It’s easy for white dudes to say that when white dudes who riot are never representative of their demographic and white dudes who kill always have a good reason because of those rioting black thugs and demons and animals. It’s easy for white dudes to say we should trust the system when it consistently and persistently disenfranchises and disrespects and disregards and dispossesses and disillusions black Americans.
Violence is never the answer, we say piously, looking at TV images of looting and burning.
Violence has always been our answer.
Where we fall down, in these discussions, is in our definition of violence.
Deliberate neglect of black neighborhoods is violence.
Predatory lending is violence.
Food deserts are violence.
Laws designed to discourage minority voting are violence.
Economics is a weapon. Development is a war. And we are not all on the same side.
After all, if the protesters in Ferguson had just thrown some tea into a harbor we’d be building statues of them today.