Via orange, is this editorial on Gretna by the Chicago Tribune's token moderate Clarence Page. Page tells the story of Grenta, and lists the factors that mitigate against calling them a bunch of racist clowns, namely that they did help out 5,000 people before panicking, and that the city is only 56% white. But Page seems to accept this defense and then argue that what is needed is a bi-partisan commission to investigate miscommunications.
The problem here is that the mitigating factors aren't all that mitigating, and there are several exacerbating factors. First of all, there was no need at all to block the whole expressway. They could have simply blocked the exit to their suburb. Second, the fear of looters is looking less and less justified. Not only were most of the people trying to cross the bridge obviously not a threat, but many of the stories of crime seem to be groundless rumors. Finally, there is evidence the police engaged in much more harassment than simply blocking the bridge.