December 7, 2012
‘The Birth of the Victory Riot’
Another potential cause of the 60s is lead poisoning from gasoline or paint. Kevin Drum has an upcoming article in Mother Jones arguing that the rise of crime and illegitimacy in that era resulted from increasing levels of lead in the environment, which lowers IQ and impulse control. (…)
President Johnson announced his Great Society in May 1964 and signed the Civil Rights Act in July. The era’s first black riot followed a couple of weeks later. LBJ won by a landslide in November, and vast riots ensued in Watts in 1965 and Detroit in 1967.
What caused African Americans in the 1960s to respond to their historic triumphs with looting and mugging?