Imagine: This is near Barack Obama’s old stomping grounds. If he hadn’t been elected president (take a moment to savor that fantasy), it might be him instead of community activist James Clark appearing on MSNBC’s “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” to explain that the looting following the shooting death of teen Michael Brown by the pigs police is a “wake-up call.” (Video here)
Sounding not dissimilar to Obama, who has spoken more than once about “teachable moments,” Clark went on to allow as how Brown’s shooting and the violent aftermath offer the opportunity to “learn something,” adding:
We have been very, very neglectful of the St. Louis community, as in communities all over America, when you look at the urban core. There is an obvious disconnect where we have allowed a subculture to grow and fester within our neighborhoods.
And so we have learned that we cannot shut people out. we cannot disregard people’s need to be welcomed into society because it means that the individuals are now angry, and they have the right to be angry.
So — so, and we in some way have to thank them for giving us a wake-up call. And now that we have the wake-up call, we must mobilize and go into our neighborhoods and offer them a sense of hope and a sense of purpose.
Speaking of disconnects, it is interesting that Clark doesn’t sense one between the “right to be angry” and the offer of “hope and a sense of purpose.” The two are generally incompatible.
It is interesting also that Clark seems to dismiss the kneejerk reaction of black communities across America to perceived racial injustice, especially involving “the law” — viz., to riot in and destroy property within their own neighborhood. Shouldn’t the wakeup call he envisions include the advice to resist the impulse to destroy when adversity happens?
(h/t Weasel Zippers)
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