Column: If riots are not the answer, what is?

  
Via:  Nerm_L  •  4 months ago  •  25 comments

By:   Steve Chapman (chicagotribune. com)

Column: If riots are not the answer, what is?
Rioting may be the wrong way to persuade authorities or white Americans to bring about long-needed changes. But that raises the question: What is the right way?

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Of course the riots are easy to understand.  We observe the same behavior in toddlers.  Toddlers throw tantrums to manipulate parents into giving them what they want.  What is overlooked is that toddler's tantrums are a part of a process of growth; the toddler learns to become more independent and do things for themselves.  Toddlers grow into adults and become less dependent upon their parents.  That natural progression as been chronicled throughout recorded human history.

Recurring riots in the United States have been consistent with toddler behavior.  That behavior is not difficult to understand.  A riot is a tantrum intended to manipulate authority to give the rioters what they want.  But the riots are supposed to lead towards independence and less dependence upon the authority the rioters are trying to manipulate.  That's the natural progression of growth toward maturity.

We've seen protests and riots take place around the world.  But, in the majority of cases, the goal of those protests has been to obtain independence and autonomy.  The protests and riots have been part of a natural progression of growth towards self governance and maturity.  We tend to encourage rebellion and revolution because we are familiar with that behavior in our own children; it's a sign of growth toward maturity and independence.

The recurring riots in the United States have not resulted in the next step in the natural progression of growth.  The only recognizable purpose for riots has been to manipulate authority into giving the rioters what they want.  And after the rioters get what they want, they return to being as dependent upon authority as before.  There isn't any growth.  Development towards maturity, independence, and self government has been arrested.  The toddler remains a toddler.

Arrested development is the problem that needs to be addressed.  At some point there needs to be growth towards independence and self government.  At some point the rioters must assert authority over themselves.  The evolved natural response to arrested development is for the parent to use harsh measures to end dependence.  The evolved natural response is for the parent to ignore tantrums.  The parent refuses to feed, care for, or protect the fledgling so they have no alternative but to become independent.

Harsher response to recurring riots shouldn't be surprising, either.  That, too, is a natural progression of growth.  The 'right way' going forward is for the rioters to assert authority over themselves.  Riots are a first step toward maturity, independence, and self governance.  Now it's necessary to take the next step.  Toddlers cannot remain toddlers forever. 


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



It is impossible to justify the violence, looting, arson and vandalism that took place in Minneapolis and other cities after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Smashing windows, torching buildings and plundering stores do nothing to improve police behavior or help the African American community. They amount to useless destruction.

Impossible to justify, yes. Impossible to understand? Not at all. Police have participated in a quiet riot against black people for generations.

The African American residents of Minneapolis had seen graphic video of a gruesome event. The most obvious interpretation of the footage is that a black man was being calmly, slowly killed by a cop who knelt for minutes on his neck, as other officers stood by.

The images provided a searing display of police cruelty. There was no reason for Floyd to die. But he did.

It would certainly be more constructive for the city's African Americans to respond to this outrage in a civil manner, as befits citizens of a democratic society. But when peaceful requests consistently fail to elicit changes that are a matter of life and death, we shouldn't expect endless forbearance from the victims.

The president of the United States doesn't get this. With his usual viciousness,Donald Trump posted a tweet that called the rioters "thugs" and seemed to suggest they should be gunned down: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts." He later said he didn't mean it the way it sounded.

Ehud Barak, who served as prime minister of Israel, was a highly decorated soldier who had killed terrorists. In 1998, Barak said the tactics used by Palestinians fighting Israel were "abominable, villainous, inhumane and inappropriate." But he also said: "If I was (a Palestinian) at the right age, at some stage I would have entered one of the terror organizations and have fought from there."

Barak was not condoning Palestinian terrorism. He was acknowledging that behind it lay legitimate grievances.

The same has to be said of the unrest in Minneapolis. The Police Department has long been accused of racism and brutality. A 2018 study by 24/7 Wall Street said, "The city is highly segregated by race and has some of the largest disparities in poverty, income and home ownership between black and white residents of any U.S. metro area."

