A columnist for Time magazine hopes that Americans don’t get too worried about the violent riots spiraling from Ferguson, Missouri out into the rest of the country. Violent riots are good, she says. In fact, she thinks riots are “a necessary part of the evolution of society.”
Time magazine’s Darlena Cunha waived off concerns over the rioting in Ferguson, Missouri that erupted after the officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for the shooting death of Michael Brown. She insisted that these riots are nothing to worry about. Violent protests, she claimed, “are part of the American experience.”
Taking no mind as to whether it is justified by the facts in the case, Cunha claimed that it was “inevitable” that the community would erupt in riots when “a police officer shoots a young, unarmed black man in the streets, then does not face indictment.” In light of this, Cunha says, “is rioting so wrong?”
Cunha scolds Americans for “dehumanizing” the violent protesters–whom she gives the aggrandized name “change agents.” She claims that the rest of us err in secluding the incident and the people involved and “separating” them from our history as a nation.
Cunha subscribes to the screeds popular among our publicly funded universities promulgating the idea that “white privilege” automatically makes all white people racist. And because all whites are inherently racist, she maintains, they “contribute to the problem at hand, which is centuries of abuses lobbied against other humans on no basis but that of their skin color.”
Cunha excoriates Tea Partiers, actor Kevin Sorbo, and others for attacking the rioters and claims that all detractors of the rioters blame the rioting solely on “skin color.”
The columnist insists that the rioters in Ferguson are somehow exactly like our founding fathers, that they are acting in exactly the same fashion as the “riot” history calls “The Boston Tea Party.”
This false equivalence is her central point.
That protest back in 1773 was meant to effect political and societal change, and while the destruction of property in that case may not have ended in loss of human life, the revolution that took place afterward certainly did. What separates a heralded victory in history from an attempt at societal change, a cry for help from the country’s trampled, today? The fact that we won.
Of course, she is entirely wrong. The founders’ actions in 1773 bear no resemblance to the riots in Ferguson. The Boston Tea Partiers didn’t burn their own neighborhood to the ground. They were also intricately organized. On top of that, they had a fully fleshed out ideological premise and detailed notions of what their cause was supposed to be and had been writing about and thinking about their cause for years by that point.
By contrast, the rioters in Ferguson have only the vaguest notions of what they want to achieve, no organization, and they have perpetrated indiscriminate destruction to no positive or logical end.
But none of this matters to Cunha. Having no logical, thought out cause and no legitimate justification is erased, in her mind, because blacks in the USA “need to riot.” They need to riot because “the racism we are all fighting, is still alive and well throughout our nation.”
In Cunha’s view and in the view of those like her, no progress has ever been made in race relations in the USA.
But another article in a generally liberal source might hold a different explanation for why whites can’t understand riots such as those in Ferguson. In The Washington Post, data analyst Dan Keating recently noted an important change in American life.
Keating found that in America’s big cities, the number of all white neighborhoods have tumbled to a very small number. On the other hand, all black neighborhoods have grown in size. Keating notes that whites are far less isolated in protected enclaves whereas blacks have isolated themselves far more.
In truth, whites live among minorities of all sorts on a daily basis. Whites work among minorities, enjoy free time among them, drive the same cars, eat at the same places, have kids in the same schools, and live in the same neighborhoods as minorities.
Contrary to Cunha’s concept that whites are all racist and this inherent racism is why whites can’t understand all this rioting, Keating’s findings seem to say that whites have a hard time understanding the constant claims of racism made by those such as Cunha because they simply don’t see it in their personal lives. They live in harmony among minorities every single day, so claims that all whites are racist ring hollow.
Whites see minorities that have become vital, important, and successful members of society every single day, and claims that this same society somehow keeps all minorities down makes no sense to them.
But for riot apologists such as Cunha, “racism” is still the sole cause of riots. It isn’t the rioters’ fault. It is everyone else’s fault.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.