So Many People With Nothing Left to Lose

I came across this article that examines the protests and focuses specifically on the media narrative of violence and looting. It gives us a good jumping off point to further discuss points brought up in comments in some of the most recent essays on the protests.

In this article, the writer interviews

Darnell Hunt, the dean of social sciences at UCLA, who has done extensive research into the 1992 uprisings in Los Angeles following the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King.

The views expressed by Hunt reflect much of my own which is why I am linking it.

Hunt takes great exception to the way the media has framed the protests as being violent and fraught with looting. This immediately creates a negative image in the public's mind that it is the protestors who are violent and all protestors are looting. This serves to promote a corporate narrative that diminishes the root causes behind the protests. (my emphasis is added in the quotes below)

So, of course, when violence breaks out, that becomes the lead. Looting becomes the focus. What tends to happen in the evolution of news coverage of urban unrest is an ever-deeper focus on the particulars of protesters and what they’re doing, which all too often speaks about protesters in monolithic terms and fails to distinguish between those who are possibly peaceful protesters and others who may be participating in other activities for other reasons.

Hunt delves into the background issues behind the protests such as the pandemic, job and income loss, lack of health care, and other macro issues facing a broad spectrum of people. The killing of George Floyd was the spark behind the deep helplessness and frustration facing a broad swath of the American people.

If you look at the video coverage of what’s happening across the country, this is a multiethnic, multicultural protest in many ways, again, triggered by a specific instance of police brutality, but an instance that was the bookend to other cases of police brutality in the last few weeks and months, going back to Ahmaud Arbery in Atlanta to Breonna Taylor in Louisville. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s more beneath the surface of the water prompting people to risk their lives, quite literally, in the midst of a pandemic and to protest without proper social distancing, in some cases without a mask, because they’ve been driven to the edge.

The interview goes on to discuss the media focus on property destruction and looting. I think it is important that people understand the nuances of what is happening in that regard. Hunt breaks it down as he sees it. It bears careful reading because we all may not agree. However, my own take is that as with any large gathering or protest, some people will take advantage of the situation to engage in vandalism and looting. And such acts should not be blamed upon the protests as a whole or be used to diminish the issues behind them. Here is what Hunt has to say.

In any instance of urban unrest, you’re going to see a range of different motivations, tactics, and approaches. Some people are going to do it by the book: strictly peaceful and law-abiding through nonviolent direct action. Then there’s the response from those who believe that confronting authority figures and the police by overturning police cars and vandalizing police stations are actions that have to be done to get the attention of the system.

You also have other people who aren’t necessarily proponents of either philosophy, who see the moment as an opportunity to get ahead for whatever reason. Typically, these people feel economically marginalized and don’t have a lot to lose. People with a lot to lose don’t do things like that. The question you have to ask yourself is: Why are there so many people in our society who don’t have a lot to lose? That’s the fundamental underlying question.

In a recent essay posted here by snoopydawg, Creosote posted a link to a Chris Hedges recent essay published on Common Dreams. In it, Chris wrote the following in which he quoted Stokely Carmichael:

“In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience,” Stokely Carmichael warned. And if your opponent is bereft of a conscience, then state violence is inevitably met with counter-violence. Tyranny takes the place of reform.

The oligarchs have no conscience. We have seen that from the Congressional and Trump Administration's response to the pandemic. Trillions of dollars went to corporations and the richest people in the country who got more in total than those of us who got a measly one time check for $1,200 which was a slap in the face. Forty million people are now out of work and even more are without health insurance. Many of those jobs are gone for good.

America is a tinderbox ready to explode. People with nothing left to lose are the most dangerous people to entrenched power. The powerful have been creating a vast underclass of people for decades. This is a fact that most blacks and people of color have always known, but now a significant number of whites and most of our young people see it head on.

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Dawn's Meta's picture

distraction from unlawful and dangerous police activities. Will we ever know who or how breaking windows or charging police lines are started? There are videos showing instigators shoving black people into police lines. This is a plan...as they quietly melt back out of the thick of things once they have the pot boiling.

This is really a tough situation. In cities where police have shown sympathy or solidarity with the protesters, it seems the people give them a lot of room. In cities and states which attempts to 'dominate' prevail, the protesters seem to grow in number and reactive violence.

Yes, yes, looting and especially harming small businesses and their owners is really bad. Who are those doing it? Inquiring minds...

