Monday, January 23, 2017

Inauguration Riot: A Waste of Time and Energy

Donald J. Trump, was sworn in on Friday as the 45th President of the United States. Not many believed (including myself) that Trump would become President. However, I like others were not naive enough to believe that it wasn't a possibility. And on November 8, 2016, he won the electoral vote 302 to 232 with 47.01% of the more than 130 million votes tabulated.

On inauguration day, protesters from many corners of the United States made the trip to Washington D.C. to express their discontent with the fact that Trump is President. That's all well and good. Hold up your signs, scream your displeasure, curse the establishment, and locks arms in unison with your fellow dissenters. Stand tall in opposition to what you see as tyranny, white supremacy, suppression of the minority and the poor; detest the continued advancement of the growing wealth gap, political corruption, nepotism, and misogyny, if he so happens to "grab em by the pussy," while serving in the highest office in the land. That is your right as law-abiding citizens of the union.

However, do not riot. Do not destroy the community you live in, and do not destroy the community of others, particularly the community of poor people. Do not break the window of the Starbucks, because it will not disrupt the establishment. Starbucks' net income for 2015 according to sources was $2.76 billion dollars. That window costs maybe $1,000 dollars. It was probably be replaced by the end of the weekend. Your violence did nothing to disrupt the machine that is Starbucks. Another facility that was attacked was a Bank of America. Bank of America has $2.185 trillion dollars in assets. Breaking a window, or making off with $10,000, $50,000 or even $500,000 from a Bank of America in a carefully crafted robbery plan is not going to disrupt the establishment. It's going to take so much more. It has to be so well planned, so well coordinated, and so systemic as to cause large scale disruption at every turn for several years. It is not a sprint (riots), but a marathon (policy, education, unity, and inter-generational wealth building).

Images from the riot. 

I agree with Dr. Martlin Luther King, Jr., when he said:

I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.

While I agree with Dr. King's position, I do not agree that ongoing violence and rioting will result in the goal with which is trying to be achieved. Too often there is rioting in this country for the sake of rioting, often with good intentions in the beginning,and I understood the anger and frustration. However, any war that is fought is fought to realize a desired outcome. If it is equality or justice, eventually the battle must be fought with a pen if the violence and/or riot does not result in the collapse of the dominating party. Thus, rioting during the inauguration did not result in deposing Donald J. Trump as President of the United States of America. He took office and he is leading the nation in the direction he deems appropriate. Your job as the angry, offended, disgusted party who wants change must figure out how to foster that change without simply breaking windows. Ask yourself, what is it that I am trying to accomplish and if this course of action will accomplish that end.

America is far from perfect, and there is much work that needs to be done on several fronts. Yet, I simply can't call brother, he who destroys the work and livelihood of other people, no matter how well the intention initially was. The law abiding citizens must also understand that there are segments of the population who see the protest as an opportunity to profit from the chaos for themselves and do not stand in unison with vision of movements for justice and equality, along with distaste for Trump.

What do you think?

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