That was the hashtag for what was a typical demonstration in the world today. Think those kids are outliers? Let Me Google That For You. Protests today often turn violent. Think about what it takes to get people into the streets today. The 60′s are long gone. I generally believe that marching nowadays is worthless (for reasons that have much to do with our media & political class), but I understand why people do it. I frequently understand the anger. Especially when it’s another young Black man/boy shot to death by the police. No matter what the circumstances were surrounding the shooting people are angry. As Martin once said “…in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard.”
But what happened last night in Brooklyn was not a riot. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I lived through a riot once. And as I read the #BrooklynRiot tweets last night it was plainly obvious that what was going on was not a riot, but lots of people attempting to be heard. People exercising a right that is often severely curbed by the NYPD, NYC govt & the police departments & governments of many other cities:
Congress shall make no law…abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
And as happens sometimes in this situation, some people took the protest as an opportunity to stir up some trouble. I make no excuses for those who destroyed people’s property, but make no mistake about it, some of those people were/are filled with anger. An anger that had nowhere to go, but out. And anger that we refuse to discuss except with lip service.
I don’t know who decided to declare that protest a riot when some folks turned bad, but my money is on the NYPD. They are almost universally adversarial towards Black & Latin@ people. If they want the anger to begin to subside then their tactics & attitude must change.
The irony of this so-called riot is that without the trouble there would be almost zero coverage of last night’s demonstration.Tags: Brooklyn Riot, NYPD, Protest