Thanks gulfgal.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

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gulfgal98's picture

@Dawn's Meta I do not think we know exactly who is doing it. I tend to think some of it is done by the police themselves as we have seen from a number of videos showing cops putting out bricks and boards in strategic locations so that they can be used by looters or perhaps by plain clothes cops posing as looters. Wendy Davis posted a video recently which shows a man with an umbrella breaking windows with a hammer at an Auto Zone store. One protestor confronted him as he walked casually away and asked him if he was a cop. The man who was wearing a mask and googles pushed the protestor away and kept walking.

But one of the points made by Hunt is that people with something to lose do not loot. And with the systematic impoverishment of the people of this country over decades of neoliberal policies, we have far too many Americans with nothing left to lose.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

snoopydawg's picture

@Dawn's Meta

I have been watching Jimmy Dore's coverage of the police brutality and he showed 3 guys with armbands pushing people into the police line and then running away. Another one there were 5 guys in street clothing violently pushing people down along with a gaggle of cops. Here is a picture of a group of them waiting to start some mayhem.

New series coming soon. Can't wait.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

Raggedy Ann's picture

confronted a fellow in the gas station who said the protesters should be shot. His retort was, “I think they should kill that fkn cop who killed that black man.” The fellow walked away. Saying nothing would signal agreement. I’m proud of MrRA!

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

gulfgal98's picture

@Raggedy Ann One of the reasons I became involved in the Peace vigil when it was still active is that I was concerned by what I saw as a coarsening of people's attitudes toward the lives of other humans that they did not agree with. Our culture of perpetual war has come home in so many ways, none of which are good. The de-humanization of others, the celebration of militarism, and the rise of the warrior cop are among those things.

People who place a value upon property over the value of human lives are victims of propaganda that supports our militaristic culture. Thank you for commenting, RA.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

ggersh's picture

@Raggedy Ann had the 4 pigs been arrested straight away. But here in the land of the "greatest show" on earth, that was never gonna happen now, was it.

Good on MrRA

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“Awesome! I always wondered what it was like to live during the times of the Civil War, Spanish Flu, Great Depression, Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, & the Dust Bowl. Not all at once mind you, but ya know, ‘beggars/choosers” and all.”

wendy davis's picture

@Raggedy Ann

i'm proud of him, too. who knows what he might have been risking?

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

With a fellow crew member the other day when a customer who happened to overhear me say that “when a system of government creates an economic structure where people who have nothing to lose reach a breaking point, take heed”, and he didn’t like hearing me say that, he went to my manager and complained that I was having a political conversation on the floor that he didn’t agree with.

Take away? Take heed. People are all at their breaking points.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

snoopydawg's picture

How does the conversation move from the protests to looting so quickly, and does this lead actions like looting to overshadow the goal of the protests?

Right now, we’re caught in an unprecedented moment where you have a once-in-a-century pandemic combined with the biggest urban unrest we’ve seen probably since the late 1960s.

When does that ever happen? And they’re not disconnected. I think the strains of the pandemic, the fact we have 40 million unemployed Americans, people without access to health care, people who have been shut in for months, people who don’t know where the next paycheck is going to come from, and not just African Americans but affecting people from across all racial groups.

And the massive wealth inequality in the country not seen for a century, but what makes it much worse this time is that there is no FDR waiting in the wings that will pass legislation that would lift people up out of it. In fact there is not only an FDR, but we just witnessed congress tell us that we are on our own after the greatest transfer of wealth in history. Gee with all the people on the brink of losing everything no wonder there is a lot of angst out there for people to release.

You don’t get that type of framing in mainstream news narratives. It tends to quickly descend to the law-and-order frame, when there’s the first case of fire or looting.

Ah but that is what the media is being told to cover isn't it? Jimmy has been showing the cops running over people with their cars among other things and the media was covering an outbreak of violence in LA when a cop car turned a corner and ran over 3 people. Then he backed up and almost hit another person who luckily got out of the way. Was the media woman horrified that he did that? You'd think, but... instead she just said "and there you see people throwing bottles at the police car" and "back to you in the studio."
More media narrative.

NYT staff are upset that the paper ran Cotton's op ed on sending in the troops to quell the anti racist protests. Anti racist is the new word for the police brutality I guess since I am seeing that a lot today.

I am not sure why they are so surprised. Wasn't it the NYT that rah rah rah'd for the Iraq war? And published the falsehoods on everything regarding Russia Russia Russia without offering a alternative viewpoint? Umm yep.

