Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Riots

I can’t help but feeling that the country is veering into a minor version of the civil unrest of the 1960s.  I am really enjoying being surrounded by contemporaries that say things like “those protesters should go out and get jobs” without a touch of irony.  It makes me feel like I should vote for Nixon and call someone a “dirty hippie”.  Maybe I can blame Jane Fonda for something and scream "America!  Love it or leave it".  Or maybe I can go the other way with it and sew an American flag into a pair of bell bottom jeans and cruise protests for activist chicks.  From footage I’ve seen from the late 60s, that appears to be what every guy that went to a protest was trying to really accomplish.  “Hey man!  This isn’t my war!  Umm… Hey Lisa, you want a ride in my van?  We can smoke some grass and listen to Buffalo Springfield”.  What a magical time.

This Baltimore thing is wildly out of control.  Everyone is weighing in on social media.  Uncut footage is posted without context to serve both sides.  Young men in the riot zones are approaching this as a great adventure, chucking rocks at cops and firefighters, suddenly discovering that anything is possible.   It has to be more fun for them than whatever else they had going.  There are no rules.  As we head into warmer weather, riot season is really shaping up nicely.  I just watched one of the great collisions of populations that never see each other coming into direct contact, MLB baseball fans outside Camden Yards and a jacked up mob of young black guys.  To inner city black guys, baseball is a rumor.  The Orioles baseball fan is, almost without exception, a suburban white male that doesn’t understand what the fuss is all about.  When they get a couple of beers into them pre-gaming before an Orioles game, they get pissed off when jacked up black guys throw garbage cans around in their general direction.  Now you’ve really got something!  It had to be better than an Orioles game.

There is such a disconnect between the general population and the lower classes that are going crazy.  The social media feedback is crazy.  It’s hard for people observing the riots from afar to get their arms around the idea that burning down your own neighborhood and looting neighborhood businesses is a good long term plan.  “The cops killed Freddie!  Let’s go steal a 12 pack of mountain dew and burn the corner store down!  That will fix everything!”.  Then again, these same people don’t understand that these folks have the realistic fear that armed goons may break their spine without retort.  

I have no idea how this climate gets repaired.  If a population is pissed off because cops are treating them with brutality, my gut tells me that throwing rocks at them isn’t going to bring understanding and gentle treatment in the future.  There is also the concept that if this population wasn’t involved in criminal activity, then the cops wouldn’t be there all the time fired up in the first place.  Wasn’t there just a community that was trying to draw a parallel to Ferguson in an incident where a young black male was shot by police when they responded to a call that this man had broken into someone else’s home?  I mean, if the cops get called in on a home invasion and you are standing somewhere you aren’t supposed to be, that can’t end well, right?  However, I think we can all agree that having your spine broken when in police custody is not acceptable.  People in Baltimore should be fired up. 

So what do you do?  These disenfranchised people need to become part of the community as a whole with good paying jobs.  They can’t get good paying jobs because they aren’t educated.  They aren’t educated because their communities don’t place value on education.  They don’t place value on education because they don’t have good jobs.  And around and around we go…  I have no idea what the solution is on this, and no one else does either.  There are always going to be rich people and poor people, and poor people are going to get shit on.  It’s always been that way, though the minor details might change.  In a few days it will all blow over.  Commissions will be formed.  These commissions will have “findings”.  Some people will lose their jobs to be replaced by people just like them.  Everyone will move ahead.  Until then, I’m just glad I don’t have a gig booked in Baltimore this weekend where I’m walking around in a cowboy shirt singing revved up country songs.


At April 28, 2015 at 3:36:00 PM EDT , Blogger Not the Kook said...

In the 60's they would write songs about this stuff, 4 dead in OHIO etc... you've heard of that one right? probably got him laid too! Well so should you, the Whiskey Riot Daredevils sing " Burn this bitch down... kind of thing"

see ya Friday


At April 28, 2015 at 4:10:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

I'm ready to shift from "Okie in Muskogee" to "Fuck Tha Police" right on back depending on the audience. Really, I'm just a Song And Dance Man.


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