Some holiday cheer for you courtesy of a magazine that was sort of respected when I was growing up. In an age when newsweeklies are a week late in meeting people’s demand for news, I guess this is one way to keep your site “vital.”
Riots are a necessary part of the evolution of society. Unfortunately, we do not live in a universal utopia where people have the basic human rights they deserve simply for existing, and until we get there, the legitimate frustration, sorrow and pain of the marginalized voices will boil over, spilling out into our streets. As “normal” citizens watch the events of Ferguson unfurl on their television screens and Twitter feeds, there is a lot of head shaking, finger pointing, and privileged explanation going on. We wish to seclude the incident and the people involved. To separate it from our history as a nation, to dehumanize the change agents because of their bad and sometimes violent decisions—because if we can separate the underlying racial tensions that clearly exist in our country from the looting and rioting of select individuals, we can continue to ignore the problem…
Blacks in this country are more apt to riot because they are one of the populations here who still need to. In the case of the 1992 riots, 30 years of black people trying to talk about their struggles of racial profiling and muted, but still vastly unfair, treatment, came to a boil. Sometimes, enough is simply too much. And after that catalyst event, the landscape of southern California changed, and nationally, police forces took note.
And the racism they are fighting, the racism we are all fighting, is still alive and well throughout our nation. The modern racism may not culminate in separate water fountains and separate seating in the backs of buses, but its insidious nature is perhaps even more dangerous to the individuals who have to live under the shroud of stereotypical lies society foists upon them.
“And that, children, is how Time won the SJW Olympics.” There’s a germ of a fair point here, which Cunha illustrates with a reference to the original Boston tea party. Most everyone agrees that violent resistance is justified when oppression gets bad enough; the debate, really, is only over how bad it needs to be. If a consensus has formed that the system is beyond reform through normal political channels, then light ’em up. Has that consensus formed, though? Most lefty social-justice agitators focus on electioneering as a solution rather than Weatherman-style sabotage, as one of the president’s old friends in Chicago used to. Modern tea partiers complain endlessly about heavy-handed government, but despite the media’s wettest dreams of a right-wing insurrection that will forever discredit conservatism, they stick to mainstream protesting. The president himself emphasized yesterday that he has zero sympathy for people who are looting Ferguson, however angry they might be about the grand jury’s decision. Even if you’ve concluded, as Cunha evidently has, that the fateful line has been crossed and it’s time to burn some buildings, why would you randomly target businesses that are driving your own city’s economy? The Boston tea partiers targeted a tea shipment specifically to send a message about taxation (under the Tea Act) without representation. What message is sent by looting the liquor store owned by a guy whose only role in all of this was apparently getting robbed by Michael Brown a few minutes before his confrontation with Darren Wilson?
If you take Cunha’s logic seriously, that bold and even wanton violent action is needed periodically to shake the ruling class into accepting that things need to change, I don’t know why you’d draw the line at rioting and property crimes. The most dramatic way to show cops that they’d better start thinking twice before confronting a young black man is to have a mob murder Darren Wilson, or even several members of the Ferguson PD. But it’s hard to imagine Time printing a piece like that; even (most) Democrats draw the line at open war on law enforcement. So what you get is “in defense of rioting,” which doesn’t quite bust the final taboo of openly agitating for murder but is far enough down the slope to give lefties the quasi-revolutionary thrill they’re looking for in reading a piece like this.
Here’s two minutes from someone who’s had personal experience with this subject and thinks he has a better way.