show about Hip-Hop culture called Hard Knock Radio that plays on one of the local non-commercial stations. They address issues that face the Hip-Hop culture, such as lack of realistic input into commercial radio broadcasts, and the exploitation of Hip-Hop by said commercial enterprises, among other things. I think I'll call these folks up, and ask a few pointed questions.

Granted, Hip-Hop doesn't exactly break down along racial lines. I also don't think that the music CAUSES any kind of behavior. It does, however, reflect and identify with what is at least an idealized attitude and lifestyle which reflects that "Victim class owed something by the rest of society" mentality. The heavy commercialization of the genre is starting to dilute this, somewhat, but a lot of it still celebrates criminal activity.

The older generation always seems to hate the music tatses of the younger set. But I don't see it ruining people. Rock music failed to rot my brain, you see.

I think I shall chalk this up to the exuberance of youth. And the unhappy reality that humans are quite capable of acting like animals at any given time. This would be a pair of concepts that Liberals find VERY difficult to swallow. It turns them all into Cleopatra, the Queen of Denial.

As to minorities getting a slide from the media on bad behavior issues, I'll agree; I've certainly heard things on TV from "community leaders" that make anything ol' Trent can say look like peace offerings by comparison.

For me, this isn't racism... it is bad-behaviorism. I don't like formalized idiocy from anyone.

I like that. "Bad-behaviorism" is a great name, and lets me get all indignant without being bigoted. I don't WANT to be bigoted, as that's what's got my shorts in a bunch.

I think the Elks got hornswoggled. We shall see what Hard Knock Radio has to say about this event.


January 1, 2003, 04:06 PM
Last stats I saw, most of the people listening to Hip-Hop are paleskins... maybe the music and the culture are different beasts... I'm no expert. But in rural Massachusetts, the kids driving around in lowriders are all white... they do the whole schtick, with the baggy jeans, hats sideways.

You can thank MTV for making hip-hop so trendy. Every suburban white kids wants to be "a pimpin brother" these days.

Pappy John
January 1, 2003, 05:18 PM
"Something tells me the Elks are going to screen their hall rental applications a little more carefully in the future."

And get sued for discrimination?

January 1, 2003, 06:38 PM
You guys need to watch yourselves... you yourselves are turning into a mob automatically blaming people of color etc. I wouldn't doubt that the looting which took place in the main story of this thread probably wasn't perpetrated by african americans... Probably white kids with too much money and not enough respect for others...

I go to Purdue University... a school with under 200 black students and a crap-ton of good ole country boys from the corn-fed bible belt. And ya know what? They manage to riot every couple of years and destroy thousands of dollars worth of property, cars, furniture, etc. All for no reason...

By stereotyping the "hip-hop heads" and all you are being no better than the anti-gun crowd who stereotypes us. Think before you open your mouthes guys... think long and hard.

I've been lucky enough to grow up in a diverse community, and then also see the opposite in Indiana... I'll take diversity anyday.

In addition... hip hop causes crime like guns cause crime and spoons caused Rosie to get fat... etc etc etc. Don't blame it on music. Blame this on poor parenting and a lack of values.

Oleg Volk
January 1, 2003, 06:44 PM
Personally, I don't much care about race. My mental image of an "average perp" is a Russian teenager...based on my life experiences. I better remember that real trouble doesn't always look like past examples and so be on lookout for behavior, not looks. For all I know, the next perp could be a yeti or a green Martian neuter just as easily as a male Caucasion or a Black female.

4v50 Gary
January 1, 2003, 07:17 PM
Enough booze and given the anonymity of the crowd and a few instigators, and you can have a riot.

BTW, the rioters in the King Riots of San Francisco were multi-racial. Whites, blacks, Asians & Hispanics. A lot of those arrested were first time offenders.

Matt G
January 1, 2003, 07:33 PM
Mob mentality can be found at any large party of drunk or otherwise emotionally-stirred-up people who are suddenly told that they can't do what they wanted to do in the first place, and are presented with no alternatives. You'll find mobs outside of Country & Western concernts, honky tonks, and Barry Manilow concerts. Likely the odd Chicago Philharmonic event, as well. :rolleyes: Certainly outside of many sporting venues internationally.

Hip Hop, and rap altogether, interestingly enough, is well known to its marketers to sell to more white folks than to black or latino or to any other racial and/or ethnic background. And I'll give Hand Rifle Guy this: he didn't say that a certain ethnic or racial culture ticked him off-- he said the "Hip Hop Culture" did.

