It’s not difficult to find the dark side of a black-out, but these comments reported in the New York Times take some beating:
“From the streets of poorer neighborhoods, even those like Harlem, which are now home to touchstones of prosperity like Old Navy and Starbucks, other reasons are offered for the peace. Among them are an overwhelming, debilitating poverty that has outlasted a near decade of prosperity, and Mr. Giuliani’s extraordinarily successful campaign to cut welfare rolls, which have fallen by more than 50 percent from their 1977 totals of close to a million.
“People are becoming accustomed to not having,” said Ms. Kuumba, an administrative assistant with the city’s Office of Children and Family Services. “They don’t have it; the city’s not giving it to them anymore; they’re not going to have it and they never will. So come what may. There’s just complacency.”
Here’s a rather less patronizing interpretation: there was peace in those neighborhoods because that is what their residents wanted – and thought was the right thing to do.