I'm trying to get caught up with all the disturbances yesterday and last night, mirroring and supporting the uprising in Baltimore that has taken place as a consequence of the killing of Freddie Gray by police.
These uprisings and disturbances were widespread before the killing of Freddie Gray, but they have become a near permanent feature of American urban landscapes because, simply, the power structure that directs the police will not yield to the demands of the people.
"Stop killing us!" It's very simple. Stop violent policing. And still the killing goes on and on and on, violent policing and brutality continues unabated, and all the fancy military gear that has been supplied to police departments all over the country is trotted out again and again to suppress nonviolent crowds of protesters demanding that the police stop killing us.
And when vandalism and looting occur in conjunction with these protests, the authorities and their media handmaidens become all incensed because the Negroes are running wild instead of being docile little lambs like MLK would want them to be. Except he wouldn't.
Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an important piece for The Atlantic the other day titled "Non-violence As Compliance." As those who have followed some of my writing since the days of Occupy and before probably know, I don't take kindly to those who try to assert "non-violence" as a means of shutting down effective resistance -- which is what is done over and over and over again by most of those citing "Ghandi [sic] and King" as models of the way Those Negroes (or whomever is resisting) ought to be.
I have my issues with Ta-Nehisi, but in this piece, he brought the truth right out in the open: those who insist Those Negroes must follow the non-violent paths blazed by Gandhi and King are basically telling Those Negroes they must comply with authority. It's a way to shut down effective resistance. Which is as thorogoing a mischaracterization of Gandhi's and King's activism and resistance as there could be.
Of course it is deliberate.
The structure of power has so far refused to yield to the demands of the people that violent policing and killing stop. So there is resistance and there are disturbances. It will continue until the killing and violent policing stops.
It's that simple.
Sometimes, however, it appears that Our Betters are simply too stupid to grasp simple concepts like that.
Stop the killing. Stop violent policing.