Peace Matters

The Black Lives Matter Movement is doomed to failure unless it remains a totally peaceful movement. All movements have followers who feel that it is their right to use violent means to express their personal feelings. It takes a great deal of discipline to keep a large group of people from becoming a mob no matter how just the cause may be. It only takes one or two people to cause chaos. 

Martin Luther King Jr, John Lewis, and Ghandi understood that no matter what the temptation, the only way to win was to refuse to respond with hostility. Throwing bottles, bricks, and bats at the police is by any standard or definition an expression of hostility and therefore a threat to a peaceful movement. The probability is that in order to have a peaceful movement or maintain it over time, the protesters need to have their own guards to protect themselves from within and also from outside perpetrators of violence. 

The younger generations today are not necessarily a disciplined group of people. Few of them have served the country in any capacity. Ever since the Vietnam War there has been no draft and no public service requirement of any kind. The Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z Generations are the first generations who have not  benefitted from military training. 

To be successful, Black Lives Matter must organize and protect themselves from dissidents within their own ranks, otherwise they will destroy the movement. If the movement is peaceful it is less likely that the police will use rubber bullets, tear gas, and tasers to stop a peaceful gathering of people. With a normal Democratic government, the police are not ordered or allowed to forcibly break up peaceful protests. This is why it is so important for the survival of any peaceful movement to protect its members from such as the 17 year old boy who picked up a gun from God knows where and went out to shoot peaceful protestors. This is exactly why it is imperative for any peaceful movement to protect themselves. 

The Black Lives Matter Movement is a very important protest against brutality on the part of the police forces of this nation but it is also an important movement to help this country to rise up against discrimination within our society. This is not just racial discrimination, this is the failure of our society to provide a proper education for every member of the society. Education provides people with the means and the tools to rise economically and integrate into the job market. In this, America has failed abysmally. Since the 1930s, at least one third of this country has suffered from all of the following and more- poor education, poor job opportunity, poor housing, poor health care. The value of a democratic society is that it is supposed to offer these basics to all of its citizens. 

Over the nearly 350 years of existence, America has made an attempt at these but has never succeeded at an overall fulfillment of the society’s needs. Our public school system manages to graduate people who can barely read or write. We have a poor trade school system. We underpay our teachers. Classrooms are overcrowded. Little attention is paid to mental health in early childhood development. These are some of the obligations of a democracy.

This is not socialism or communism as it is being touted by today’s Republicans who are stealing our democracy and fast turning it into a fascist dictatorship. Capitalism and democracy can and have gone hand in hand in America. That has been what made America exceptional. However, increasingly over the years and most recently, the wealthiest people in the nation have been relieved of their social and financial obligations. The measure of economic viability has come to only represent people who invest in the stock market, while most people do not have the means to invest. 

These are some of the issues that have divided this country. It is this division that has created the conditions under which a police officer can act as judge, jury and executioner in the life of a citizen. 

Crime exists in our society, even amongst the peaceful and civil. Violent crime exists more in poorer communities than wealthier communities. Once again, peaceful movements will be overtaken if they do not take steps to protect their own communities, their own movements, their own peaceful protests. This does not mean that communities take the law into their own hands. It means that the communities and the law enforcement have to work together more closely than ever before. 

The Black Lives Matter statement as opposed to All Lives Matter statement innately separates people from one another. The point is that everyone should be treated fairly under the law. If you commit a crime, you should be treated the same no matter the color of your skin and, likewise, if you are the victim of a crime you should be given the same treatment and opportunity for justice against your assailant just the same as anyone else. All lives matter. All lives should be equally treated under the law.

2 replies on “Peace Matters”

  1. There are still a few Guardian Angels who patrol but in insufficient numbers.

    What happened to this movement?

  2. Well reasoned and beautifully written, Rita…as usual.

    Hopefully, today’s peace movements will find their way back to peace and non-violence. It is the keystone of progress in Western Civilization.

    Mohandas Gandhi was once asked what he thought of Western Civilization. He replied, “I think it would be very good”.

    It’s time for us to give it a try!

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