I've just discovered to my distaste that the street-racing culture (a different sect of sub culture that seems to cross deeply into HandRifleGuy's new nemesis' culture) has begun to permiate the area that I live it, complete with gatherings of 100+ enhanced Japanese cars in parking lots near my home, with teeny-boppers through guys in their mid-foties passing paper bags back and forth while they set up their next run. Or talk about it. Or whatever. The cops come, they just break it up, and land on another parking lot or cul de sac a mile away-- they're all connected by cell phones, instant messaging, etc.

What to do? Well, frankly, I call in suspicious persons/vehicles/gatherings to the cops, every time I see them. I figure Ft. Worth P.D. would be glad to have the info, and I'm only tying up their 911 line for about 30 secs max while I let 'em know what's up. Get 'em hassled enough, they'll go away. Sounds anemic and insufficient? Perhaps, but the last... wait, make that the penultimate one I called in on got taken away from my neighborhood in handcuffs. Anyway, what's the alternative? HRG's metaphorical water-cooled remark aside, calling the cops on large roving mobs of people (as opposed to approching them personally) is the only realistic good idea. I do it, and I'm a cop.

Ed Brunner
January 1, 2003, 08:31 PM
I'm with Oleg on this. However it doesn't hurt to know who is involved.:)

January 1, 2003, 11:15 PM
But really, this kind of crap makes me want to set up a nice water-cooled machine-gun emplacement, and brutally gun down an entire crowd!

Now now, you're not thinking clearly...

(The M2 .50BMG is air-cooled & more effective on all the "pimp-mobiles" anyway...):evil:

January 2, 2003, 12:37 AM
Hey Seeker, there were some early watercooled M2s.
It might be a little on the extreme side, but I know I would feel safer behind one.

January 2, 2003, 01:01 AM
What to do?

Your choice.

When neighborhoods start deteriorating, they don't seem to recover. They just seem to get worse and worse.

I'd move, but not everybody has that choice.

January 2, 2003, 02:35 AM
Ah, nuts. People disappoint me every time. People in a general sense, that is. Not the people here. Anyone remember my old sigline? "I find the world disappointing at best..."

Now you can understand my point a bit better. Not that it ever needed clarification. :banghead:

I am NOT going to learn some new ethnic bigotry from this. Too many examples of any and all racial types pulling the same stuff under similar circumstances to warrant such poor thinking. I'll simply chalk it up to having the bad luck to be watching when this PARTICULAR group of young people decided to get snotty.

Too all and sundry who replied to this thread: THANKS!

You have given me good reasons to not fall into short-sighted thinking, and narrow-minded conclusions. That is just exactly what I was searching for. Emotionally-driven thinking is not to be trusted, and sometimes it can be difficult to avoid. Venting steam in places like this is one of the reasons I come here. Here, no matter WHAT, I can find the voice of reason. :)

The best answer to "what to do" seems to revolve around good parenting. I think most of us would agree we have a big problem with THAT. Likewise, I think the world-at-large is working on it. Things of this sort seem to go in cycles, and I think the cycle will swing back around to the direction of real-world sanity when the current generatiion of malcontents gets tired of putting up with the destruction of what they value at the hands of their kids.

My semi-indictment of Hip-Hop culture is based on the numerous repeated stories of chaos erupting at Hip-Hop events, even large commercial events with big sponsors like awards shows, not just concerts. And stories like Carbon_15's Happy New Year. I am well and truly sick-and-tired of hearing about that sort of idiocy. Does Hip-Hop culture CAUSE these things to happen? I don't really think so. But it's mighty galling to have to listen to stuff that CELEBRATES such activity as some sort of twisted achievement. It's not so much a "get whitey" line, as a "get the rich guy" line. Getting one over on the Haves, when you're a Have-not, is always a good seller. Perhaps some blame could laid at the feet of some of the marketing folks, who's job is to make money, regardless of the possible costs. I dunno, it's so complex...

I expect that this kind of stuff will cycle away, just like every other fad. I must simply engage a little patience. I guess I'm getting old. "Those rotten kids!..."

