When a major cable network lets fools like Marc Lamont Hill on its air to say things like "We must be strategic in how we riot," you know with absolute certainty that the last grown-up in television news has died or retired.
President Obama wasn't kidding the other night at the White House Correspondents Dinner when he "joked" that "usually the only people impersonating journalists on CNN are journalists on CNN."
As I watched rioters rule the streets of Baltimore last night on CNN, with police standing by observing as thugs looted liquor stores and set buildings alight not 50 yards away, I thought "This is a civilization refusing to defend itself." It seems to me there is a hierarchy of imperatives, and just above "Police should neither kill nor brutalize ordinary citizens or suspects in custody" is "Society must not be allowed to descend into violent mayhem."
Last night, Baltimore descended into violent mayhem. Last night, its elected leaders fiddled while Baltimore burned. And on a national "news" network, some damn-fool commentator lamented that the oppressed needed to be more "strategic" in their rioting.
|Marc Lamont Hill|
Forget all that.
Instead, let's focus on the strategic value of being "strategic" in your rioting.
The moneyed and powerful may no longer possess the will to preserve public order or defend a teetering civilization, but I will guaran-damn-tee you that the moneyed and powerful -- in other words, the ruling class -- does have the will to defend its money and its power. So what then happens when "strategic" rioters head downtown, or to affluent neighborhoods, to strategically riot, burn, kill and loot? What happens when city hall and Camden Yards, home of baseball's Baltimore Orioles, go up in flames?
ME, I'm thinking that when Stuff White People Like start to be consumed by the all-encompassing rage and "strategic" rioting of the underclass, those who might be indifferent to the ongoing immolation of the ghetto suddenly will embrace the tactical efficiency of helicopter gunships and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. If and when that comes to pass, I wonder what academic rabble-rouser Marc Lamont Hill -- more commonly known in the 'hood as "p***y-ass toilet fodder" -- then might think of being "strategic in how we riot."
Ultimately, when a minority suffers injustice and abuse by those in power, moral authority is the only authority it possesses and moral suasion is the only weapon it can count on. When people who are vastly outnumbered and, in Fortress America, vastly outgunned as well start to believe that two wrongs do make a right, at some point they will find the "oppressors" think that three just might.