As I watched the media coverage of protests across America in the wake of the public execution of unarmed George Floyd at the hands of a white Minnesota police officer with a long, known history of violence and abuse, I almost regurgitated. Gone was the over-sensationalism of "America's pandemic milestone," the incessant, daily, 24/7 coverage of President Donald Trump and his political histrionics. Now replaced by condescending coverage of the protests now characterized as "riots." ALL of the major cable networks are trotting out every law enforcement "expert," political lightweights, and sundry flimflammers-cum-social-commentators now united in preaching to Black and other protesters, just how to behave and how to protest - while they remain comfortably, sipping something, at home pontificating.
Indeed, it is most revealing that much of the white American establishment now sees fit to lecture Black people about the anti-social and counterproductive evils of violence, even as ALL Americans, especially and particularly white Americans, today enjoy the national bounty solely as a result of the same. Let me remind you: The saintly Founding Father, George Washington, was not a practitioner of passive, peaceful, non-violent resistance. Neither did the early Pilgrim colonists embrace the Gandhian non-violent, "turn the other cheek" tradition. There were no sit-ins at King George's palace, no "Hallelujah" horseback freedom rides to influence change. There were only guns, lots and lots of guns.
The bold-faced fact is that what is called America today is the result of rivers of bloodshed and mostly that of others. America and Americans are a nation today because of their insatiable desire to take by force the land and labor of others. So, pardon me - Americans are the very last people on planet Earth with any legitimate right or gumption to ruminate upon the superior morality of peaceful protests. For all the talk, sermonizing, condescension, and political spin the fact is that Americans have never believed in non-violence and peaceful protests, and rarely practiced it. Instead, Americans, now and then, have always taken what they desired, and when denied it, they have turned to brutal and violent means utterly and completely genocidal to make it so.
The self-righteous narrative now packaged and pushed by the Mainstream media lament the loss of property and, because of the fact that they CANNOT control the uprisings, have no answer to them, and could ONLY RESPOND with violence via the National Guard, police, and other paramilitary organizations like SWAT, while at the same time condemning protesters FOR THE VERY SAME THING. Breaking and busting the heads of protesters, firing rubber bullets, and lobbing canisters of tear gas in their midst are all about "restoring law and order," and protecting the right of "legitimate, peaceful protesters" from yet unnamed and unmasked "provocateurs" and anarchists who are fomenting violence.
Yet almost a week into the incident that sparked national outrage and anger authorities have yet to arrest and charge the other police officers involved in the murder of George Floyd. So, they rail against righteous anger and pain left simmering and percolating for nearly 300 years and then act stupefied and stunned when that rage finally bubbles over and turn ugly and uncomfortable because it threatens their white way of life. This is a struggle between the disenfranchised, the brutalized, the poor and the masses with NOTHING TO LOSE BUT THEIR CHAINS. People who enjoy being "on air" and have the luxury to safely point fingers, criticize and condemn those whose lives and existence is a precarious daily event where being shot and killed by a police officer or strangled by one is a real possibility should keep silent.
So, white America unless you've walked in a Black man or woman's shoes - STFU and stop lecturing us!
Finally, even in the modern era, the notion that as Americans we believe in non-violence or have some well-nurtured opposition to rioting is belied by the historical evidence. Indeed, white people have rioted for far less legitimate reasons than those for which Black Americans might decide to hoist a brick, a rock, or a bottle. For the Black community long grounded, beaten down, lynched, brutalized and treated as less than a second-class citizen the rallying cry is simple: JUSTICE. And for those who decry the protests and, yes, the riots - the voices of the unheard (MLK) - there can be no justice without respect and equality.
Indeed, the ONLY TIME that the American political system and establishment takes Black and working people seriously is when an incident triggers this present kind of response. So, this is the narrative: The protests "turned violent," the looting could not be contained. A Black man or women is killed, the police are met with violent protests, and white America gawks at the violence of the protests, but not the violence of the system to which they are responding and which triggered it.
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