“Why can’t we all just get along?”
– Rodney King
It is difficult to explain to people entitled by power, wealth, race, gender, religion, status, health, education, willful ignorance and favorable circumstances, why riots happen and why they matter.
While those of us of peaceful protest rightly do not condone violence, purveyors of violence throughout history have relied on the anger of the masses in order to pursue unpopular agendas. Short of inciting others to riot, inciting others to violence, murder, the spontaneous reactions of an angry populace who feel they have been targeted, suppressed, systematically punished, murdered and ignored, is to be expected and deserves to be expressed. Riots are the outrage of despair.
People search for justice in a tone-deaf world rife with injustice, for empathy where there is none. People are afraid. People are outraged. To facilitate real change where change is needed in a broken system is the enviable pursuit of justice, not vengeance. Vengeance is just hate, and hate begets hate.
The riot within us demands that we do something.
Copyrighted 2020 by Jeffrey Spahr-Summers.