This week in abundance: plenty of European commentary that uses the word “community” in reference to the London riots. Examples: the looters are damaging their own communities. Communities will organize and come together for the clean up. Many more. You get the idea.

This week in absence: the explanation of how exactly these analysts define community. Because I am almost certain the word does not mean what they think it means to everyone else. Example: you can live in a neighborhood, surrounded by people who even look like you and share your cultural traits and yet, you might be utterly isolated because in urban settings, not everyone talks to each other. And there are many forms of invisible exclusion (i.e. you are perceived as a trouble maker; you do not like to talk to people you don’t know; you are a new comer to town, etc. etc.).

Many of the people talking about “community”, particularly those who have an inclination to Social Justice seem to operate under a kind of romanticized prism of what community entails and how it is evident that it is available to everyone (one of the premises of Social Justice: organize your community!). Uh? That would imply that these youth have one or feel they belong to one in the first place.

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