The Rising duo covered this story. I haven't watched it yet because quite frankly I am getting tired of Saagar being obtuse and only focusing on the looting part of the story. Even after Krystal told him that he had been talking about a populist uprising for awhile, but now that it is here he wants to send the troops into squash it. You gotta take the good and the bad, Saagar.

BTW Amy Cooper got here dawg back. She was the woman that called the cops on the AA man for asking her to leash it. She was seen choking it while she was moving away from him.

On Wednesday, Abandoned Angels said on Facebook that it returned the healthy dog to Cooper. “We have coordinated with the appropriate New York City law enforcement agencies, which have declined to examine the dog or take it into their custody. Accordingly, and consistent with input received from law enforcement, we have now complied with the owner’s request for return of the dog.”

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

gulfgal98's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg So much meat here.

No one in the media wants to talk about the structural issues that have led us to this flashpoint. There are two main levels here. The first is the murder of George Floyd by a cop and attendant with that is policing in general. That was the spark that lit the tinderbox that is now the United States. Now, they are trying to shut down the protests by charging the cops and hoping that will appease the protestors.

The second thing is the entire structure of our society that has impoverished nearly half of our population and promises to continue pillaging the rest of us who are still clinging to the shreds of the middle class. That is the part they want to go away forever without addressing. And they need the warrior cops to keep the citizens down.

The fact that so many people of all races and mostly young are showing up in the midst of a pandemic and are literally putting their lives at risk from both the cops and pandemic shows just how many people there are who have nothing left to lose.

As for Saager, I am fed up with his continued push to put property over the issues. In the live portion today, I posted in chat that I wonder if Krystal and Saager are even speaking to one another. You can tell Krystal is fed up with his obtuseness. I also wonder if Saager comes from a family of privilege because his refusal even re-think his stance.

Heck, even 54% of people polled thought that the burning down of the third precinct police station in Minneapolis was justified. That is stunning. In addition,

The poll also asked respondents if they felt the anger that led to the protests was justified, regardless of the actions taken by the demonstrators. According to the poll, 78 percent said it was justified, with 57 percent saying fully justified and 21 percent saying partially justified.

Edit to add: I forgot to address the Tom Cotton op-ed. I actually do not have a huge problem with the Times publishing his op-ed as much as I have with his and Trump's thinking that the government should use the military against its own citizens.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

snoopydawg's picture

@gulfgal98

The fact that so many people of all races and mostly young are showing up in the midst of a pandemic and are literally putting their lives at risk from both the cops and pandemic shows just how many people there are who have nothing left to lose.

BOY Saagar is getting worse. In one video he said that he thinks people are not rising up because of all the issues unaddressed here for so long, but because rich people want them to. And in this video at the end he again says something so damned stupid I can't believe Krystal didn't walk off air. Yes Saagar is entitled to his opinion, but he is actually doing a disservice by constantly saying what he is when not only Krystal has corrected him, but people in the comments, chat and on Twitter have been telling him that is not what they are doing.

At 6:oo here Krystal highlights how people last night were peacefully calling for change and listen to what he says:

He didn't hear a thing she said. It's one thing to have an opinion, but to just dismiss the facts that show how you are not seeing the whole picture because of your mindset is something altogether different. He has watched the cops doing what they have for no reason. Krystal even pointed out how Trump attacked protester who were peaceful for his photo op and yet.... People are saying that they are going to quit watching the show because of his views. I for one am almost there. And that is too bad because they cover great issues with guests from all walks of life. And I do abhor censorship in any form. I will just quit watching instead if he continues to dismiss people's pain and desperation.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

Anja Geitz's picture

@snoopydawg

In one video he said that he thinks people are not rising up because of all the issues unaddressed here for so long, but because rich people want them to.

But for the wealthy Democrats invested in this election, the protests have indeed been appropriated by politicians opposing Trump, in the most self-aggrandizing way.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

snoopydawg's picture

@Anja Geitz @Anja Geitz

however I do not think that is who is he talking about. Dems have been doing this since Trump got elected but it has just been for show. He called out the heads of companies by name in one of this videos where Rising had Max Alvarez, a black man to talk about his views of the protests and Saagar says that what Max is seeing doesn't square with what he is saying and just dismisses everything he talked about. One thing was how minorities in Flint, MI and other cities and states around the country are not getting their needs met. Like clean water.

