As long as there is injustice, poverty alienation, there will be push-back and protest.
What happens when a people feel they are being unjustly oppressed, such as the
13 colonies in the run up to the War of Independence? Many an American
“patriot” will gleefully declare that violent means, such as the Revolution, were
required. Now, take the millions of non-White Americans who feel just as
oppressed today. The right to revert to protest or even violence? Good Lord
no! That’s just un-American! Americans would never do that sort of thing.
Yeah right. How selective a memory is that?!
Violence of any sort is never desirable. Yet sometimes it is required. Nazism,
for example, needed to be met with overwhelming force to see it vanquished.
Black America continues to languish in the mire of poverty, discrimination and
police brutality. To say otherwise is a borderline delusional version of see no
evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. Add to that the crushing effects that the
Coronavirus pandemic has added to that to that mix, particularly for non-white
communities and businesses, and it is no wonder that tempers boil over.
According to Poverty USA, while 10% of white Americans live below the poverty
line, 20% of black Americans are in the same situation.  That statistic is
deeply concerning alone. But tellingly, it’s not alone. In 2018, black Americans
were five times more likely to be arrested than white Americans in 800 police
jurisdictions. In a further 250 jurisdictions, that number jumped to ten times
more likely.  And the list could go on – and it does. Genuine socio-economic
justice for non-white Americans continues to be way out their reach, while
income disparity between the mega-rich and the impoverished continues to
grow. Job losses amongst black Americans during the pandemic have been way
higher than any other demographic.
With just that in mind, it’s surprising that every city across the country isn’t
experiencing protests, civil disobedience or worse every single day and night.
Quite how a country can proclaim to be “the land of the free”, vociferously
bought into by millions of (predominantly white) Americans, is mind-numbing.
That freedom that there is, and that’s debatable for white folk too, is even
more diluted for the rest of non-white America. The country has been built on
a centuries’ old legacy of slavery and white supremacy, injected with a toxic
blend of establishment violence and monstrous wealth inequality. The Trump
years serves only to confirm that that was that and if you “sons of bitches”
don’t like it, well just shut up and dribble / suffer in silence / get a police bullet
in your back.
When citizens are denied equal opportunity in civil rights, employment,
education, housing, voting and equal representation in the face of the law, what
then are the options available to try and change that? Hell, the country literally
had a bloody Civil War over the issue of slavery and still that wasn’t enough to
move the blockage of widespread discrimination in the United States. The same
can be said of the Civil Rights movement. The fact that we are still having to
address these appalling statistics on the basis of skin color, in the early twenty-
first century, in the wealthiest country on Earth, is a damning indictment of a
society gone badly wrong for centuries of time.
As long as there is injustice, poverty alienation, there will be push-back,
protest, civil disobedience and even riot. A single vote, that is often
disqualified or amounts to virtually nothing in a decayed, not fit for purpose two
party system, is simply not enough. The oppressed have to be heard and, just
like the Revolution, they inevitably have to take to the streets to do that. The
glaring reality, as bright as driving into a bright winter sun, is that people of
color in the United States remain the victims of a white establishment riddled
with not only institutional racism, but the out and out kind too. That is simply
intolerable and is a damning indictment of a country that has practiced the
moral duplicity of preaching to other countries as to their supposed
shortcomings in terms of democracy and human / civil rights.
There is a solidarity to be found out on the streets and in economically deprived
neighborhoods. That is something that the white establishment has never
properly understood, never will and can certainly never contain as long as there
is this level of cruel injustice perpetually on display and in action in the modern-
day United States.
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