Race Riots in America 2013

Rumors are that should George Zimmerman be acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin, African-Americans are going to take to the streets and riot. What I’m about to write will result in me being called a “racist,” but at this point it doesn’t matter whether I’m a racist or not, simply being born “white” in these times makes me a racist. So be it.

First though I have to ask, does rioting work? The last riots we had were in Los Angeles after the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King. There were no riots in Santa Barbara, Beverly Hills or Malibu where the only minorities on the streets are Mexican lawn care professionals. There were no riots in the Valley where middle class African-Americans co-exist peacefully with their Asian, Hispanic and yes, white neighbors. Likewise there were no riots in the affluent DC suburbs, the Mainline of Philadelphia or the northern shore suburbs of Chicago. No, the riots were in the ghettos where the only qualification for living there isn’t race it’s poverty.

And how did that turn out? The riots burned out local stores that never reopened, forcing everyone to travel outside of the ghetto to get their groceries. Did that make life better for the rioters and the looter that swarmed like locusts in their wake? Sure rioting feels good while you’re doing, kind of like sniffing paint thinner, but deep down you know it’s bad for you and you will pay a price for that cheap high.

For decades African-Americans have been electing politicians based on the color of their skin. How well has that turned out? Detroit was pillaged by its black mayor as was Newark under its black mayor and DC under crack smoking, lying, cheating and stealing Marion Barry. This is nothing new. Back in the day my Irish ancestors elected Tammany Hall to power solely because they spoke with the same accent as my kin. The result? My ancestors stayed dirt poor while the men they voted for robbed them blind. Do you honestly believe that the color of your leaders’ skin matters? Look at Africa. Give me an example of one well-run African nation state. Can’t think of one? Me neither, but the worst ones are all run by people with black skin. Zimbabwe sits on one of the richest piles of resources on the planet yet has to import its own food because the black-skinned president has robbed the country blind for 3 decades. Congo is run by a black man, and it too has resource wealth, yet it’s ruler treats the country like his own piggy bank. Even my beloved Tanzania struggles with corruption and neighboring Kenya struggles to contain the tribal hatreds between people whose skin color is the same.

And how is Obama working out for you? Obama is as much a black man as Vanilla Ice is a gangster rapper. It amazes me how quickly Americans have forgotten that he is half white, the same as George Zimmerman. Sure Obama can shoot hoops, but so can these Jews. Oh, and he’s married to a black woman; so is Star Wars creator George Lucas. Obama’s pushing through an immigration amnesty program that is going to flood the country with Mexicans, and guess what? They don’t threaten my job security they threaten yours. The battle for a decent job is going to become even harder now that employers can legally hire someone who actually wants to work rather than blame others for their predicament. Of course if you’re rioting chances are you never had a job in your life so why would you care about that?

You want to riot? Go right ahead. You are a shame to your race and make a mockery of the men and women who came before you who actually faced far worse than discrimination in the form of a hangman’s noose, a high pressure fire hose or a burning cross in their front yard.  Men like Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers paid with their lives for the opportunities you have today to make better lives for yourselves, but you’ve pissed it all away, encouraged by rich white people who claim to understand you and want to help you – until you try to marry one of their daughters.

America in 2013 isn’t Los Angeles in 1968 and it sure as hell isn’t Montgomery in 1955. If the pioneers of the civil rights movement came back today, do you honestly believe they would condone rap music with its violent, sexist and homophobic lyrics? Do you think they would sympathize with those living in ghettos today after 40 years of affirmative action and trillions spent on the War on Poverty? Is it possible they might just say “Quit whining, pull up your pants and make something with your life.” Black Harlem was wealthier and a cultural force a century ago when African-Americans escaping the South had no choice but to live there and a fraction of the opportunity African-Americans have today, so why is it poorer now than it was back then? Is it possible it’s not they have no choice but have made so many poor ones? Not that it matters, but I see the same thing where I live here in Appalachia with whites who share the same Irish background as me – but my ancestors made better choices, like sending their kids to good schools and working multiple j0bs to keep food on the table during times when there was no EBT or Food Stamp programs. It wasn’t luck or the result of government policy that my family no longer struggles the way it did as recently as recently as the 1950s when my parents skipped meals to feed their kids. It was from the shared values of education and hard work  through generations of our ancestors that my family finally put the the white ghetto of St. Louis’s South Side behind it.

Rioting may be fun while it lasts but it will not improve your lot in life. Nothing will as long as you have an attitude that nothing you do is your fault because that means you will always own nothing. MLK would have had the courage to say that to you, but I doubt Al Sharpton or anyone currently claiming to “speak for the African-American” community will. Such honest talk doesn’t pay for the Rolexes and custom tailored suits they don as they scramble to the microphone. Ask yourself how many fancy watches did King own? How many Mercedes did Rosa Park have parked in her garage? How big was Medgar Evers’ mansion?

An entire generation of civil rights pioneers, including quite a few white people, suffered and died to provide the foundations for a better life for everyone regardless of color. Using the acquittal of Zimmerman to act like the animals the Klan and other bigots portray you as is an insult to their memory and to everyone, including supposed racists like me, who in their daily lives struggle to build a color-blind world while you sit on your asses hating  others because of the color of their skin and waiting for a handout.

19 Comments

  1. Rob:

    Hi Scott,
    Great post.

    One small correction if I may.

    The San Fernando Valley is a very large area composed of a lot of different communities. Generally speaking, it is NOT an area ‘where middle class African-Americans co-exist peacefully with their Asian, Hispanic and yes, white neighbors.’ In fact, unless we’re talking about a handful of wealthy.middle class blacks in the really upscale areas, places like Encino, Tarzana, Valley Village, Calabasas, Northridge, Chatsworth etc, the Valley is mostly white, Asian and Hispanic, especially in the North Valley.

    Most blacks who live in the SFV live in relatively downscale suburbs like the area around Hanson Dam, some parts of Reseda, Van Nuys, etc.Parts of the North Valley are heavily Hispanic. There definitely was rioting in places like Pacoima, Van Nuys, Reseda, the Latino areas. I was there.

    The striking thing about the LA riots is that they were largely caused by the media, who kept running an edited clip of the King beating over and over, telling their audiences that the police were not in evidence and that it was ‘a party’.

    Most of the hard core rioters were black and Latino gang bangers and thugs. Blacks and Hispanics who had a stake in the game – decent job, a home or a business were terrified.

    The ordinary people who ended up looting were not politically driven at all. Once they heard the talking heads on TV, they went out to grab some groceries, cloths, a tv set or a VCR or something, figuring ‘why not’?

    One memory of that time…me asking an older black man a few days later who admitted to me he had been a looter what he thought of Rodney King and him telling me he ‘didn’t follow sports no more.’

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