Saagar chooses one or two black people who have their own opinions on the protests and the history of how they have been treated and uses their views to make his point while dismissing all the police violence that has been shown on the show and elsewhere. To blatantly dismiss a person's viewpoint to make his point is uncalled for. You can see when Krystal or others are talking he sits there like a petulant child because.... well for whatever reason he has. He mentioned Amazon, Target, Starbucks and billionaires support it. Where did they say that they are supporting the looting and protests? I haven't heard it but maybe I have missed. But Saagar interrupted Max to get his talking point. Max has a great answer. Starts at around 9:00.

At the end Krystal thanks him, Saagar says he can't see that he agrees with him. Still sticking to his talking points after what he just heard with shit going back to Obama and OWS. It will be interesting to see what he says tomorrow. And how many less people he says it too.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

Anja Geitz's picture

@snoopydawg

But I also don’t think it’s beyond the scope to believe that big business sees a public relations opportunity by speaking up for protestors after the hit these same companies took for their treatment of their workers during the outbreak of COVID -19. It’s analogous to the photo op of Joe Biden taking the knee with his COVID-19 mask on.

Does big business genuinely care about the issues protesters are out in the street fighting for? Haven’t a clue.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Roy Blakeley's picture

@Anja Geitz Capital selects against people who have consciences, so people with consciences tend not to do well. That being said, some are beginning to realize now that the levels of inequality are dangerous, both respect to violence and to the economic system coming completely unhinged. Republicans will give us nothing. Democrats will give us window dressing. There is a chance, albeit small, that economic policy leaders will begin to tell their political stooges that they have to roll back the extreme version of capitalism that has poisoned our country.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Roy Blakeley

There is a chance, albeit small, that economic policy leaders will begin to tell their political stooges that they have to roll back the extreme version of capitalism that has poisoned our country.

Can’t say I’m seeing what’s happening running along these lines. But I’ve been wrong before. And bad PR is about profit margins, my friend. And many big business have taken an image hit during the COVID 19 crisis with their labor practices.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

gulfgal98's picture

@snoopydawg is that he strongly identifies with team red and conservatives. He takes any criticism of team red and conservatives very personal. Krystal mostly stays on point about supporting the people and policy instead of just supporting team blue. Her way of looking at things is far more mature.

The last couple of days have shown us how Saager really feels when his own team is being criticized and even when in the obvious wrong. He becomes extremely defensive and seems to take it personally.

And yes, I saw this clip this morning. This was the one that made me wonder if they are even speaking to one another outside the show or even between takes.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

@gulfgal98

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gulfgal98's picture

@aliasalias This is basically Krystal's show. And she can go head to head with anyone.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

Dawn's Meta's picture

@snoopydawg has hit me oddly. I'm wondering if they haven't been getting instructions to increase the differences as up until the protests, he was by and large giving Krystal her due. It feels manufactured to me. Media wants its money.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

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Dawn's Meta's picture

@gulfgal98 Isn't using military against the law or constitution? Thought I saw that somewhere.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

gulfgal98's picture

@Dawn's Meta it does not seem to be definitive as to whether or not it is actually illegal or highly limited. Hopefully someone else here has a better answer.

Try this and tell me what you think. https://law.stackexchange.com/questions/14813/can-the-usa-military-be-us...

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

Dawn's Meta's picture

@gulfgal98 It looks like an exception to the Posse Comitatus (sp?) Act allows the president to invoke the Insurrection Act and overrule states to bring order to a sudden uncontrolled mass action of the public to protect lives and property.

Obama apparently carelessly used base MPs to support a local sheriff when trouble erupted in his town, and without consultation of the governor, let the sheriff have MPs, which he used to restore order.

Obama lost in court over this one. Never saw this on teevee.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

snoopydawg's picture

@Dawn's Meta

I excerpted it a few essays ago, but it does give him some leeway to use federal troops. Bush 1 used it in 1992 during the Rodney King riots. But there is another way of quelling uprisings and that is to use private mercenaries like Bush 2 did during Katrina and Obama did more than once. Standing Rock was one time.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

used it to federalize troops to help the (so fucking brave!) nine students in little rock matriculate at (iirc) central high.

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mimi's picture

@gulfgal98

I also wonder if Saager comes from a family of privilege because his refusal even re-think his stance.

Read his Wikipedia page. You don't graduate from the American School of Doha and be poor or underprivileged at the same time. He was raised in Texas College Station. There are many US university campuses in Doha. I would assume that his parents worked in Doha and took him with them (only my assumption, but would be a logical conclusion of what I read in his Wiki bio).

