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Crunchy Links on Social Injustice

It is a long established fact that as a country, the United States has failed in its claim prevent “…state[s] [from] depriv[ing] any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; [or] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (U.S. Constitution Amendment XIV, Sect. 1). 

The fact of the matter is, we need to do better. And we need to start by listening.

White Liberal, White Conservative, White Ally, they all mean the same thing when you do more talking and lecturing than you do listening. Especially as it pertains to rioting, looting, and protesting by African-Americans:

“…I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

See what happens when you listen? Dr. King didn’t like the rioting. If you listen to the interview Dr. King has with Mike Wallace, you can hear him say, 

“I will never change in my basic idea that non-violence is the most potent weapon available to the Negro in [their] struggle for freedom and justice. I think, for the Negro to turn to violence, would be both impractical and immoral.” 

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Yep, Dr. King condemned the rioting. But, he knew, deep down, the people rioting felt they had no other choice.

“And I contend that the cry of ‘black power’ is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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I don’t like the rioting and looting. But I can’t stand the extrajudicial killing of black and brown women and men even more. Until White Liberals, White Conservatives, and White Allies stop telling us how to act and start doing some acting of their own to repair the broken trust between our communities, the rioting and looting are going to keep happening.

No, it isn’t on us to get better, to act better. The VAST MAJORITY of minorities is law-abiding. We go to school, go to work, take care of our families. We’re active in our community. We attend church. But still, we keep getting told that, if we act a certain way, we’ll be equal.

We’ll never be equal because the way we’re supposed to act keeps changing. The better we are, the better we have to be. Just to STOP BEING KILLED IN THE STREETS.

– Jamar Ramos

The wise prophet Robert Nesta Marley wrote and sang about this feeling in 1973:

 

This morning I woke up in a curfew

O God, I was a prisoner, too – yeah!

Could not recognize the faces standing over me

They were all dressed in uniforms of brutality. (Eh!)

 

How many rivers do we have to cross

Before we can talk to the boss? (Eh!)

All that we got, it seems we have lost

We must have really paid the cost

 

Burnin’ and a-lootin’ tonight

(Say we gonna burn and loot)

Burnin’ and a-lootin’ tonight

(One more thing)

Burnin’ all pollution tonight

(Oh, yeah, yeah)

Burnin’ all illusion tonight

So, this quarter Crunchy Links decided to donate to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. We’ve come a long way, but we still have so far to go. Making sure there is money and attention on fully achieving the words laid out in the Constitution that “All [people] are created equal” is important. Making sure we keep moving forward toward a “more perfect union” is important.

Stopping the extrajudicial killings of black and brown women and men is important.