As some of the commenters to this post are realizing, my apparent cluelessness about the rioting in Sweden was grounded in sarcasm.

I think a major part of the story is being edited out quite deliberately, with the weasel word “youths” being used as an airbrush.  I find the condescending nature of this approach to journalism more than a little annoying, and this story is not an exception, but typical of an unstated yet ironclad rule of journalism today. It is as if reporters think their purpose in life is not to report news, but keep people in the dark, and actually try to shape their thinking, by drumming into them the idea that it is wrong to want to know why something happened, and wrong to want to know details about the background and motivations of people whose actions have to be reported in the news. There is no government censorship involved either. The reportorial classes have taken it upon themselves to do this.

So, youths are rioting in Sweden, and all we are told is that the rioting is in immigrant neighborhoods, and was provoked by a police shooting of an unknown knife-wielding suspect.

I find it hard to believe that no one has talked to any of the rioters, but today’s WSJ has a smidgen more information.

Demonstrators and community activists have attributed the rioting to anger over the May 13 fatal shooting by police of a 69-year-old man who police said had been brandishing a large knife or machete.

The man was shot inside his apartment in Husby, a poor suburb of about 11,000 people, mostly immigrants and refugees from Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Somalia. Police didn’t release his name or nationality.

Swedish police say they have launched an internal investigation into the case. But some demonstrators and local residents said they are frustrated at seeing police use what they consider to be excessive force in the deprived suburbs with seeming impunity.

“If police had shot someone in the city, they wouldn’t have gotten away this easily,” said one young Husby resident who declined to give his real name.

Another Husby resident said Tuesday night that while the shooting last week may have been a catalyst, tension had been building in the poor communities outside the capital for a long time.

Though small in scale, riots have erupted outside Swedish cities periodically in recent years, with tension between police and youths.

Megafonen, a community group that represents the interests of minorities in the Stockholm area, has lodged multiple complaints about substandard schools, unemployment and “structural racism.”

Locals spoke of frustration over the lack of jobs—Husby has among the highest rates of youth unemployment—people neither working nor studying—in Sweden, at about 20%. Costs of living are also rising as the need to renovate the aging housing projects has driven up rents.

I didn’t know that unemployment caused rioting, especially in a socialist paradise, but whatever. As to “structural racism,” I don’t know, but I have my doubts about whether that is first and foremost in the minds of the rioters.  Moreover, if in fact the rioting was triggered by the police shooting, race does not seem to have been a factor, because the man the police shot was “European”:

The riot was triggered by the fatal shooting of a 69-year-old man in his Husby apartment on May 13, 2013. The man, armed with a machete and locked in with a woman, reportedly threatened to kill the police. The police stormed in when negotiation failed.[1][2][3] According to the police, the man was European.[4]

Unless “European” means something other than European (or unless that is being used as another weasel word for something else), it strikes me as awfully peculiar to blame racism.

Drudge links a story today which quotes Swedish authorities as saying that they have no idea what is going on:

The Stockholm police spokesman said rioting had occurred in both deprived parts of the city and parts that would be considered “normal”.

“My colleagues say the people on the streets are a mixture of every kind of people you can think of,” he added.

“We have got Swedes, we have got very young people, we have got people aged 30 to 35. You can’t define them as a group.

“We don’t know why they are doing this. There is no answer to it.”

In Husby, more than 80% of the 12,000 or so inhabitants are from an immigrant background, and most are from Turkey, the Middle East and Somalia.

Rami al-Khamisi, a law student and founder of the youth organisation Megafonen, told the Swedish edition of online newspaper The Local this week that he had been insulted racially by police. Teenagers, he said, had been called “monkeys”, fuelling resentment.

“Turkey, the Middle East, and Somalia”? Might they have something in common that could possibly be motivating them? What might that be?

I remain deliberately and stalwartly clueless.

In other world news, a British soldier was brutally beheaded in the streets of London. In response, the police want new extended ability to read citizens email.

Lord Carlile, a former independent reviewer of terror laws, has said the killing should cause the Government to rethink the decision to drop the planned Communications Data Bill from the Queen’s Speech, which would have extended email and internet monitoring to the security services.

There has been speculation about the attack:

The killing was likely to be a politcally motivated Islamist terror attack, sources tell Sky News.

The article on the front page of today’s WSJ made no mention of the beheading, but it instead described what happened as a “gruesome, broad-daylight killing.”

The victim, who wasn’t identified Wednesday, was hacked to death outside an army barracks in southeast London, police said. Police arriving on the scene shot two suspects, who survived and were taken to area hospitals.

Videos from witnesses quickly surfaced of a man with bloodied hands, apparently in the immediate aftermath of the incident, holding a large knife and a cleaver, and making antigovernment statements. “We swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone,” the man said in a video shown by British media company ITV PLC, which said it got the clip from a passerby. Several witnesses told British media they heard cries of Allahu akbar—God is great—from the men.

The incident quickly resurrected the debate over how to confront terrorism in Britain…

Yes, like monitor all citizens’ emails equally, without regard to any identifiable characteristic that might be, like, actually relevant.

The article also said the victim was found by police and “later pronounced dead.” If he had been beheaded, my intuition tells me that he would have been absolutely and completely dead, and not in need of pronouncement. If the police find skeletal remains, do they have to be pronounced dead?

So, forgive my cluelessness, even when it is deliberate.

I’d like to understand something. Not to be fantastic or anything, but let’s for the sake of argument say that rioting broke out in New York’s Orthodox Jewish community over something. The newspapers would report that Jews were rioting, would they not? It’s a relevant detail.

What is the difference with “youths” or even “immigrant youths”?

Have relevant details become irrelevant?

MORE: Will we ever know why three Jews were brutally murdered al Qaeda style — apparently by Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev on 9/11/11 of all days?

Probably not.

AFTERTHOUGHT: I would ask why the article in today’s Wall Street Journal failed to mention that the Jewish murder victims were Jewish, but the answer is obvious: they didn’t think it was relevant or else didn’t want their readers to think it was relevant.

Not to belabor the point, but isn’t that a little condescending?