The partner of my deceased niece is professor at the University in Doha since many many years. This is a very comfortable and protected environment to grow up in. A privileged life. No doubt.

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gulfgal98's picture

@mimi I did not know this. I only guessed by what he has been saying about the protests.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

longtalldrink's picture

@snoopydawg Or else she would have asked to speak to the manager.

Yes, I really took a liking to "Rising" but I too am getting a little tired of Saager. The same problem I have with most "right" thinking people. After pretending to understand a progressive point of view, they always sink back to whataboutism. I now only watch a couple of the episodes like Krystal's radar and opening remarks. But Saager is wearing thin on me.

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Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

snoopydawg's picture

@longtalldrink

Here is Saagar's radar and this was right after he and Krystal talked about how Trump cleared the protesters who were peaceful. Watch that segment first starting at 6:00 to see how it segways into more obtuseness from Saagar. They are going to lose viewers I think and that is too bad. He will not even acknowledge what she says in her response to him.

It is almost like he is trolling the viewers and that is how I am going to look at him so I can quit wanting to throw things at him. Again he is being dismissive of what blacks have gone through for centuries here and others who have had enough of being screwed by the government.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

longtalldrink's picture

@snoopydawg I heard somewhere that he was hired to sort of give the show a point/counterpoint debate format. As most know, real debates should show evidence of strong/researched points of view. I am sure the staff at Hill have plenty of researchers.

Sometimes I really can't follow Saager's logic. He also seems to be the moderate that MLK warned us about. So busy middling around in petty logic that real reform gets lost in vagueness.

Saager may not be white, but those in the black community understand how some "browns" side with the moderate whites. Blacks being followed around in Asian hair stores. A friend of mine had her change dropped on the floor by one of the Indians who owned a 7-Eleven. WHY is it you may ask, that in black neighborhoods, there are no black owned businesses? I have the answer, but that will be debated another time.

MLK says:

"I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice [...]"

I really don't need Saager scolding everyone who is trying to make a difference by smugly reporting that BLM was taken over by corporatist. Yes, they were. But, these marches are not just about BLM. These protest appear to be organic, because people are truly hurting and things appear that they will only get worse. We really have no leaders, and as Krystal states all the time...the Democrats wore out their "hair on fire" response against Trump a long time ago. Especially when everyone knows that they are not the "real" resistance.

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Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

gulfgal98's picture

@longtalldrink If someone wants to correct me on this, I am very willing to listen.

I believe that the protests have morphed into the broader issue of the dehumanization of the citizens of this country by those in power. The killing of a black man, George Floyd, was the spark,and it should not be minimized that if Floyd were not black, he probably would not be dead right now. But I believe that many whites, particularly younger whites are beginning to truly understand what blacks have known all along and they are seeing it come to them too. So they are banding together against the oppressive forces that guard the oligarchy in this country. Chief among those forces are the military and the police.

This is what is scaring those in power. They are no longer able to divide and conquer as easily as they once were, especially among the youth.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

longtalldrink's picture

@gulfgal98
"This is what is scaring those in power. They are no longer able to divide and conquer as easily as they once were, especially among the youth."

That rebellion was called Bacon's Rebellion:
Bacon's rebellion began in May of 1676 when Nathaniel Bacon and a band of poor black and white farmers marched south against the orders of Governor Berkeley with the intent of attacking Indian villages. Bacon's raiding party continued south until they reached the village of the Occaneechee tribe who gave them food and shelter

After Bacon’s Rebellion, Virginia’s lawmakers began to make legal distinctions between “white” and “black” inhabitants. By permanently enslaving Virginians of African descent and giving poor white indentured servants and farmers some new rights and status, they hoped to separate the two groups and make it less likely that they would unite again in rebellion.

Poor farmers had been hit hard by falling tobacco prices, and many on the borders of the colony’s frontier wanted to expand westward. There, they faced threats from Native Americans intent on protecting their ancestral lands. When the colonists called on their governor for military support, he refused.

Oh and btw Bacon was killed and his rebellion squelched, but it caused so much fear in the elite circles, the (war) idea of divide and conquer was implemented.

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Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@longtalldrink

was the primary legal instrument adopted in response to Bacon's Rebellion.

"If any Negro or slave whatsoever shall offer any violence to any Christian by striking or any other form of violence, such Negro or slave shall for his or her first offence be severely whipped by the Constable.

