They Call it The Uprising

in #society2 months ago


The above image was made with stable diffusion using the prompt 'Boarded up stores covered in graffiti.'

In 2020, my hometown of Minneapolis became a virtual pressure cooker due to pandemic policies. Densely populated low income areas were particularly hard hit by the economic disruption resulting from these policies. When George Floyd was callously murdered by police in front of a crowd of spectators, the pressure exploded in all directions. Civil rights activists held demonstrations. Protesters burnt down a major police station. Hooligans wrecked 1,500 businesses and criminals went on a crime spree that lasted for years.

My neighborhood still hasn't recovered from this insanity. Boarded up stores are common. Once vibrant street life has been replaced by masked armed robbers and addicts doing the fentanyl shuffle. The other day on my way to the grocery store in the early afternoon, I watched two masked men rob a crew of roofers and then speed off in what was likely a stolen Audi. Before 2020, that kind of thing rarely happened, especially in broad daylight. Now it's become totally normal.

I tend to refer to the events of 2020 as civil unrest. It wasn't a riot because it involved many things happening in many different places. It wasn't a protest because the civil rights demonstrations, in Minneapolis and elsewhere, were only part of what was happening. So I call it civil unrest, but this label hasn't caught on.

The reds call it riots, which is a gross oversimplification. The blues, especially the Woke, call it The Uprising. This term seems very strange to me. I hear it all the time these days and it bothers me more and more.

The reason it bothers me is that the unrest of 2020 didn't rise anybody up. All it served to accomplish was the destruction of business corridors and of public safety in general. No one who was a racist before 2020 changed their tune as a result of the mayhem. The Minneapolis police abandoned neighborhoods like mine for two years while proceeding with reforms that had largely been planned before 2020.

Still, they call it The Uprising. Many times I've heard these people say, "it needed to happen," as if arson and looting were the natural results of the oppression of the marginalized. From my perspective, we started with a bad situation and then mobs of destructive people made the bad situation worse. It didn't have to happen. What happened was the result of deliberate choices and actions, which were tacitly supported by those calling it The Uprising.

This is also the crowd that immediately blamed Israel for the recent Hamas attack on Israel. When the news broke, they flooded social media with Israel's crimes against Palestinians, as if these crimes justified mass rape, kidnapping, and murder. Some are Hamas apologists, while others are tacit supporters. They tacitly supported the wrecking of my city a few years ago and they tacitly support barbaric marauders today.

Obviously it's true that any population will explode if pushed too far. I also believe that anyone has the right to self-defense and the right to defend the vulnerable. But looting Foot Locker isn't self-defense. Neither are death squads. And tacitly supporting these things makes no sense to me.

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What a breath of fresh air to read this! Nuanced, real, and penetrates to the essence. It's interesting to think about what an appropriate uprising would actually look like. What would it involve?

Thanks! I feel like a real uprising would rise people up out of the systems of oppression keeping them down. This could mean hosing and jobs, but also access to things like meaningful community events.

A lot of people have not recovered from the losses they made during the pandemic. That is everywhere and that's why I sometimes get angry about this war of a thing because people will lose properties especially their lives

Yes the whole thing is tragic.