Tuesday, April 28, 2015

On Race, Riots, and Response

It is with heavy heart that I hear the news of what has happened in Baltimore. My heart breaks for the family of the deceased, but my heart breaks even more for the travesty that has emerged following his funeral.

I speak as a white man and a foreigner. I do not claim the right to diagnose and prescribe the correct path of action which needs to be taken to bring about change. I will leave that to men such as Dr Carson, or Marcus Roberts, both of whom have spoken out against the rioting.

Instead, I'm going to offer my perspective and thoughts.

If you're going to react to the killing of your race by another, particularly by someone of another race employed in law enforcement, then rioting is not the answer. Were I in that situation, I would want to change the perception of my race. Peaceful protest, respectfully seeking talks and reconciliation. Encouragement of forgiveness.

Not rioting.

Rioting tells the law enforcement that I am violent. It tells them that I will not consider others in my demands. It tells them that greater force is needed to contain such as myself.

Were I in this position, this image is one I would be loathe to present, especially if I wanted fair and equal treatment. It sounds counter-intuitive, but that's exactly the means encouraged and employed by men such as Dr King. Violence may salve our immediate hurt and thirst for vengeance, but peace and forgiveness will set the bones.