Tuesday, August 23, 2011
On When They Go A-rioting - Is There a Plausible Cause?
Why? Because: "They were al doomed to remain on the spot, like sheep in a pen, till they were sold; they have no apartment to retire to, no bed to repose on, no covering to protect them; they sit naked all day, and lie naked all night, on the bare boards, or benches, where we saw them exhibited."
That's in Brazil where an estimated 4 million Africans, yanked out of their lands and herded onto slave-ships to be paraded in "meat markets" like the Valongo Wharf in Rio de Janeiro, were subsequently fattened and carted off to work in coffee and sugar plantations "between 1550 and 1888, when slavery was officially abolished."
Obviously, those in the riots are mostly, but not exclusively, connected in some way with what might have been instead of what is. Demographics long inured to being the "Other" and when thinking that different dreams were in store for them in the Main Island, were only too aware that no, it ain't so.
It's the same story in the United States: the sixties and the fight for black visibility did little to change what was and what is. The riots we have seen are eerily reminiscent of what happened in Los Angeles some time past. Plus, we all have seen the Katrina Effect.
In England, one hopes, a major rethink in their sociological policies is of the essence. Hope for the future and jobs are to be materialized today and not to be left to policymakers to quarrel over in public debates on BBC. Education, education, education for their "disenfranchised youths" is what everyone expects. Now!
Lastly, but not leastly, community leaders in the worst hit areas are strongly advised to spread the message that wanton destruction is not the answer. The rule of law will have to take precedence for order's sake, for who is going to pay for the damages inflicted on businesses? The deaths? The heartbreak? And the lingering stereotypes?
Those folks and their "dysfunctional families" have a tough row to hoe ahead of them. We feel for them.