When the Freddie Grey incident happened and they rioted in Baltimore, I remember people asking the question, “Why are people tearing up their own neighborhoods, instead of the neighborhoods of the people in power?” It seems like the protestors saw their point and started to go into more affluent neighborhoods. And now the people in power are pissed.
Early Monday morning, large groups of people descended on the “miracle mile” in Chicago and smashed and looted the stores of the affluent. According to AP News, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago said, “This is straight up felony criminal conduct. This was an assault on our city.” But since the Chicago City Council has been spending millions of dollars a year on the wealthier sections of Chicago for “city beautification” projects to attract tourists — money that could be better spent on stopping the violence raging in the poorer sections of Chicago — isn’t it more likely the looters are just taking back what they are owed?
In the Declaration of Independence, it says “…all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future Security.” In other words, people will take a lot from their government and the wealthy until the poor get fed up and do the math: brick + window = food + clothes. They are pissed off, and I don’t blame them.
The ruling class will say the looters are a bunch of criminals and opportunists, but I say they are the poor responding to political and economic systems that refuse to acknowledge them and instead screws them over.
In Stanford Professor Robert I. Sutton’s book The Asshole Survival Guide, he outlines the research of the effects of having power over others: “Professor Dacher Keltner from the University of California at Berkeley has devoted more than twenty years to studying the effects of wielding power over others and simply feeling powerful; the findings aren’t pretty. Regardless of how kind, cooperative, and empathetic you’ve acted in the past, Keltner and other psychologists show that power can cause you to have less empathy for others, to exploit them more, to focus more on your own needs and less on the needs of others, to be rude and disrespectful, and to act like the rules don’t apply to you.”
The powerful have acted as if their neighborhoods are immune from structure fires and looting, but the underclasses have caught on and learned that the powerful’s windows break too.
And now those in power don’t like what they see through their broken double-paned insulated windows.
To that I say, “Tough shit.”
To contact me by mail:
Joshua Wood #1189105
Buckingham Correctional Center
PO Box 430
Dillwyn, VA 23936
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