Maybe I'd have more patience for kids if I'd managed to have some of my own. THAT qualifies as hypothetical hot air, though. I yam wot I yam, right now. Gotta live with what I've got. :cool:

Do I really have to wait fifteen years for THEIR kids to grow up into a problematical age so I can laugh and have my revenge? I'll be fifty, by then.

So be it. I've always been intrigued by the idea of being older. Now I have something GOOD to look forward to. I'll be cackling "We told you so!" loud and long. I imagine I will NOT be alone.

And HEY! I mourn the loss of the machine-gun smiley, who has since gone by the wayside. He was perfect for expressing exasperation. Regrets if my example contributed to his demise. Let's replace him with the barf smiley. THAT ONE we NEED. ;)

January 2, 2003, 03:06 AM

I kinda disagree with the line you see hip hop taking...
If you listened to the music... and understood the lyrics... which is hard for alot of people who don't normally listen to it... you'll see they aren't pulling a "get the rich guy" line...


They're LOADED!!!

If I had a buck for each time they talked about wanting to chill with Trump and Gates in their lyrics... I'd have about a Benjamin easy... hehe

But seriously... most rap these days is centered not on violence like the west coast gangsta rap of the early 90s... it is centered on "Hey, we're rich, check us out". They're talking about makin money... havin toys... havin fun... havin sex. But even then... they are more responsible in their messages.... safe sex is a HUGE issue in hiphop... vastly supported.

I'm not gonna say that these folks should be put up for awards for humanitarianism... most of em are serious potheads... etc... But then again... so were the majority of musicians from your generation... Some condone drinking copiously and some drug use...

But just saying... they're not out to "get people" anymore... They're out to get rich... and they're lettin people know it in the lyrics.

January 2, 2003, 03:19 AM

Most of my Hip-Hop awareness dates from the time period you just defined. That was back when I listened to it. And got sick of it. I'm in the center of that west coast scene, ya dig? East Palo Alto, National Per-capita Murder Capitol of 1992? 'S about a mile from my house.

I still like early Public Enemy quite a bit, actually. That's gotta date me.

Additional concessions around the commercial dilution of the genre as expressed earlier. I think it IS changing, and somewhat for the better.

I refuse to be close-minded about it. You have a good point.

January 2, 2003, 03:35 AM
Thanks... I do try.

I think alot of the bad publicity from hip-hop comes from three sources...

1.) A lack of awareness of the music by those who criticize it... aka parents of my generation.... They've never really listened to it... they "just don't like it".

2.) The sometimes questionable nature of those who are in it... 2pac wasn't a prince... some of these guys were gang members in L.A., St. Louis, MIA, Chi-town, NYC, etc.... however... people forget... they gave up the life... they may make mention of it in their songs... but they also mention how it's better to be out of it... how it is foolish... etc.... They don't glorify it.

3.) Publicists... Lots of publicity stunts and the like that are likely staged... any publicity is good publicity... I'd bet some of it is started to help their "street image" so kids will be like... "Yeah.. he's still an G... Thug 4 Life....etc" ... but again... that is going out of fashion.
Wih the P. Diddy shooting, R. Kelly scandal etc.. hip-hop receives a bad name... well... other celebrities are involved in some nasty stuff too... Winona Ryder is a thief, Hugh Grant likes prostitutes, Kelsey Grammer had a cocaine problem....

This isn't just a "rap" thing... it's a humanity thing. When more ppl understand that... more ppl will tolerate others...

Hopefully this will be applied to our struggle for free firearms ownership... I understand the other side.... they're scared because they love their children... Same reason I carry... I'm scared for my life... (not really scared... but determined to protect). The more we can see that we share a common goal... the better we can hash things out....

No, felons shouldn't have guns... no, people incapable of basic functions in society due to mental incapacity should not have them... (how you judge this can be argued later... but I'd say a reasonable person could assess this... someone in a mental institution that sees big spiders eating their toes while rabbits tickle them is a start).
But beyond this I see no need for further legislation... you can argue for trigger locks, etc... but the truth is accidents happen... less per capita with guns than cars... you can't legislate all accidents away. Human life is precious... but I guarantee it will end for all of us sometime... we're not all gonna die in our sleep at 103.

So please, everyone, lets fight our fight smarter, not harder... Let us be compassionate, yet unwavering in our convictions. And above all, be true to yourself and the Consitution... the rest will fall into place.


(Edit: Holy Cow that's a lot of "..." oh well, I did it stream of consciousness. The ... means I'm thinking.) :)

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