Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Seeping In

Ron Fournier is about as close to the Beltway conventional wisdom as any journalist in DC.  He is synonymous with the Courtier Press.  Yet, he wrote an illuminating piece that suggests the real lessons of Ferguson and Baltimore might be seeping into the governing classes.

Despite Wolf Blitzer's once again woefully deep stupidity on display, apparently Americans might be ready to see beyond a burning CVS.  Fournier goes on to talk about Toya Graham, the latest internet celebrity.  Most people have said, "Why can't we have more mothers who will spank their kids?"  Spanking really doesn't work, and I've often wondered if the preference for corporal punishment in African American communities (see Peterson, Adrian) isn't a small contributing factor in why those communities struggle with violence.  Violence teaches more violence.

But anyway, Fournier at least gives her the voice that the sensational internet clip doesn't.  She smacked her son, because she knew he could wind up dead if he stayed at the barricades.  The whole point of this unrest is that black lives DON'T matter as much, and her son's presence gave authorities the right to unleash violence upon him (as long as the cameras weren't on).

Riots are "wrong".  In the Rolling Stone article above, the author cites the quote from MLK - because the Wolf Blithering Idiots of the world only see Disneyland MLK, and MLK is much, much more complicated than that.  The fact is - as the President and others have noted - there WERE peaceful protests.  For days.  But the media only showed up when the CVS started burning.

That Fournier can see around the edges of this problem is encouraging.  Because if he can, anyone can.

At any rate, I leave with the MLK quote in all its complexity:

I am still committed to militant, powerful, massive, non­-violence as the most potent weapon in grappling with the problem from a direct action point of view. I'm absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt.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.
Maybe people are starting to listen.

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