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When people come to a point where they have nothing to lose, they will lash out at their oppressor

By       Message Dave Lefcourt       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

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Protester trashing police car during recent unrest in Baltimore

Reflecting further on the recent unrest in Baltimore, it becomes apparent when people come to a point where they have nothing to lose, they will lash out, become violent and destructive directly toward their oppressor or anything they associate with that oppressor. Thus the trashing of police and other cars, smashing windows of businesses, looting and the setting of fires.

This is what we saw in the recent violence in Baltimore, in Ferguson, Missouri last summer. It also happened in cities nationwide some 47 years ago in 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King [1].

In America, the catalyst for the violent eruption is the unprovoked murder of an innocent by the oppressor. Freddie Gray while in the custody of the Baltimore police, officer Darren Wilson gunning down Michael Brown while his hands were raised yelling "Don't shoot" and MLK assassinated by a white racist man in Memphis in '68.

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Of course these became widely reported events throughout the country and the world. The reality is these types of unprovoked killings and abuses committed by the police too often are everyday occurrences the people are subjected to in the communities where they live.

Now we see the police everywhere in America become militarized, up armored with heavy weaponry, armored personnel carriers, tanks, dressed in battle gear ready to put down disturbances seemingly expecting them to happen.

Couple all the above with dwindling job opportunities, severe unemployment, the white racism that's still there, maybe less overt and kept below the surface; a powder keg ready to erupt when unprovoked police killings and abuses become widely reported.

The recent slogan, "No justice, no peace" by those in the streets needs to be heeded by the authorities lest there be a summer of violence.

I don't know if that will happen. What seems clear is if the police continue to be exonerated by prosecutors and grand juries for the murderous abuses they commit in the communities they are supposed to serve and protect, the violent unrest in America will grow.

What happened in Baltimore, what occurred in Ferguson brought protests in other communities of color in America who connect and identify with the people in those cities.

This is a national crisis, not just a local one.

[1] The violence in 1968 in reaction to the King assassination was an eruption by black people in their cities neighborhoods against what they saw as the white power structure. Most of the businesses looted and set afire were white owned and operated. They didn't live in the neighborhood and were considered as exploiters. What's interesting white people in the suburbs at the time commented, "Why are they setting fires in their neighborhoods", something they couldn't imagine happening where they lived. I believe it is a disconnect between the races that still exists today.


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