I find the destruction tragic, unnecessary and counterproductive. But if I were a black person living in Minneapolis, I might feel enough anger and despair to take part.

Rioting may be the wrong way to persuade authorities or white Americans to bring about long-needed changes. But that raises the question: What is the right way? The problem for African Americans is that most whites have never been sympathetic to the methods used in the long fight for racial equality.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington is now enshrined as a proud moment in American history. But at the time, a Gallup poll found, only 23% of Americans had a favorable opinion of this peaceful protest. Asked in 1964 whether "mass demonstrations by Negroes are more likely to help or more likely to hurt the Negro's cause for racial equality," 74% said they would hurt.

In 2014, after several African Americans were killed by cops, Black Lives Matter organized rallies to demand reforms. Though some of the protests blocked streets and snarled traffic, they were largely nonviolent.

The movement commanded broad support among African Americans. But 59% of whites, according to a 2015 PBS News Hour/Marist poll, said it "distracts attention from the real issues of racial discrimination."

Most whites reject violent measures to combat racial inequity and reject disruptive, nonviolent demonstrations. But a majority of them agree that racism remains a big problem in American society. So you would think quiet, peaceful, non-disruptive protests would generate a positive response.

But no. That's exactly what Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players tried when they kneeled during the national anthem to bring attention to police brutality. And imagine this: In a 2018 Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 58% of whites said such protests were "never appropriate."

White America is always insisting that African Americans find an appropriate way to register their complaints and demands. Alas, nothing ever seems to hit the sweet spot. The methods of protest bother most whites more than the abuses that generate the protests.

Rioting may not bring about the changes that would establish genuine equality for black Americans. But neither has anything else.

Steve Chapman, a member of the Tribune Editorial Board, blogs at www.chicagotribune.com/chapman.


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Nerm_L
1  seeder  Nerm_L    4 months ago

The only justification for tantrums and riots is natural growth toward self governance.  Failure to take the next step in that growth will naturally result in harsher response to riots and tantrums.  Toddlers can't remain toddlers forever.

 
 
 
CB
1.1  CB   replied to  Nerm_L @1    4 months ago

Who the heaven are you calling "toddlers"? Don't try to lecture Black people about being successful. Success happens when ignorant molesters of the unalienable rights of others get out of the way! In other words, you want to see some black American growth and development—stop micro-gazing into the black experience and these nonsensical rules conservatives like to see reasoned into existence as a means of social control. That is, social conservatives should stop being meddlesome busy-bodies seeking to tell others what normal life is.

 
 
 
CB
1.2  CB   replied to  Nerm_L @1    4 months ago
self governance.

How the heaven are you, "self-governing" yourself in a country of 300 million people? Please explain. You have a more or less greater measure of autonomy due to privilege afforded you (for which you can be grateful because it granted), but beyond that point you are compelled to abide the rules and laws like everybody else and catch as catch can.

What kind of "self-governance" do you have in mind here?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2  JohnRussell    4 months ago

You wrote a 424 word preface to the seed that does not contain one word about why they were rioting. 

That is your contribution. 

Oddly enough, the actual seeded article does get it.

White America is always insisting that African Americans find an appropriate way to register their complaints and demands. Alas, nothing ever seems to hit the sweet spot. The methods of protest bother most whites more than the abuses that generate the protests. Rioting may not bring about the changes that would establish genuine equality for black Americans. But neither has anything else.
 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  JohnRussell @2    4 months ago
Oddly enough, the actual seeded article does get it.

Is throwing tantrums an appropriate means for a toddler to get what they want?  That works but only for a while.  At some point the parent begins ignoring the tantrum.  That's an evolved natural progression of growth.

The seeded article doesn't get it at all.  That's the point of my commentary.  The seeded article is attempting to sustain a status quo that isn't working.  The seeded article is championing arrested development.  

Rioting (and throwing tantrums) won't achieve equality.  The only way to achieve equality is to grow, become independent, and assert authority over oneself.  A toddler will never be equal to a mature adult.  That's the way nature works.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1    4 months ago
The only way to achieve equality is to grow, become independent, and assert authority over oneself. 

