I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard.
In recent years especially, a few of those who protest sometimes resort to blocking highways or even to violence. Blocking roads is a more common strategy than violence, but, especially, when we see displays of violence (or destruction of property) that is evidence of deep, systemic problems.
While people in a given historical moment are quick to judge such actions “surprising,” “unheard of,” “inappropriate,” “in need of swift and harsh punishment” (unless such “enthusiasm” is in response to a sporting event), History generally tends to prove much nicer to such protestors.
Consider the Stono Rebellion or Nat Truner’s Rebellion or the hundreds of other such rebellions where oppressed peoples killed and destroyed the property of others…It’s the historical distance that enables more people to understand that violence was the only ways these people could speak.
If you want to avoid violence, truly respect people as humans and listen to them.
Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda
(Added 1/21/17, 2:48 PM – violence in a protest always generates (more) media attention.)
Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives