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Time for change

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Gender: Male
Home country: United States
Current location: Winter Garden, Florida
Member since: Fri Dec 3, 2004, 12:01 AM
Number of posts: 13,714

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When Police and other Government Officials Declare War on a People

When police repeatedly brutalize any group of people they are supposed to protect, and the “justice system” repeatedly fails to hold them accountable for their actions and fulfill the requirements of justice, then that means, in effect, that WAR is being declared upon the people. When that happens, and when repeated reasonable efforts fail to ameliorate the situation, people have two choices: They can continue with efforts to ameliorate the situation peacefully, in which case they can expect an intolerable situation to continue. Or they can fight back.

I acknowledge that this is an over-simplification of what are usually very complex situations. How is it determined when all reasonable efforts have failed and will likely continue to fail to ameliorate the situation? Who has the right to make that determination? Are the consequences of fighting back likely to be worse than the consequences of continuing to seek peaceful solutions? These and many other pertinent questions are extremely difficult to answer – so difficult that there are unlikely to be answers that a good majority of people can agree on. Nevertheless, people are faced with a decision of monumental importance, and choices must be made, one way or the other.

But the powers that be don’t see it like that. As recently noted by Mychal Denzel Smith in an article he wrote for The Nation:

Whenever there is an uprising in an American city, as we’ve seen in Baltimore over the past few days in response to the police-involved death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, there always emerges a chorus of elected officials, pundits, and other public figures that forcefully condemn “violent protests.” They offer their unconditional support for “legitimate” or “peaceful” protests, but describe those who break windows and set fires as thugs, criminals, or animals….

But those public figures ought to re-think their simple minded analysis of such situations. They ought to recognize that when government officials declare war on a people, those people are likely to feel enraged and desperate and to (rightfully) contemplate desperate actions. That is human nature, and it always has been. Therefore, public figures who condemn people who choose to fight back in desperate situations would be well advised instead to think about the conditions that caused people to feel so enraged and desperate, and what can be done to ameliorate those conditions.
Posted by Time for change | Wed May 6, 2015, 08:40 PM (6 replies)
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