Half a month later, the dust has settled, and Baltimore is rebuilding. The Internet fights have died down, and we can talk about things calmly and without pointing fingers. That is why now is the opportune time to let everyone know that people who defend rioting on this scale are fucking subhuman garbage and should kill themselves.
Now, I avoided talking about the Baltimore situation because it seemed like latching on to a popular topic-of-the-week for site traffic. That’s why this is coming after the fact. Some people need to be called out, badly. Short Disclaimer: I am a cis white male. If those facts invalidate all of my opinions in your view, feel free to leave this site forever. Please, please leave.
I see that many people in anarcho-neckbeard, yippie cyber-cliques have taken to varying levels of apologia for the rioting in Baltimore. The meme is that the people of that city have grown tired and frustrated and that the rioting is an okay response to police brutality. I can agree that the police brutality problem is indeed a problem, and even that racism is a major, though not the only, contributing factor.This is the extent of our agreement. I have, in fact, been called a fascist for suggesting that senseless destruction of property that does not belong to Baltimore’s PD is not a valid problem-solving strategy. This is telling for the anarcho-lefties’ collective emotional maturity. It seems from my experience that more effort is put into reflexively flailing at anything that could possibly be construed as an authority, than offering solutions and alternatives to the problems that authority creates. And it opens the door for logical and ethical inconsistencies.
For instance I’ve seen stories about the Bloods and Crips banding together in the wake of the unrest, specifically from anti-capitalists. I’ve heard some similar things from libertarian writers: that organized crime is a form of private defense that erupts in low income areas where the state has stopped caring. And I can see the point. But that was from a libertarian perspective that begrudgingly conceded to some marginal benefits of what is otherwise a blight to society. There’s much less for a mutualist or lefty anarchist to find worthwhile in a gang: they are hierarchical, violent organizations that care very much about wage labor and private property. That is just as true for the Bloods and Crips as it is for the Mafia or Yakuza.
And again, we have racial arguments, a lot of them from white people. Nothing is quite as sad as a white guy saying “Who are we to judge? We don’t live there. Stop making assumptions.” when Baltimore’s black community has, in real life, received no benefit from the riots and has outwardly condemned them. I can assure you that every single person who’s applauded them doesn’t live in Baltimore, and certainly doesn’t care that Baltimoreans aren’t. As a community, they have suffered, both from draconian and often intolerant policing measures, and now from the immature, selfish reaction of some people to those measures. Which race riot has improved the standards of living for black Americans? The ’68 riots? The LA riots? Is there one I don’t know about where the police dropped their nightsticks and said “Well golly, all this widespread criminal activity has really made me reconsider how I as a Law Enforcement Officer™ view Persons of Color™”?
One disgusting comparison I’ve also seen, is to the Boston Tea Party, again tinged with race politics for no real reason. Sorry, lefties: Not everyone who has the privilege to not have their storefront looted or destroyed outright is a bigot. But anyway, the argument goes that “white people [who are evil btw] condemn the Baltimore rioting but not their precious Boston rioters from some 200+ years ago!”, which illustrates one small advantage rightists can claim over their sister wing: they read about history more. I will now quickly run over what the Tea Party did, and what it did not do:
The Boston Tea Party did:
-sabotage the import of tea by the East India Company, a government-owned corporation that was directly responsible for their grievances.
The Boston Tea Party did NOT do:
-attack random Bostonians on the street, smash their carriages, burn their crops or loot their general stores.
The two happenings were defended similarly. Sam Adams claimed, as the rebellion’s chief propagandist, that the tea party was a last resort against a repressive government. However – and this is the main distinguishing factor between Boston and Baltimore – Boston had a target in mind, and attacked that. They did not attack innocents or trash people’s communities just because they felt caged, because, and this is fucking important, they fought for Boston’s sake. Can Baltimore’s rioters say the same, the way they’ve acted?
Another advantage is that Boston’s rebels had a much greater chance of bringing about some political change. Riots are symptoms of social-political unrest, not cures. They happen when a sports team loses in their home city, sometimes even when they win. What authority structure is one more going to upset? Especially if they subside as quickly as they did.
To deny that these riots were detrimental denies Baltimore’s struggle. To make excuses for people who rob and destroy in the face of injustice is to think of those people as simpletons in need of direction. Most importantly, to add those looters in with the protestors who dared to make their city and its neighborhoods safer is an insult to their work.
To wrap up: If you think it’s okay to hurt people because of a problem unrelated to your victim, you’re scum. Do not reproduce.