Regarding the protests in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray which have metamorphosed into throwing rocks at the police, looting stores, burning buildings including a newly constructed senior center, this can all be explained as a simple matter of logic.
Too much of THIS:
Eventually gets you THIS:
A riot is of course, a terrible thing. They are often started because a terrible thing happened to start a riot.
“The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.”
“But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
“The poor suffer twice at the rioter’s hands. First, his destructive fury scars their neighborhood; second, the atmosphere of accommodation and consent is changed to one of hostility and resentment. “
—- Lyndon B. Johnson
“I later heard somewhere, or read, that Malcolm X telephoned an apology to the reporter. But this was the kind of evidence which caused many close observers of the Malcolm X phenomenon to declare in absolute seriousness that he was the only Negro in America who could either start a race riot-or stop one. When I once quoted this to him, tacitly inviting his comment, he told me tartly, “I don’t know if I could start one. I don’t know if I’d want to stop one.”
― Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Robbing stores, stoning the cops and burning your own neighborhood down and ripping shit up solves nothing, helps no one and will only make a terrible tragedy a horrible one. The family of Freddie Gray should have been respected enough not to send his city up in flames and every looter, every criminal, every wannabee revolutionary who thinks they’re doing this in Gray’s name is lying to themselves.
They are not lying to me, because I fully expected this which puts me ahead of the mayor of Baltimore, the police chief and the governor of Maryland who all misread the signals. Bad may get worse but the rioters didn’t start the fire. The cops did and it’s too late to turn back now. This fire has smoldered for years and it must burn itself out. More damage will be done before it’s over and possibly more people will die, but if only someone had taken control of the Baltimore Police Department Freddie Gray might still be alive and the city wouldn’t be in flames.
Maybe this time they will learn. They never have before.