"It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard."
In the wake of the Prosecutor of St. Louis and the GJ decision to issue a no bill against officer D Wilson, the nation has witnessed a coast to coast, north to south witness to the people's view of the injustice of police misconduct created by officers of the law, receiving a continual repeated pattern of "safe passage"...and "immunity" from state or federal criminal prosecution for their actions.
The problem persists and this time, it seems, the youth and the social media inspired movements that are growing and showing their anger across American in the wake of this decision, is both real, genuine and inspired.
Now, the question lingers...where does this movement go from here? Any movement needs leadership and wisdom and insight. What the possible demands for justice that such a nascent but obviously deeply felt and seriously inspired movement possess. What does this movement want to seek and ask if not create themselves. Now is the time for such a movement to grow and quickly
develop into something more than just demonstrations and angry diatribes and outbursts across the land.
I'm all for protests. I' m not for violence but I don't equate burning of cars and breaking glass on the same level of taking life and ending a 12 or 13 or 16 or 18 9r 19 year olds life as has happened just in the past days, weeks, months and year all either unarmed, truly not threatening nor in any kind of state of mind or position to want to truly cause harm to anyone, must less a police officer.
When the system the courts, the legislature, the executive don't seriously address this problem, there will continue to be a sense left within the body politic of this nation that life is cheap and our constitutional rights are not very highly valued by those who are the very representatives of the state and system of law itself. this is the rub. this is far different an issue than that of rogue criminals taking over our streets and ending life.
These are supposedly the "good guys"...who are acting more and more every year, every decade...like serious bullies, like serial abusers, ...who are terrorizing entire populations centers.
And when the courts, federal and state or local, including their agents, like prosecutors often do, not always, but often do;....the red hot magma of social content begins to heat and in time, it will break through and begin to flow...into the streets and the living rooms and hopefully, if its guided well ...into the state and national offices and political leaders consciences, which are harder than the rock formations that create such underlying social and structural pressures to begin with.
Police brutality is an enduring problem in the modern society everywhere, but especially here in America. Its roots are very deep. It begins with the rise of the modern day policing first created as an institution in Cincinnati and then New York. The FOP rise and its power influence inside of both political parties is hardly matched in significance and scope and yet is so often simply left out of the equation when it comes to discussing both the problems and the solution to this problem
What King knew...was in any given situation involving social justice and injustice, if the people begin to truly feel that their voices can not be heard and are not going to be listened to, then rioting and seeking to demonstrate in less than a perfectly peaceful manner will occur and it isn't right to judge such actions harshly or even at all, unless one is willing to bring that same kind of serious judgment and critique to the very underlying social causes that bring about such rioting and serious unrest. King knew...by 1967, as he stated in a rarely shown but documented black and white interview done just before he was assassinated, that his earlier pure non violent methodology and serious pacifists approach...wasn't working in the face of the hard, extremely bitter northern metro city racism and classism and institutional opposition to true social change. he said so openly.
And King himself began to realize by 1967, it was going to take much longer and a lot more of serious work, demonstrations and actions....to get things inside of much of the rest of the nation to change the way he had led the non-violent message and its work to change in the earlier aspect of the Civil Rights anti segregation movement that he oversaw before 1965.
Today...we need the example of earlier Abolitionists, early political activists of the progressive era and all writers, journalists and others who were seriously critical of our not so open society from a day when America was first struggling with the major social evils of various eras and seasons of our young nation's history and discontent; the slave issue and the original abolitionists, the rise of "money interests" and the robber barrons, and their critics, the lack of worker protection laws, the strong opposition to unions and the women's suffrage movement; and all of these, including to the very still relevant debate of whether or not in America, the government ought to support a strong safety net for the poor and the elderly and the weaker members of society. These issues still create lots of tension across our nation. We need today, badly...those kinds of intellects, passionate advocates and leaders of a by gone era, to help guide this democratic constitutional crises out of and away from the shoals of those things that can sink any democracy in any era, at any time.
But serial, patterned, historical police misconduct is almost in a category all by itself. I know.
I've studied it since the early 1990's if not longer. Its been something that has been the calling of my life and most of my adult career's waking hours were devoted to date, to this issue. Its a unique problem of the past century inside of America
And its no longer, with these riots and demonstrations happening this Thanksgiving week, 2014, that ought to be ignored or simply dismissed or allowed to discharge into another dark night; Something needs attention, like a sick patient in our nation and it needs serious immediate and actual hands on attention.
If we don't seek to define the solutions quickly, this serious social injustice issue will begin as others, to rot our democratic society as it already has in truth. We need a doctor and we need one, not unlike Dr. King fast... to articulate the very language of the voiceless to the watching world in order for our society to not be nor remain a hollow shadow of its high precepts and pointed example for human rights around the world, that it so often acclaims and projects for the entire world.
If we are to remain truly a nation of laws and not of mere men in blue, with their 40 calib glocks...we need to get this issue ....delt with without any further undue delay