We didn't hear much about it because it was selective violence against white fair-goers. Reported WTMJ radio:
Witnesses' accounts claim everything from dozens to hundreds of young black people beating white people as they left State Fair Thursday night....
"It looked like they were just going after white guys, white people," said Norb Roffers of Wind Lake in an interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ. He left the State Fair Entrance near the corner of South 84th Street and West Schlinger Avenue in West Allis.
"They were attacking everybody for no reason whatsoever."
"It was 100% racial," claimed Eric, an Iraq war veteran from St. Francis who says young people beat on his car.
"I had a black couple on my right side, and these black kids were running in between all the cars, and they were pounding on my doors and trying to open up doors on my car, and they didn't do one thing to this black couple that was in this car next to us. They just kept walking right past their car. They were looking in everybody's windshield as they were running by, seeing who was white and who was black. Guarantee it."
The trouble at the fair started around 7 p.m. Thursday in the midway area, where amusement rides are located, when fights broke out among black youths, said Tom Struebing, chief of the State Fair Police. Those fights did not appear to be racially motivated.
Then around the closing time of 11 p.m., witnesses told the Journal Sentinel, dozens to hundreds of black youths attacked white people as they left the fair, punching and kicking people and shaking and pounding on their vehicles.
The black kids at the fair started by beating up each other, police said, and at closing time they turned that rage on whites outside the gates. This newspaper normally avoids mentioning the race of people involved in crime, unless it's part of a description to help apprehend someone at large.
But this incident, along with the looting and racially motivated beatings in Riverwest last month, has forced the issue. Similar wilding forced the Greek festival to move out of its northwest side neighborhood, the late Riversplash was hobbled by violence, and Summerfest this year had trouble at a hip-hop show.
Forget about blaming society, though I suspect plenty of these kids grew up with poverty, violence, unsafe neighborhoods, lousy parents or other challenges. The responsibility for this thuggery lies with the perpetrators. And they may not realize that the damage they're causing may be inflicted mostly on them in the long run as doors close and attitudes harden.
At least 31 people were arrested and at least 11 people were injured on opening night Thursday, but tighter security left Friday night violence free, according to authorities. Later reports suggested that the violence kept people away.
I'm trying to remember the last time that I heard about rampaging white punks targeting white individuals and families. Such outrages used to be regular happenings, along with lynchings and routine denials of African-Americans' civil rights. A coalition of black and white Americans that changed the culture greatly diminished such outrages. Perhaps a similar coalition now will recognize that violence isn't always one way.
Hat tip: Blithe Spirit