Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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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

h/tDailyKos




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.

8 comments:

Rational Nation USA said...

I am not sure how concern for property rights fits in all of this. Unless one really believes property should be owned by all yet owned by no one. Which is to say all property should be owned by the state and distributed according to some formula. But perhaps that is a subject for another time.

Martin Luther King Jr. had greater intellect and power of reason in his pinky finger than many of the rightwing conservative/reactionary intellects possess in total. Dr. King had so much to offer the whole of society could learn from. And, he posed a threat to the status qou. One it could not accept. Had King lived and had he been
listened to Ferguson and Baltimore might never have happened.

Ronnie's Raygun said...

"what causes unrest and violence in these particular neighborhoods: Libtards, hilldabeast, free stuff, and parents who don't care!"


That statement is a perfect example of how out of touch and stupid those self-satisfied people are who pretend they know the causes of civil unrest in black communities.

"free stuff?" Is the idiot who said that aware of all the "free stuff" the slave holding families of the south enjoyed? How post Civil War laws were written to keep black people from owning property? From evenf escaping the terrors and brutality of the Jim Crow south, only to be forced into ghettos in the northern cities. Is he not aware of how white communities made sure any successful middle class black family would not be welcome into their communities, and how realtors and the white communities made sure it stayed that way, which created crowded ghettos from which those who worked hard and made the American dream could not escape?

Most people know chicken squat about the history of racism in this country. It's much easier to blame black people and hillary and free stuff. I don't know where those sort of people learn such grindingly stupid ideas.

Rusty Old Ford said...

Don't expect the folks who write that sort of crap "they want free stuff" to have any understanding on anything having to do with racial problems in this country. That is about as ignorant and racist as it gets.

And yeah. The southern slave holders were the champions of getting "free stuff." Nobody in this frikken country got as much "free stuff" as those southern slave holders. Their fabulous fortunes were made off of the backs of slaves and their free labor/free stuff.

Ducky's here said...

To keep theirworld view from shattering it is necessary to develop the myth of the undeserving lazy poor.

It is simply not possible for them toadmit there are any structural problems in America. If it isn't all the fault of the poor and the libtards then their whole edifice falls.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

I am starting to think the subject of racial inequality in America has changed. It is now the subset of a larger problem --- economic inequality and the fact that all growth of the past 30+ years has gone to the top one percent.

Stagnant wages that have not kept pace with the cost of living, increased productivity that has not been shared by a labor force that made these gains possible, globalization and the loss of manufacturing jobs to lower cost labor markets -- inequalities that used to be based on race have become class-based.

Achieving middle class status used to be the goal of disadvantaged minorities. What happens, however, when the middle class is no longer what it used to be, and the prize has lost value?

When white folks join forces with black folks, only then will the oligarchy be put on notice. Meanwhile, politicians in the pockets of oligarchs will throw red meat at angry villagers to generate racial animus and create a distraction. Divide and conquer, as the saying goes.

Howard Brazee said...

I'm curious about how often social riots produce positive social change. History shows that it happens, but I don't know if there are studies showing how effective or ineffective it is.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Our country has a history of riots/violence that brought about major changes:

The American Revolution
The American Civil War

There are also the changes in labor laws of the last century that caused many deaths and much destruction.

The Civil Rights struggle, while MLK believed in nonviolence, brought much violence before the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were passed.

"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."
--Frederick Douglass

dmarks said...

Anyone not familiar with the Tulsa Riots would be wise to educate themselves about it.