Protests against inequality and police brutality that were once limited to the slums and their immediate neighbors are now moving to wealthier neighborhoods, as technology, particularly smart phones allow organizers to organize more distant locales.
This is a good thing. Protests SHOULD afflict the comfortable:
In the years since American cities erupted in anger in the 1960s, many of the conditions that fueled that unrest — even with the ideas drafted to address them — have changed little. Most deeply poor urban neighborhoods have remained that way. Schools that for a time grew more integrated have resegregated. Aggressive policing has continued as a defining feature of urban life for young black men.
In Chicago, protesters have converged on Michigan Avenue, the city’s famous strip of high-end retail. In Atlanta, it has been affluent Buckhead. In Philadelphia, Center City. In New York, SoHo. In Los Angeles, protest leaders have deliberately steered toward upscale neighborhoods, including downtown and Beverly Hills.
There is limited symbolism in a store hit by opportunistic looting. But historians have noted the shifting geography of protest. In 1964 in Philadelphia, black neighborhoods along Columbia Avenue and North Broad Street were damaged, Thomas Sugrue, a historian at N.Y.U., pointed out. This time, high-end Chestnut and Walnut Streets around Rittenhouse Square downtown were hit over the weekend, before unrest spread through much of the city. In Los Angeles, where Watts was a site of unrest in 1960s, now Rodeo Drive is one instead.
This is good.