Vive la Révolution: Our Love/Hate Relationship with Violent Rebellion

This is a post I first started thinking about writing after the protests in Ferguson last year, a post I should have written then. Why I didn’t, I’m not entirely sure; but I do know that I should have and I didn’t, and for that I am ashamed. Because whatever the reason, it’s inexcusable. In these moments, silence is inexcusable, silence is consent. Now, just a few months later, history is already repeating itself, and I will stay silent no longer. As an American, as a human being, I cannot.

black-lives-matter

picture via X

“Thugs”, “animals”, “revolutionaries”, “heroes”; who gets these names? Who gives them? A young man with a broken spine is all but forgotten in the smoke of a single burning CVS. Cries of anguish go up for vehicles in flames and smashed store windows, resounding judgment raised against the citizens “destroying” their city, drown out the lamentations for a city destroying its citizens. Outrage fills social media that people could ever react violently to anything, much less to the wounds caused by oppressive, harmful historic socio-cultural systems whose predatory claws dig into the flesh of today’s prey even still. These claws don’t drip the tax dollars of the wealthy colonists denied representation in their governing bodies, they drip the blood of young people killed on their own streets. They drip mothers’ tears.

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