White America is tortured by black America’s failure to thrive, and all that guilt and anxiety has only gotten worse as a substantial quota of white America loses its own footing in the middle class and plunges into the rough country of joblessness, hopelessness, and government dependency. The usual remedies of even more dependency aren’t working so well for anybody. It’s politically easier for the moment, though. And both the government and the news media are frantically busy manufacturing excuses for everybody’s bad conduct.White America may be tortured by black America's failure to thrive, but it's only because White America was itself thriving. When we decided some six decades ago to take seriously the idea that all men were created equal, it came with the expectation that black America would join white America's thriving. For some blacks, that has happened. For many others, obviously it has not.
Liberals and conservatives can argue themselves blue in the face as to the reasons behind this fact, but I suspect it's not going to matter a bit. Once America as a whole stops thriving, then the moral impetus that has driven middle class America to make concessions on behalf of poor blacks* disappears. When you are fighting for your own survival, you have a lot less time and energy to take on pet projects like the moral and economic improvement of other people. The White Man's Burden is only taken seriously by white people with too much time on their hands.
What had been guilt and anxiety is going to turn into apathy at best. White guilt only exists because whites have been convinced that black failure in the midst of white success is ultimately a white failure. But if white America is no longer thriving, if the vast majority of recently-rich feels itself sinking both economically and emotionally into a quagmire of diminishing returns, then there becomes no reason for it to concern itself with black America's similar situation. The best we can hope for is that, once the political crutches used by black America to justify their own failures are kicked away, they might experience a little home grown success in dealing with those failures.
On the other hand, the reason manufactured crises like Ferguson are ultimately so dangerous is that an impoverished people - and especially a recently impoverished one - is a radicalized people. And a radical people may just decide, in their quest for order amidst the swirling chaos that they suffer but do not understand, that niceties like rubber bullets are going out the window. Rubber bullets are shot by armies that are only partially serious about keeping order.** As the order that every American adult has known his entire life crumbles around him, I expect that more than a few people are going to get very serious about maintaining order. And there will always be people looking to make a career providing exactly that.***
* And make no mistake, besides being inherently racist, the institutional manufacturing of excuses for bad behavior is a concession.
** It should not come as a surprise that Napoleon did not use rubber grapeshot in the streets of Paris when he suppressed the Vendémiaire uprising.
*** Perhaps it is even less surprising that the slaughter kicked off for Napoleon what turned out to be a pretty successful political career. At least for a while.