Some random thoughts, in no particular order, because I’ve been at a loss
as to how to organize them more coherently.
Solidarity with the Oppressed
It’s a cheap gesture, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t express it here.
Really, given all that has happened over the past 300+ years, periodic eruptions of rage are only to be expected. In fact, it’s thoroughly unreasonable to expect such things not to happen.
What’s happening is, in fact, very mild stuff, all things considered. By the standards of some British colonists who escalated things to an all-out shooting war over a relatively minor tax dispute, one could expect much, much, more to be considered justified.
Anyone who suggests otherwise simply doesn’t know what they are talking about. Blacks are still at or near the bottom of most statistics. Young black men, in particular, get so routinely singled out as thugs by default that it is a tradition in most Black families to teach boys and young men about the virtues of acting submissively to authority so as to preserve one’s life.
That’s enough to be rage-inducing in any society, but in a society that professes to be based on the virtue of individual liberty, hypocrisy makes it exceptionally so.
Where Will This Go?
I don’t have any idea. I don’t think anyone has a good idea. Anyone who claims to have a good idea is either dishonest or misinformed. It could peter out. It could be the start of a long, hot summer. It’s hard to say.
These Are Riots, Not Insurrections
A riot is spontaneous and disorganized. An insurrection is planned with some goals in mind. Maybe this will morph and evolve into a more serious challenge to the status quo. I personally hope it will. But that remains to be seen.
That Said, They Do Have Better Focus Than Most
An actual police station was torched, and there are instances of vandalism which seem to be specifically targeting more affluent and privileged areas. That’s far less riot-like than the typical outburst of rage which results in the oppressed mainly doing damage to their own neighborhoods.
Beware Agents Provocateurs
This is a touchy one for some, but the cold hard fact is that riots, by virtue of their mostly unplanned and disorganized nature, are extremely susceptible to such things. Whether or not the rumors of such things taking place so far are accurate, it is definitely a risk going forward.
This Could Help Trump
The “long, hot summer” of 1967 is widely considered to have helped Nixon win in 1968. Nothing in the universe is as infinite as the cluelessness of White people who don’t even a foggiest idea of the level of racial privilege in this society.
Or, maybe not. 2020 is not 1967, and Trump is not LBJ. Even many Establishment voices in White America are basically saying “well, what did you expect” right now. And there is another elephant in the living room…
Coronavirus Doesn’t Care
It’s a virus. It can’t care. All it can do is infect people, like some mindless microscopic robot programmed to do nothing but self-replicate. Demonstrations, church services, haircuts: it doesn’t matter how important any social ritual is to anyone. The virus is using all of them to spread.
A second wave of the pandemic is coming and it will probably make the first wave look insignificant by comparison.
The USA Is a Failing State That Is Being Naturally Selected Against
The anti-American, anti-capitalist virus is seeing to that, and so is a flock of chickens coming home to roost.