The history of American riots and uprisings are overall horrifying and disgraceful. A quick glance at this list of riots in the States will show a overwhelming number of lynch mobs and drunken white orgies of racist, xenophobic violence. In addition, a good hand full of incidents of oppressed and marginalized folks striking back has resulted in decimated communities and even deeper poverty and marginalization.
So why champion the riot?
Scattered amongst those miserable riots are many that forced dramatic and radical change, the individuals involved justly fought back against imposed sub-human living and won (as seen in a couple of previous posts here). Furthermore, many of the "failed" riots that burned down entire blocks of the oppressed own neighborhoods, where part of an strong movement for social justice that benefited from these extreme and sad acts. With a keen sense of direction and analysis violent strikes against those things the oppressor values can be dramatically beneficial. The reactionary right has always, without reservation chose violence to achieve it's ends, I am not suggesting we mimic their ways, but to tactically use what works within a framework that suits those of us interested in social justice, as a means of defense and liberation. This is what I aim to argue and explore in this here blog. Just thought I'd let ya know.
*I'd be a ass if I didn't mention that I am well aware that it can verge into the vulgar, if not just stupid, when a white middle-class man promotes potentially dangerous tactics to the oppressed, the majority being low-income people of color. This is not my intension. I intend to step carefully, and with full consciousness of the privilege I have in writing such things. But this blog's main target are those of us with privilege, the tenuously safe and secure, with percolating anger at the constant recycling of injustice and the unchecked, unrepentant free-range vampires maintaining this obscenity. I will try to make arguments that we need to step it up, to support those that choose to fight back in a loud way, and to take those in power to task ourselves in ways that cannot be ignored. We must forever debate social justice tactics, and maintain an openness to those tactics that make us uncomfortable by putting us or 'them' at risk, particularly us with skin and class privilege. More on this to come...