I was a child in Kenosha when the car plant closed. But I remember the aching fear that it sent rippling through town and into my tiny elementary school, where classmates spoke anxiously of relatives who were Chrysler workers. Everybody, it seemed, had a father or a cousin or a neighbor who was abruptly losing a job, their futures and livelihoods uncertain.
This week, I have seen my hometown become a wounded place once again.
Mr. Blake’s shooting has registered near-universal horror by residents, who say they do not understand what prompted a police officer to shoot a man seven times during a dispute. They are also incensed and terrified by the destruction that has followed.
“We don’t want the city destroyed,” said Dejon Andino-Smith, 29, who has been protesting alongside Black Lives Matter marchers and also guarding Black-owned businesses from damage.