This post is completely off topic with regards to knives, but there have been two knife-related angles to the Freddie Gray death-in-custody that we have previously covered. First is the fact that the only crime he was committing was the carrying of an “illegal” knife. I also used the scumbag who stabbed the firehose as an angle to cover the riots last night.
I have been reading a lot about the events that are unfolding, and I am repulsed by the violence. But the Libertarian in me also recognizes that there are many folks who feel like the peaceful marches and non-violent protests are not bringing about the necessary changes.
This leads folks to escalate. Some escalation, like the “Black Brunch” protests where people “occupy” restaurants and disrupt Sunday brunch, is at least keeping in the spirit of non-violent disruption even if I feel it is misplaced. Civil disobedience requires one to be willing to accept the consequences, and if someone gets arrested for trespassing that is fine by me. I make my family brunch at home, so this doesn’t affect me much. So I watch with mild amusement. That being said, if I am having a plate of huevos rancheros and someone tries to throw my “white privilege” in my face, someone is likely to get throat-punched.
That brings me to the subject of violence. I want to start by saying that I categorically condemn the looting and burning of places of business. It is completely counter-productive, and hardens people who are sympathetic to the cause, myself included, against that which you are purporting to support.
So why my statement on the burning of police cars in the caption of the photo? I feel that there is a slight grey-area here. If the target of your rage, valid or not, is the State, then the destruction of State property seems to be a target of at least minor validity.
Our country was founded on revolution. The God-given right to possess the tools for violent action as a defense against oppressive government is enshrined in our founding documents. It is a fact that our Founding Fathers attacked the agents of the Crown. When they rose up, there were many who felt it unwise and imprudent. The King was bad, but so is attacking his men.
While I do not think that we are anywhere near that point today, and that any violence directed towards the police to “avenge” Freddie Gray is completely unwarranted, I am left wondering what is “legitimate” violent protest, if there even is such a thing. Certainly not looting private businesses, and definitely not vigilante justice against the Law Enforcement community.
I suppose there is an intermediate step that is between peaceful marching and armed insurrection. I am just not exactly sure what that line is. If someone lashes out against the State, I am not sure it is always unwarranted, however, if that is the course one chooses they must be prepared for the consequences. If that consequence is at this point a less than gentle arrest, I am probably ok with it given the circumstances.
I hope my readers forgive the somewhat disjointed and perhaps contradictory views on this. I hope that Robert and Dan don’t think I have completely left the Resevation with this post. I just feel like a ping pong ball, bouncing between my disdain for the actions of the Baltimore PD (read here for more on the BPD’s “Rough Rides” where they intentionally use violent maneuvers too toss an unrestrained passenger around in the back of a Police van.), and my disdain for those who are rioting, burning and looting places of business. The Police are the line between Civilization and Anarchy, and in this case, it is time for civilization to beat back the barbarians.