What are you suggesting, a separate black nation?  Or are they still to deal with racist police forces once they are "independent" ?  

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.2  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.1    4 months ago
What are you suggesting, a separate black nation?  Or are they still to deal with racist police forces once they are "independent" ?  

A city functions the same way as an independent nation.  Cities are self governing.  Cities pass their own ordinances, regulate their own businesses, and provide their own services, such as police.  A city can declare itself a sanctuary because the city is independent and self governing.  

Self government doesn't require separation or segregation.  What is necessary is asserting authority over oneself.  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.2    4 months ago

What are you talking about? Minneapolis is not a majority black city. Not even close. 

You create a theory then go in search of facts to fit into it. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.4  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.3    4 months ago
What are you talking about? Minneapolis is not a majority black city. Not even close.  You create a theory then go in search of facts to fit into it. 

Minneapolis is surrounded by independent smaller cities.  The Minneapolis city government does not have authority over the entire metropolitan area.

Communities within the city of Minneapolis are already described by boundaries represented by council members.  A community could separate itself from the city and form its own city and government that is independent from the city of Minneapolis.  

There are majority black communities within the boundaries of the city of Minneapolis.  And those communities could assert autonomy and form their own city government that is independent of Minneapolis.  That's no different than the independent suburban city governments within the metropolitan area.

The status quo isn't set in stone.  Breaking away from the city of Minneapolis may well require a struggle.  But then protests and riots would mean growth toward autonomy and independence.

 
 
 
CB
2.1.5  CB   replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.2    4 months ago

Mere words. As you can see you are already in the way with your "moralistic" definition of how self-governance should (must) comport itself.

As it stands right now, our mutual cities are integrated 'units' in a unified nation under  rule of law. Why isn't one rule of law sufficient to cover all of the citizenry hosted in this 'body'? Why do black people need some 'special dispensation'? And, will that black dispensation need 'parental approval' from this nation's white power structure?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
2.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @2    4 months ago

So you are of the school that cancer victims should shoot themselves in the foot because there's not a cure for cancer.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.2.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.2    4 months ago

I dont take the position that the aftermath is more important than the event. 

The "riots" are a separate issue than the police criminal conduct. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.2.2  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.2    4 months ago
So you are of the school that cancer victims should shoot themselves in the foot because there's not a cure for cancer.

Someone with cancer cannot continue behavior that contributed to the cancer and expect an equal outcome.  A cancer patient cannot ignore the authority of their doctor and expect an equal outcome.  

 
 
 
It Is ME
3  It Is ME    4 months ago

"What is overlooked is that toddler's tantrums are a part of a process of growth; the toddler learns to become more independent and do things for themselves."

Only if the "Parent" doesn't "give in" to the "Tantrum" !

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
4  Freedom Warrior    4 months ago

Unfortunately is has worked in the past to a great extent.  Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton turned grievance into an industry.  So much so they found that manufacturing it out of raw guilt worked so well that race baiting became mainstream. 

Now it's virtually automatic that incidents like these will serve to perpetuate a victimization mentality ultimately serving no one and becoming a counterproductive force force leading to more inequality. 

That's where the true tragedy lies.  The obummer era played on it and Obiden follows the same play book albeit rather unskillfully except it doesn't matter when you have the media willing to amplify, distort and riff off it with their own well manipulated narrative.  It's a sick culture and one that resists the cure at seemingly all costs.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Freedom Warrior @4    4 months ago

Another comment with not a word about racism as the cause of the issue that set the response in motion. 

 
 
 
bugsy
5  bugsy    4 months ago

[deleted]

There are reports that the autopsy report on Floyd showed no signs of asphyxiation, but more than likely his death was contributed to other circumstances such as heart disease or something else. The family has hired the famed forensic pathologist that deducted that Epstein was killed instead of committing suicide.

No matter the circumstances, this cop and his partners should remain fired, and they should be punished under the law for any other laws he may have violated, but what if this pathologist comes back with the same deduction, that the cop is not directly responsible for Floyd's death.

I think then the prosecutor will have to drop at least the murder charge against him.

The local leadership and the state leadership in Minneapolis and Minnesota is all pretty much Democrat. Would you accept the decision that the prosecutor may make to drop the murder charges based on pathology reports, or would you continue to accept and support more looting and rioting, even to spread to more cities because the decision does not fit the narrative that the PO-lice is inherently racist?

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
5.1  Freedom Warrior  replied to  bugsy @5    4 months ago

That would be manslaughter and that's what I predict he will be convicted of.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
5.2  JohnRussell  replied to  bugsy @5    4 months ago

What if you hit someone in the head with a baseball bat and they died within minutes. If it turned out the dead person had a weak heart and lungs do you think you would be off the hook?  The cop killed George Floyd. If he hadnt knelt on his neck for 9 minutes Floyd would be alive today. 

 
 
 
bugsy
5.2.1  bugsy  replied to  JohnRussell @5.2    4 months ago

John, you are once again picking the wrong battle, one that you are destined to lose.

If you read the entire post, you would see that I believe the cops should be held accountable for the crimes they committed. Unfortunately, in your "scenario" your feelings are once again going above and beyond the reality of the law.

If it is proven that Floyd did not die from asphyxiation and died from other causes exacerbated by what the cop did, then murder charges will go out the window, and at the most, manslaughter will be the conviction, and involuntary at that.

Now, answer my question....if you honestly can..

Would you accept the decision that the prosecutor may make to drop the murder charges based on pathology reports, or would you continue to accept and support more looting and rioting, even to spread to more cities because the decision does not fit the narrative that the PO-lice is inherently racist?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
5.2.2  JohnRussell  replied to  bugsy @5.2.1    4 months ago
Would you accept the decision that the prosecutor may make to drop the murder charges based on pathology reports, or would you continue to accept and support more looting and rioting, even to spread to more cities because the decision does not fit the narrative that the PO-lice is inherently racist?

I dont answer silly questions.  The police dept is not racist or not -racist based on the pathology report on George Floyd. It is racist or not- racist based on the behavior of the police men or women. Whether Floyd had a pre-existing medical condition does not enter into it. 

 
 
 
bugsy
5.2.3  bugsy  replied to  JohnRussell @5.2.2    4 months ago

You only say it is racist because people are telling you to say it is. You don't know the intention of the cop. Being a racist does not mean criminal intent. That is why the Justice Department is looking into civil rights violations. Of course, you don't like that either because it's Trump's JD.

By not answering the question, it just confirms that you are damn well all for more rioting, looting and burning all because the PO-lice acted racist.

Your friends that are out there burning and stealing shit don't give a damn about George Floyd. Most probably don't even know who he is.

I asked for liberals to try and honestly answer the question. You are obviously not that liberal that is willing to be honest.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
5.2.4  JohnRussell  replied to  bugsy @5.2.3    4 months ago

You are obviously looking for a way to say the cops are fine. 

 
 
 
bugsy
5.2.5  bugsy  replied to  JohnRussell @5.2.4    4 months ago
You are obviously looking for a way to say the cops are fine. 

Huh? Where did I say or even insinuate that?

Reread 5.2.1..to see how wrong you are.....again. Seems to be recurring for you.

I see you still fail to be honest and answer the question I posed to an "honest" liberal. [Deleted]

 
 
 
CB
6  CB     4 months ago
Rioting may be the wrong way to persuade authorities or white Americans to bring about long-needed changes. But that raises the question: What is the right way?

Let's look at rioting in context of the reason why we see it on the streets of our country today. Another black man had the life mashed out of him by officials authorized by the state to uphold "righteous" laws. The squeezing out of his life was done in a manner which was an affront to those who viewed it and protests across the country blossomed and metastasized.

Now then, what caused the 'corruption' and spread it through the national body?

A crime was committed against a black man by authorities of the state taking his life from him without due process (he died on the street in disgrace), protest, gave way to rioting, gave way to looting. The right way:

Next time, put process the black man properly, grant him his due process, and day before a judge and if needed a juror.

Problem solved. The public is not fed up with due process, not yet any way. The public is fed up with authoritarian negligent homicides and nonchalant indifference to street justice meted out to black men!

 
 
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