Random Violence or Revolution?
Over the past few days I have been really troubled to hear about the “flash mob violence” that isgoing on in Wisconsin and in Pennsylvania. I’m troubled, not just because black youth are acting out and behaving very violently, but because of the media spin that is making it all look like horrible and violent black youth are randomly attacking innocent good white folks.
I don’t condone random unprovoked violence in any fashion. But I must say I understand the reason why these young people are acting out in such a way. I can see their frustration and their feeling of hopelessness. Most of these kids have no stable home life. They go to schools that have been stripped of music and arts programs. They live in neighborhoods where there are no community centers or anything constructive for them to do. Playgrounds are being torn down and parks are being closed. Their very existence is a reflection of what it is like to live in every form of poverty. What alternative is there for them?
Having been raised in the south, I also understand what it’s like to be treated unfairly because of the color of your skin. I know what it’s like to be made to feel like you are less than everyone else. That makes angry after awhile. To realize that no matter how good you are at anything, your options are few and your chances of living your dreams are slim to none could push anyone over the edge.
Do all these things excuse their actions? Absolutely not! Should the perpetrators of these violent acts be punished? ABSOLUTELY! But we have to understand that finding the guilty ones and punishing them does NOT solve the problem. As a country, do we feel that treating the symptoms of a problem so we can say we did something is enough? Do we even care about solving the real problem? If we take care of the root of the problem, the symptoms will go away.
Or maybe the problem is deeper than that. Maybe this is a forecast of what is to come. Maybe the kids are acting out because they feel the only way they are going to get whatever they feel they deserve is to take it by force. I mean, our country was built as a result of violence, rape, theft, treachery and slavery. Could it be that those seeds are finally springing up? The very religion our country was supposedly built upon teaches that “whatsoever a man sows, THAT shall he also reap”. I don’t know. Maybe there’s nothing that can be done. Maybe the damage is already done and we just have to live in the environment that was created for us by those who came before.
If the media is going to report on these types of stories, I hope they do so with true journalistic integrity. I hope these issues are reported in a way that makes people think and inspire people to do what they can to change the situations causing the issues in the first place. If the revolution is to be televised, hopefully it will be in such a way that all of us can learn something and not spun into something that is divisive and perpetuates the problem.