posted by Tom Harper @ 11:36 AM
A little off topic, but this was my post today:Demanding Equality and JusticeMartin Luther King said,"A riot is the language of the unheard."President Kennedy said,"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."Riots always get ugly and people die.That has been proven over and over again all over the world. Riots and violence are not the best way to achieve change, but sometimes the only, or last attempt to get change.Riots do not always signify good change; as in Russia, when riots forced the Czar out of power, murdered him and his family, and installed a new government. I'm sure they were convinced they were fighting for a better life and eliminating an oppressive government rule. But what if the overthrow of the Czar had never happened? Would the monarchy of Russia had evolved into a parliamentary system as much of the rest of Europe finally did?How long should people wait for change, before forcing change? How long did the American colonies wait to force King George out of America?Black Africans who were kidnapped and forced into slavery only got change when their white masters fought and died (600,000 deaths in the Civil War) over slavery. One wonders why those slaves didn't just get together and revolt against their white slave masters using violence and murder.In America, riots have usually meant fighting for rights and better treatment from those in power. Whether fighting for better working conditions from oppressive employers, or fighting for civil rights from an oppressive government, the people will force change when other more civil methods of negotiations fail.Unfortunately, it seems change in America includes people taking to the streets and demanding change, even in the face of death. One might think that should not be necessary with a democratic governmental system, but those seeking a better life and rights were not included in legal rights like voting, so they had no civil voice. Imagine all the suffering while waiting for the majority to include minorities as their equals in law.The fight never ends. Women fought for the right to vote, yet, 100 years later still have to fight for equal pay and other inequities. After centuries of slavery blacks were given freedom, yet, we know they were discriminated against for another 150 years and the discrimination still goes on. And blacks still have to re-fight for rights won decades ago, like voting rights.A little empathy from Americans would be nice, but lacking that, Americans still have to answer why some people are less deserving of equality than others, especially given our legal, guiding, founding documents. The law allows to seek justice, but can't stop an injustice being committed against people. It seems every right has to be fought for; gays have the right to marry now, but in most States can still be legally fired from a job for just being gay.If we wonder why people get violent, we have to put ourselves in their position, and ask how long would we put up with that kind of discriminatory treatment? If blacks can be killed just for being black, it's easy to understand why they are forced to use violence to protect themselves. Just as our white forefathers used violence against King George when the King hung us for not bowing to his oppressive laws, which were not nearly as oppressive as the laws (slavery) we had against blacks at the time.For all you peace nicks out there, history is not on your side. A brutal truth about humans. Gandhi and MLK are great leaders and idols to follow, but we know violence was the response by their oppressors. If the Black Panthers had their way, would the outcome have been better? NO, but violence and death was part of the movement anyways.
LukeThere were Slave revolts, the two most notable were Nat Turner and Denmark Vessey. They went "well" but were defeated resulting in hundreds of Slaves (Involved or not) slaughtered and hung on poles on the road (like the Roman times).Civil Rights goes in peaks in Valleys in our history - notice 10 years of Reconstruction then went to Jim Crow and a decade of the 60's-70's Civil Rights pared back by Republican domination in the Legislature and the Courts. Silent but effective.The peace movement was only effective if countered by violence and you had to hope that the host would be shamed enough to want to make changes. If they didn't care, then there would be violent retribution. The Panthers were doomed as we had a FBI that treated them like they were more dangerous then white supremacy groups like the Klan.Give credit to the Cold War, while the US is trying to contrast itself with the evil communist and the communist could point to the treatment of the underclass and people of color. One of the biggest news stories WORLDWIDE was the bombing of the Church in Alabama killing the 4 little black children going for Sunday School. Hundreds of reporters showed up to cover it, but most of them were international correspondents.Conservatives even had the nerve to blame King for making the US look bad to the world.A few thoughtsErik
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