Here are some poker-faced LAPD officers gently breaking up a little girl’s birthday block party in South Central Los Angeles on Saturday evening.
A few observations: first, cops probably should wear their riot face shields for these kind of encounters with spittle-emitting civilians. At minimum, the handsome cop in the middle of the line should put his sunglasses over his eyes.
Commenter vhrm says:
Setting aside the whole “is this even America ?!” thing, if they put on some surgical masks and medical type gloves (which they all carry anyway afaik), it would reinforce the signal that this IS a health issue rather than “go home because i’m a cop and i said so”.
Second, the residential side streets of South Central Los Angeles, which are heavily single family homes, looks like paradise in late March with the sun out and the lawns all green. It’s also conveniently located for commuting to jobs downtown, in Beverly Hills, and at the airport. (The commercial streets are dumps, but L.A. blacks tend to do a decent job of keeping their single family houses and yards maintained.)
Third, we need somebody (celebrities? radio disk jockeys? athletes? preachers?) to get through to the urban underclasses that even though they haven’t been hard hit yet, they aren’t immune. Blacks in Detroit and Milwaukee are starting to get whomped by the epidemic. Simple messages like don’t go to the emergency room unless it’s really an emergency are important.
Los Angeles is not lacking in black celebrities (nor is New York). They need to be on TV messaging about social distancing and the new situation.
My impression is that the urban underclasses haven’t, on the whole, been actively troublemaking so far, which is very good. (This is different from other types of disasters that tempt looters to ransack empty houses because this time everybody is home. Plus, it just might be that most people want to help.) But educating the less educated to make positive contributions is going to be a challenge. It’s time for the celebrities they trust to step up.