For his second offence of that nature he shall be severely whipped, his nose slit, and be burned in some part of his face with a hot iron. And being brutish slaves, [they] deserve not, for the baseness of their condition, to be tried by the legal trial of twelve men of their peers, as the subjects of England are.

And it is further enacted and ordained that if any Negro or other slave under punishment by his master unfortunately shall suffer in life or member, which seldom happens, no person whatsoever shall be liable to any fine therefore."

Black person hurts a White (sorry, Christian) person, Black Person gets punished by the cops. No trial. And no liability for the punisher.

The more things change...

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

wendy davis's picture

@gulfgal98

drive the ruling class crazy: people of all hues, all ages, and hella lotta young folks. this was on our msn email page this morning (the only way i can get into the times and other lofty publications:

The New York Times, Live Updates on George Floyd Protests: Witness Videos Put Spotlight on Police', when the title earlier included: 'a national push for sweeping reforms'. odd-bodkins.

but inside was a link to this north carolina attorney's twitter account they'd said featured over 300 videos on friday morning.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@longtalldrink @longtalldrink

I think Saagar's saying that focusing too narrowly on the (however important) issue of Blue on Black violence obscures the broader economic issues at the root of much of the discontent, while playing into the hands of woke Liberal politicians and their corporate sponsors who are well practiced at pretending to care about race as long as it doesn't hit their pocketbooks.

I also think he suspects that the Dems and their Deep State allies are behind at least some of the violent provocations. Gotta say I share in those suspicions.

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

. . . focusing too narrowly on the (however important) issue of Blue on Black violence obscures the broader economic issues at the root of much of the discontent, while playing into the hands of woke Liberal politicians and their corporate sponsors who are well practiced at pretending to care about race as long as it doesn't hit their pocketbooks.

Mollie

“Revolution is not a one time event.”
~~Audre Lorde

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

snoopydawg's picture

@longtalldrink

and I don’t know how much of the way I view him has to do with my own bias about who he blames things on, but he usually seems to go right up to the edge to make his points. I see Krystal usually giving him space to talk without shooting him down. And when she does I find I agree with her. Bias again? Hell if I know, but if I want to hear what he talks about I’ll watch Fox News.

These protest appear to be organic, because people are truly hurting and things appear that they will only get worse.

Yes. And that’s the thing. They have been talking about just that since COVID arrived and we got screwed so I’m surprised that he has forgotten all about that and is now blaming something else for people rising up. Krystal pointed that out to him and he said yup, but....lol. Oh well I can always walk away from the show.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

Creosote.'s picture

@snoopydawg
I heard an older guy speaking of judges who had been "reached."
Saagar's views didn't seem so canned when I first found Rising.

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Anja Geitz's picture

People with nothing left to lose are the most dangerous people to entrenched power.

I’m none too sanguine about these protests changing much. Add in an election year where both sides are using it for political purposes, and it feels like old times. In fact in a re-watching of Mad Men recently, I came across a scene where the characters are talking about the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, and politics, and it sounded like the same conversations we are still having today. Verbatim. Very, very depressing.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

gulfgal98's picture

@Anja Geitz I have been both angry and depressed over the last several days. But I keep telling myself, no change comes easily and often has multiple starts and stops before it actually becomes a reality.

What I have been seeing, mostly via videos posted on Twitter, is a different sort of protest. It feels very organic to me which is a good sign. The youth of this country know that they have been screwed and they know climate change is at the point of no return. I do not think they are going to go down easily this time.

Again people who have nothing left to lose are the most dangerous. And the systematic looting of America, the CARES Act which gave $trillions to corporations and a one time pittance to the people was a slap in the face, 42 million unemployed and up to 40% of those jobs gone forever, a lack of basic living income and health care, and massive student debt piled upon the coming climate collapse makes this the last chance to save ourselves.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

Anja Geitz's picture

@gulfgal98

But there’s a price for me in becoming emotionally invested again, and right now I’m feeling particularly vulnerable. Don’t feel strong enough to soar on political hope and change once again and then crash down to earth later on. Try to keep my hope and change limited to the scope of personal development, how ever shortsighted that may sound.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

gulfgal98's picture

@Anja Geitz You do not need to be emotionally invested. I am not being a Pollyanna either. But I am starting to become cautiously optimistic. If it happens, it will be from the ground up.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

wendy davis's picture

@gulfgal98

of this next-gen anti-police state mobilization can't be over-stated. it's gone global massively, and ain't stopping as far as i can tell.

bgr.com, june 3.

