June 2, 2020

Singin’ Songs and Carrying Signs

Believe it or not Dear Reader I was once a young radical. Back in the halcyon days of the late seventies I led a sit-in at our little semi-rural high school. Tbe object of our protests’ ire was the evil Iranians and the American hostages they held as weak-kneed Jimmah Carter wrung his wrinkly hands and hoped for a change in the Mullah’s hearts.

The Government and Social Studies Teacher moseyed  down on his lunch hour to witness our little protest. “OK”, he said, “You have our attention. Now what do you propose as a solution?”. At the time it ticked me off, but he was right.

And there lies the crux of protest. Today’s protests have a distinct air of Biker Johnny as his gang descended on Carbondale in the flick The Wild Ones. When asked what he was protesting, Johnny replied “Whaddya Got?”.

That is certainly not to say there are not plenty of grievances for today’s marchers. There are. There truly are. Protesting racism, sure, I’m with you 100%. Police brutality? OK. Let us recognize there are lots of good cops. Inequality. Maybe, but we need to stipulate equivalent outcome is far different from equal opportunity. Holding police and politicians to the same legal standard as the rest of us? Absolutely. Reparations for slavery? Nope and never. Protesting that the Wuhan Flu disproportionately affects the black community (yes, I heard that gripe mentioned on the news)? WTH are supposed to do with that?

But to harken back to my teacher critic on my little protest, “Now what do you propose”? What is your solution? Marching, anger, violence, riots, looting all garner attention. Now what do we do about it? And don’t tell me forcing the Vikings to hire Colin Kaepernick is an answer. That proposal is so asinine it barely warrants the time it took for me to hunt and peck the letters to make up that sentence. What is the goal? What is the end game? What do we want?

The murdering cop in Minneapolis has been charged. The rest of the cops who aided and abetted the crime should get their due soon, I hope. We cannot March and stage die-ins indefinitely. At some point there will be no more windows to break.

What change do we want and how do we fix it?

2 comments:

Greybeard said...

What if the goal of the protest is to destroy property and foment unrest?

Joe said...

Part of me thinks that is the goal of some.

Any serious study of the 1968 Chicago riots can see that was exactly the point. Push the police until they over-react then exploit the aftermath.

I see shades of hat in today’s unrest.

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