What black demonstrators really want

Thornton Hollow in Shenandoah Park — as far away as could be from Black Lives Matter

What do the demonstrators in the US black belt want?

No question is more basic for devising an effective strategy to improve black lives. The American black community cannot expect to make the urban riots and demonstrations unprofitable and tunnel the energies into constructive channels without knowing the incentive structure of the people on the street.

The identity model — the dominant paradigm in the US — posits that personal and social identity is a rational strategy for achieving political ends.

According to this view, demonstrators are political utility maximizers; people demonstrate violently when the expected political gains minus the expected costs outweigh the net benefit of alternative forms of protest.

This model is widely accepted in the US despite over 200 years of empirical evidence to the contrary.

Martin Luther King did more for the black community with sit-ins and peaceful demonstration than 3 weeks of rioting and looting in US cities.

Is the identity model strategy likely to work?

In other words, does a solution for improving black lives lie in political utility?

The empirical data says not.

So what is going on here?

You tell me.

I live in Israel and I have no idea why this stuff is going on.

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Danny Lieberman

I am a physicist by training, serious amateur musician and everyday biker. Working in cybersecurity and AI-driven monitoring of clinical trials.