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gulfgal98's picture

Yesterday a city council member in Minneapollis posted on Twitter that he and some other council members were trying to find a way to defund the police and start over.

That series of tweets was followed by this one. And there are plenty more on his Twitter feed to give you an idea of what appears to be happening in Mineapolis.

And now today, this is happening in Portland, Oregon.

Portland Public Schools will no longer have city police officers patrol the halls of its nine high schools.

Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero on Thursday announced that the state’s largest school district is “discontinuing the regular presence of school resource officers,” saying he intends to invest in more social workers, counselors and culturally specific supports for students.

There is probably more, but it appears the chain is becoming weaker.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

longtalldrink's picture

@gulfgal98 Thanks for that. People are tired of having to spend so much in taxes only to be bullied by the "men in blue".

Jimmy Dore had an ex-cop on his show a while ago, forgot his name...sorry, but he was saying that he used to ask exactly what is our job as cops? No answer. So he figured that harassing those in poorer communities WAS the job. He decided then and there to get out of the police force.

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Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

lotlizard's picture

Hawaii locals: (yawn) Been there, done that

https://www.history.com/news/hawaii-wwii-martial-law

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wendy davis's picture

someone i'd asked on my last thread as to having learned to NOT condone 'violence', rather than accept kareem's understandings as a black man whose houses had ALWAYS been on fire' (such a generic term: 'Violence'), PMed me as to why that was, and so on. so i took some time to parse some opinions on 'violence' v. 'peaceful demonstrators/demonstrations, and said i'd answer some of that and stick it at the end of my comment thread.

i hope you won't take it amiss if i link to it, especially as it's longish.

as a side Q, ajamu baraka had mentioned 'Antifa', and the King Trumpeter has possibly declared that 'organization' a terrorist group. can anyone tell me what either Antifa or the AltRight might signify?

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gulfgal98's picture

@wendy davis I have been following Ajamu Baraka on Twitter for some time and probably re-tweet him more than any one else when he posts.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

wendy davis's picture

@gulfgal98

what i did find at wsws this a.m was this a.m, don't remember the author were these squibs:

The level of lying in the Barr press conference would be admired by Nazi spokesman Josef Goebbels, the propaganda chief for Hitler’s “big lie.” Barr conjured up an invented world in which demonstrations involving millions of people in hundreds of cities, large, medium and small, are being manipulated by Antifa, an “organization” that has not a single identified member. He also claimed that “foreign actors” were intervening in the protests, adding the specter of a Russian, Chinese, Iranian or Al Qaeda role.

Antifa is little more than a label adopted by youth who protest against ultra-right and white supremacist provocations. As an organized group, it exists mainly in the fevered imaginations of FBI informers and agents—who likely comprise most of its “membership.” If Antifa did not exist (and it may not), Trump, Barr & Co. would be compelled to invent it, as a pretext for the mass repression that they are carrying out against the American working class.

Barr advocated the use of existing Joint Terrorist Task Forces against the supposed Antifa threat. The JTTF unite federal and state police agents in a common effort, initially directed against the Islamic fundamentalists who carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City and Washington, but now to be turned against all left-wing opposition to the policies of the Trump administration and its collaborators at the state level.

FBI agents working through the JTTF will go out to question people about their political views, in gross violation of the First Amendment, and seek to criminalize their participation in protests. A Department of Homeland Security memorandum, obtained by Politico, cited the need for intelligence agents to be “vigilant in looking for any kind of emerging threat to the homeland,” while making the revealing admission that “some of the observed suspicious behaviors include constitutionally protected activities…”

which still leaves me in the dark, but...there it is.

also these blink-wothy pieces of news: COVID-19 data sharing with law enforcement sparks concern’, May 18, 2020, apnews.com

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gulfgal98's picture

@wendy davis Just what we need...more policing! Bad

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

wendy davis's picture

@gulfgal98

to boot; Gates & Co. want every piece of our personal data under their control, including bill's digital 2020 scheme. and every person filming police brutality contacts will be traced as well.

the semi-puny police reforms won't address the key problem, but we'll jut have to stay tuned.
'chokeholds banned', lethal force as a last resort, stuff like that. ach, popular resistance sent a couple interesting possibilities as to cities defunding police, but they haven't passed yet, so we'll see.

i'll double check later on the 'official' autopsy of george floyd, but it sure made it sounds as though his 'lifestyle' will be on trial, and not a mention of 'death by carotid artery blood fail to his brain' as per the family's outside autopsy.

