The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Riot Ideology

Posted on | March 31, 2012 | 51 Comments

Yesterday, I mentioned Fred Siegel’s The Future Once Happened Here in connection with the Trayvon Martin case. Siegel’s book is one of those timeless classics — like Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism and Thomas Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed — that I frequently recommend as guides to understanding important social phenomena more deeply.

The Future Once Happened Here recounts how liberal policy turned three once-great American cities — New York, D.C. and L.A. — into dangerous urban nightmares, and one of the things Siegel describes is the “riot ideology” whereby organized violence (or the threat thereof) is used to intimidate officials into doing the bidding of “community leaders.”

Having recently begun re-reading Siegel’s book, the latest news in the Trayvon Martin case is both familiar and disturbing:

The feet of thousands pounded the cracked pavement of Sanford’s 13th street . . . to reiterate that apathy won’t be an option for those moved and outraged by the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.
The Goldsboro community played host to a march and rally Saturday organized by the NAACP that brought together a coalition of national civil-rights organizers, community leaders, clergymen and droves of local residents who joined the chants demanding the arrest of George Zimmerman for Trayvon Martin’s death.
The Rev. Al Sharpton came to a podium outside Sanford Police Department headquarters amid raucous cheers from many of the roughly 1,000 participants. But he revealed few details about a plan he unveiled Friday for economic sanctions to force authorities to arrest Zimmerman.
Instead, he talked generally about sanctions against corporations that support and fund stand-your-ground laws, but didn’t name specific entities or outline strategies.
Everything is on the table for the nonviolent civil disobedience that could come in the coming days, he said. . . .
A special prosecutor has been assigned to the case and the U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation.
“We want an arrest. Shot in the chest,” marchers said Saturday en route to Sanford Police Department headquarters. “I am Trayvon Martin.”

Wait: A special prosecutor? A USDOJ investigation?

Why not wait and see what happens with the investigation? Why this idiotic talk of “economic sanctions” and lynch-mob mentality toward Zimmerman? Why is MSNBC letting one its on-air personalities engage in such demagogic nonsense?

If George Zimmerman is not arrested in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin soon, the Rev. Al Sharpton will call for an escalation in peaceful civil disobedience and economic sanctions.

Civil disobedience toward whom? Economic sanctions where? In Sanford? A town of 53,570 people, 45% white, 30% black and 20% Hispanic? What possible good can Sharpton’s incendiary demagoguery accomplish for the people of Sanford? And isn’t it possible that, by purposefully inflaming racial animosity, Sharpton will make matters much worse for the people of Sanford?

If you’ve read The Future Once Happened Here, you likely suspect that Sharpton’s “activism” will produce only harm for those whose cause he claims to advocate. The consequences of the “riot ideology” are sadly predictable. Meanwhile, on the other coast:

Seven black teens have been arrested on suspicion that they committed a hate crime when they attacked a 15-year-old Hispanic boy while he was walking home from school in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The March 14 beating in Palmdale was captured on video and posted on YouTube . . .
During the beating, the teens made racially derogatory statements that were captured on the video . . .

Perhaps Al Sharpton will call for “civil disobedience” there, too.

 

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