On the morning after the looting orgy, the Spanish-language newspaper El Diario front-paged in huge type the question that was on nearly every New Yorker's mind: ¿POR QUÉ? (Why?).

What had sparked the plunder?

What had changed since that placid blackout night of 1965? Doubtless the heat and humidity made some difference; in 1965 the power failed on a pleasantly cool evening in November. But much more had changed in a dozen years. Respect for law and authority has declined; thieves often go unpunished; crime and violence stalk the slums. So, of course, does poverty. Unemployment among young ghetto blacks is as high...

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