Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. My aim is not to advocate for violence but rather to put it into context. The events that took place last weekend in Milwaukee are a response to systemic injustice, not the sole plight of the young man who was killed.
We lose perspective when we forego the daily injustice millions of black people endure and focus solely on the minute details of one particular case. Whether or not the young man was a perfect martyr is debatable, but what isn’t, is the fact that black people in Milwaukee are suffering under systemic racism. Empirical data proves it.
- 4-out-of-5 black children in Wisconsin are living in poverty,
- Wisconsin also incarcerates the most black men in the country
- Wisconsin also has the largest achievement gap between black and white students in the country
I’m sure there are tons of problematic statements and actions that people made during the riot. But when analyzing this event, it’s also important to ask ourselves: How did these people get that way? Why did they become radicalized to the point where they felt they had no other course of action?
And the answer is a that a severe lack of opportunity is what fuels these community-level frustrations.
They are frustrated not just with the racism they experience, but with the political system’s failure to address it. 50 years have passed since the promise of the civil rights movement, and blacks are still suffering under racial inequality. No, violence may not be the answer, but when people have tried to use the nonviolent means of achieving change ie: (voting, lobbying, running for office, and peaceful protest) for a half of a century, and things still haven’t changed — there will be times when black people may employ other methods.
So, I think it’s important for us to view these events not as a response to one young man’s death, but rather as a response to decades of racial discrimination. At this point, it is incumbent on the state to prove to black people that the political system can be more responsive to their calls for justice and equality. When that happens, the people’s willingness to revolt will subside because they will have more faith that they can achieve change by nonviolent means.