London Riots: Coming Soon to USA?

Peggy Noonan sees reason to worry in stats about American youth
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2011 1:04 PM CDT
A protester in Britain this week.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Don't dismiss the London riots as just another foreign story, warns Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. "What we're seeing on the streets in Britain right now is something we may be starting to see here," she writes. "It hasn't come together in a conflagration, but it is out there, and I think it's growing." (Witness the teen flash mobs in Philadelphia.) It's not about "political grievances, per se." It's about a lost generation of kids, too many of whom are growing up in single-family homes or foster homes and not getting the "love and guidance" they need, writes Noonan.

The government is too strapped to help and churches are in much the same boat. "Where does that leave us? In a hard place, knowing in our guts that a lot of troubled kids are coming up, and not knowing what to do about it," she writes. "When the riot begins or the flash mob arrives, the best the government can do is control the streets, enforce the law, maintain the peace." The big question is what happens after that. Like Britain, we'll likely have to find an answer. Read the full column here, or click to see the videotaped plight of a victim in London.

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