In class last week, we watched a film about the Weather Underground, and I had the students write an essay about it in which they had to speculate whether or not something like that could happen today (that being the student left & violent war protests of the 60s).
About 2/3 the students said "no" because college students today are too self-centered and lazy & because with the war on terror, the government would crack down on such movements really fast.
About 1/3 said "yes" citing issues of poverty and the on-going war in Iraq.
The students only put their campus id on the essays, so I don't know whose essays I'm reading at the time. However, when I was done, I looked up who said "yes", and it turns out that very few of the white students said "yes" but almost all the African-American students said yes.
So, with this very small sample, there was a clear difference by race in the belief in the possibility of such widespread protests.
I can think of some reason as to why, but nothing very profound, so I thought that I would ask you. Thoughts?