Thursday, April 30, 2015
"A riot is the language of the unheard." --MLK
The Reverend Martin Luther King's words explain the protests and unrest in Baltimore:
1. “Why is equality so assiduously avoided? Why does white America delude itself, and how does it rationalize the evil it retains? The majority of white Americans consider themselves sincerely committed to justice for the Negro. They believe that American society is essentially hospitable to fair play and to steady growth toward a middle-class Utopia embodying racial harmony. But unfortunately this is a fantasy of self-deception and comfortable vanity.” — Where Do We Go From Here, 1967
2. “I contend that the cry of "Black Power" is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we've got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.— 60 Minutes Interview, 1966
3. "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 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." — “The Other America,” 1968
4. “When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” — “Revolution of Values,” 1967
5. “Again we have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that Capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard word and sacrifice. The fact is that Capitalism was build on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor – both black and white, both here and abroad.”
6. “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” —“Beyond Vietnam,” 1967
These are uncomfortable, inconvenient truths that many people refuse to face and deliberately ignore. Just go read the extreme rightwing blogs where their self-satisfied conversations place blame on black citizens alone--claiming that black parents just don't care about their families or themselves. This is the way white people who have no clue about their own white privilege deal with these complex problems.
Here's a particularly ignorant, ill-thought-out explanation for the troubles in Baltimore found on an rightwing extremist's blog:
"I know, personal responsibility is swearing to a liberal but it just might work. Why were there so many youth's at the start of the riots, why are their neighborhoods so blighted, why do they not have better schools . Because the parents don't care. They must follow hilldabeast idea of it takes a village.not a parent. If it is because they are repressed, why do they have to loot and burn. For the majority it is about free stuff."
Most of the folks who share their opinions on that blog all patted themselves on their virtual backs for that brilliant insight into what causes unrest and violence in these particular neighborhoods: Libtards, hilldabeast, free stuff, and parents who don't care!
There it is, my friends. Your modern right winger's deep thoughts on America's racial problems.
Jack Handey envies the shallow nincompoopery of it all.