The events that have triggered the mess in Baltimore are making news, as this situation should. Well, now for my look at it all.
An old email friend sent me a link to an article regarding Baltimore and asked my opinion of it. The article mentioned that this year is the 50th “anniversary” (the article didn’t use that word as I recall) of the Watts riots. I remember that time. Dad had moved us to southern California in the spring of 1959. His job had a higher paying position for him and his ability as a diesel mechanic there. He jumped at the offer and off we went. OK, we left a few months later as we had to sell the house and pack, etc..
I was a junior in high school when Watts erupted in 1965. Yes, for those who may be wondering, I hit 67 this past December, my birth month.
The fact that the Watts riots were 50 years ago got my old brain spinning. Looking back, it amazes me how very little, as in next to zero, the country learned from the riots in Watts in 1965. Seriously folks, IF, admittedly a very small word with huge meanings, IF the country had actually learned from the Watts riots and put those lesson in place, the recent mess in Baltimore would not have happened. Of course I could as easily say that the Rodney King beating would also never have happened. Good grief, 50 years? Amazing that after all this time, as a country, we have learned nearly zero from our own history.
I get this way every time I check various web sites and/or blogs that have a readership outside the US of A. People from other countries are amazed at how ignorant many ‘Merikkkans are of world history. Well, it is even worse, and I just flat got wore out from posting, a majority of ‘Merikkkans are near totally ignorant of US history, let alone world history.
Naturally, our (??) politicians are out and about spouting off on how we need to get tougher with those “thugs” etc., etc.. Yeah, sure thing there Sparky, just how well has that worked out for us these last 50 years? Oh joy, the US of A has the highest number and percentage of its own citizens in prison/jail. See, we ARE number one! Not exactly in a category I’d be proud of though.
I am not going to pick apart the reasons why nor get into the proposed “solutions” that are and will be offered. I do want to add this, you cannot, absolutely CANNOT keep dumping on a group of people for extended time periods and then act all surprised when they finally say ENOUGH and rise up against those who oppress them. Nope, no can do Jackson. That is total bullshit.
Just take a closer look at the unemployment stats. Think its bad for young folks today? Try being young and a member of any minority group, the rate of unemployment goes through the damn roof!
Oh, and the “war on drugs” with its idiotic mandatory sentencing is a major contributor to this mess we have in Baltimore today. Oh, we are told, the drug thing is all about economics. Yep, it is too. Supply and demand, pure economics. Trouble is, the gummint is going after the supply without even bothering to look at the demand. Well crap, just about any half way decent parent knows, or sure as hell ought to know, if you are trying to change behavior, you need to reward good behavior not just punch behaviors you want gone. Carrot and stick, and it cannot, ever, be 100% stick. Nope, that never works out right, ever. This does not mean we should let all the real criminals go free, just use some common sense about illegal drugs. We know prohibition does NOT work, oh, wait, that means knowing some US history, doesn’t it? Yeah, well, crap, I just shot down my own best argument didn’t I? Ever feel like you just can’t win? Well, try being a young person, better yet, try being a young person who is a member of some minority. No, we do not need to “coddle” them, that is not going to work either. How about something different? How about fair yet firm. Tell everybody the rules and enforce them with the use of real brain power, not fire power.
My personal view on all this, we could have prevented it. We could have prevented the Watts riots also. How so you ask? Simple, just follow the old “golden rule”. Yep, just try, every day, to treat ALL people you come in contact with the way you want to be treated. One more thing, don’t toss in any religion with this, it isn’t needed. Just try your best, every day, every hour, to be nice to each other. I honestly believe that IF (that little word again) we ALL of us, would just try and treat ALL we come in contact with the way we each want to be treated, we’d ALL be happier and this rioting would not happen. There would be no need for it. We could riot/demonstrate against things like war and the obscene profits that war makes for the very richest of the rich.
Come on people, give it a try, be nice to each other. Show the other person some respect. Trust me, it will make you feel better once you start doing so.
Until next time, please, be good to each other.