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gulfgal98's picture

@wendy davis for adding valuable information to this essay. Good

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

wendy davis's picture

@gulfgal98

autopsy results, but as ever, every site paraphrased some of what was in the (iirc) 14 page report. so...i give up, but it had little resemblance to george's family's outside autopsy.
the official one did, however, call it 'murder', although i'd thought that was under 'manner of death' as decided in an inquest, not 'cause of death' as in an autopsy. perhaps it's different state to state?

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Anja Geitz's picture

@wendy davis

But in general, as a practicing Buddhist, I don’t believe in violence. In this situation, however, I can understand how personal beliefs can sometimes complicate what the collective voice may see as imperative. As in your example of what kind of response Kareem believes is reasonable.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

wendy davis's picture

@Anja Geitz

violence against property...yeah, often that's the voice of the unheard, marginalized, oppressed classes and colors. and often has had great results. in the US, the 1967 burning down of the hough ave district in greater cleveland...brought many needed changes.

violence against human being is always evil, unless in self-defense as a last resort. any of us are instinctively capable of that, or course, in defense of those we love. and even then we should be held accountable.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@wendy davis

again, as a practicing Buddhist, I would be unable to compel myself to destroy property in that way. So like I said, even if sympathetic in a common cause, we are not necessarily a participating monolith. Nor should we be expected to be.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

wendy davis's picture

@Anja Geitz

finding turning down a burning (or empty car or even police m-rap) 'reasonable', as understanding why for some it's a last resort to be heard. it doesn't take being a buddhist (nor a quaker) to say that one would never commit such an act oneself, because most wouldn't, nor do we know who actually burned the 3rd precinct down, nor why the fire wasn't put out. it does get pretty complicated to suss out what's true, what isn't, as well.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@wendy davis

I’ve demonstrated my lack of understanding the ‘why’?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

wendy davis's picture

@Anja Geitz

you'd mentioned 'burning as reasonable', i said rather 'understanding why'. you said 'you'd never do such', nor would i. you'd also mentioned 'we are not monolithic' which later pinged for me: neither are blacks, reds, whites, etc. partially because an oakland radical leftist e-friend has said: "we love blacks...or say we do"...and i was so slow on the draw i'd forgotten to say how simply goofy that sentiment was. no person of color, religion, nationality...is monolithic.

but yes, as malcolm x said, understanding white supremacy is crucial, esp. as this nation was built on genocide and slavery. that's part of the reason some Occupies called their collectives: Decolonizers.

i'm not even sure why this conversation is contentious with you. but i am glad that untimely ripped is 'done with me', as he was an epic bully to me. so: good!

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Anja Geitz's picture

@wendy davis

And typically, incorrectly. Which makes having meaningful conversations with you an epic effort in patience on my part.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Anja Geitz's picture

@wendy davis

but i am glad that untimely ripped is 'done with me'....

I’m not sure what that has to do with the conversation we are having???

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

wendy davis's picture

@Anja Geitz

that he always used 'precise' language; that's what i was trying to differentiate these terms: you'd mentioned 'burning as reasonable', i said rather 'understanding why'. it's a difference that matters. as i'd tried to say, it's all very complex and nuanced.

i wish i could understand why you're so vexed with me, but it may not be in the cards for me to know.

good night, and peace when you can.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@wendy davis

that he always used 'precise' language“ is related to your comment that “I’m glad that UR is done with me” in what way? That makes no sense. There must be a missing piece from point A to B that only your brain is comprehending.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

longtalldrink's picture

@Anja Geitz But we must all understand that violence comes in multiple forms. Such as silence.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/28/white-silence-is-violence-how-to...

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Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

wendy davis's picture

@longtalldrink

for bringing that (and remembering where it was, as well). many note that X was the cautionary tale that allowed MLK, jr's tactics to succeed to the point they did.

given your remembering this, do you happen to remember that post-Haj Malcolm X and MLK, jr met, talked, and created what some have called 'a grudging alliance' or close? i used to have evidence of the documentation that meeting, but i keep forgetting to even do an online query for it now.

i'd put up a speech he'd given after one nation of islam member had been killed by the LAPD, and oh, what a powerful speaker he was! MLK's speech at riverside church (iirc) objecting to the war in viet nam wasn't too shabby, either. but once he stepped out as such a subversive past 'i have a dream'...his true subversiveness had to be silenced, goddam.

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