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Are the riots justified?

Jun 2, 2020 | Personal

The world is reeling from the shockwaves of the pandemic which has affected over 6 million people yet America is deploying its Army reserve (named the National Guard) within its own borders. Today, the streets of the US look like Kashmir- curfews, army patrols and a sense of fear and uncertainty in the eyes of the public. With a population of over 40 million people, the black minority in the USA is once again in the limelight.

Just like my past debates with the friends on the racialist system, we do need to go back in time, to a time when the Americans were basking in the bliss of their world war II victory and began planning globalisation as we know it today. The American dream was still fresh and about, however these times were darker for the African American community. Globalisation had a massive demand for professionals and Americans were right at the epicentre of the boom. What went wrong for the blacks?

Public state records from ’30s onwards show that the government had paid up to 7 times as much for the white students compared to the black ones. This was only the education system. The problem was evident in every sector, from healthcare to policing. This meant the slaves ended up enslaved to the globalised system which had an excess of labour supply while the white race somehow ended up with the right recipe for success in the golden age- education, wealth, health and a social safety net.

Fast forward 50 years and here we are, blasted with the news of a death of yet another black man. The social media took it upon itself to share the grim reality of policing in black neighbourhoods. Hashtags were thrown into the blender of the internet in support of the cause and condoning the violence. Are the oppressed justified to take up direct action against a government that fails them? As a pacifist, I am caught in the maze of peace and war, order and anarchy, oppression and revolution.

I had to back up for a moment, re-evaluate my ideals to justify myself before I entered the ring of disillusion. Media shows blazing flames in pictures but says the majority of protests were peaceful. Then again, why am I pacifying a protest that may have the right to anarchy? In the history of the world, we are grateful to anarchists as much as we are to the peace lovers. The anarchy of the French revolution brought Western democracy while Gandhi’s non-violence brought about the Indian democracy. Are our minds rigged to segregate anarchy into revolutions and riots based on the skin colour?

If you still can’t seem to figure out, here is a video of Malcolm X debating for the Black struggle at the Oxford Union more than 50 years ago! I hope this inspires you as much as it inspired me.