Riots, A Different Perspective – Religion and Politics

ri•ot rī′ət

n.A wild or turbulent disturbance created by a large number of people.
n.A violent disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled for a common purpose.
n.An unrestrained outbreak, as of laughter or passions.

As usual, the definitions listed were lifted from the result of a search for “riot definition” on my favorite search engine. I want to add a component to the definitions above for the word “riot.” The bit that’s missing is that riots by nature—not when using the word in certain colloquial expressions, I’ll acknowledge—are unlawful activities. I’ll recognize that this is sort of implied in the second definition. It’s never stated in a clear way though, that’s why I bring it to the forefront here.

I’ve recently seen, a great many attempts to distinguish between rioting (and looting) and peaceful protest.

Those on the right make such distinctions to argue that, where there is some pacific activity occurring, though some of it is designed to cover violence. They consent to the concept that there’re still a good number of folks with no intent of harm; who’re not among those who even support it.

The problem, they clearly argue, is that they still end up acting as shields for gross and illegal misconduct.

On the left, as well as for some who’re closer to the center politically, are those who argue that the protest activities are “mostly peaceful.” It would be one thing if a pretty sizable number of these folks were not busily attempting to deny the horrible harm and badly illicit things being done by those who are seeking to act in ways that they ought not. Unfortunately, many of them have no intent to do this.

The thing is, motives aside, there are two cadres, if you will, currently involved in the various things going on.

We can ignore the fact that, even the peace loving folks are confused about or taking advantage of, the fact that the optics of various situations that are not indicative of what underlies those optics. We can also refuse to pay attention to the fact that striking while the iron is hot, so to speak, will almost invariably mean you act rashly—and often incorrectly—when you either protest or riot and loot.

Both of these things we can discount or not consider when we’re talking about the legality of what’s occurring.

When we start to look at what I want to focus on in this article though, those two realities can’t be cast aside.

So what am I intending to discuss in which these to considerations are of import? The idea that individuals either sitting on the fence or on the other side of the proverbial aisle from those who support protesting, to say nothing of rioting and looting, if they’re thinking people (and the fact that they don’t support those things and most particularly if they’re not sure what conclusion to come to, makes that at least possible, if not likely), will feel vindicated in either staying or falling on, the anti side.

This is even more the case when the facts come out, and it becomes obvious that a good amount of what caused people to be up in arms doesn’t warrant the commotion.

Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin became emblematic of the current “struggle” embodied by the Black Lives Matter movement

The problem is, in both cases it was decided that the supposed evil perpetrators of harm against the two, where not totally innocent of any wrongdoing (though that was the general conclusion in both cases), were generally blameless for what occurred.

Many still attempt to argue this is not the case, even though in the second instance (and I believe in the first as well), investigations were done by people who to some degree, had a vested interest in coming to the conclusion the officer in one case, and the security guard in the other, had acted inappropriately. The result of those investigations? All but total exoneration of the supposed errant authority figures.

I make a practice of disclaiming the fact that various people in authority do wrong. I said so about Dereck Chauvin, and where new facts have come to light that make his actions a little less problematic, I maintain overall, they appear to have been inappropriate. This is true to the extent that they were potentially criminal.

In that case, the question is, “Was the (apparently heinously incorrect) action on the part of Mr Chauvin a result of Mr Floyd’s race?”

This is a key component of the reason for the protesting, rioting and looting. If race wasn’t involved, even though Mr Floyd was black, is this something that Black Lives Matter ought to take up as actionable?

You might still be able to make a mild argument in that direction. Making it a starting point for mass, sustained protests, rioting and looting? Well, that’s entirely another matter.

Again, circling around to the point of this article, what I’m saying is, BLM and others may have a diehard core of followers, who will support them, regardless of issues with who they are, but getting more general and sustained popular support is unlikely if they continue to pick cases that’re estranged from their supposed reasons for existence.

By “who they are,” I’m referring to the fact that two of three of the founders of BLM are avowed Marxists by their own admission; and that the BLM website has radical components of the entity’s agenda that have precious little to do with black lives.

Will groups like Black Lives Matter be able to woo others by disseminating information that later proves to be entirely false, or at least, largely flawed? Maybe for a time, but in the long run, I would argue this is not likely. So why do this? Because the reality is, there are relatively few valid instances those folks are actually able to claim. Does that mean they don’t have valid complaints? Not at all, just that the number of their issues is relatively small. This points to the idea that the concerns cited are not systemic.

You can, of course, disagree, but if you do, I’m likely to ask you to show data that’s not been debunked.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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