Today marks the 20th anniversary of the L.A. Riots/Rebellion/Uprising (depending on who you’re talking to). I usually write really long blogs, but I’ll keep it simple on this one.
What has changed since then? And more importantly, what hasn’t?
The cops are really cracking down on the Occupy movement all across the country and it’s happening as we speak in New York City.
I hate to say it, but I’m not the least bit surprised that something like this has happened and will continue to happen. I’m actually more surprised that people are shocked at what they’re seeing. All along I’ve been thinking that it’s only a matter of time before the ones in power really crack down and say, “that’s enough. We let you have your protests, but now it’s time for us to show you who’s really in charge.”
I might be coming off as pessimistic right now, but let’s be real here. I’m not saying it’s hopeless and that things won’t change, but we cannot underestimate the power of “The Establishment”. Yes, the worldwide Occupy movement has been a powerful symbol of what can happen when people organize and come together, but we have to be in it for the long haul.
Do we really think that camping out for a few weeks will be the sole cause behind lasting, systemic change? Are some people that egotistical that we think a few weeks of occupying will have a bigger impact than the centuries of freedom fighting that came before us? Like I said before, we have to be in it for the long haul. Again, I’m in no way trying to downplay the historical significance of what’s been going on, but we have to realize that the ones in power will do whatever it takes to maintain their current position. To those people and that kind of system, “Human/Civil Rights” aren’t even an afterthought. It’s not even a concept to them — it’s simply just a combination of words that have no meaning.
I can’t find the exact quote or even an audio clip of it right now, but to paraphrase Malcolm X, he said that we have to speak the same language as the Oppressor. If the Oppressor speaks a language of violence, we can’t expect to effectively communicate with them with a language of non-violence. But just to be perfectly clear, I am not advocating one way or another, I’m just saying that there are varying levels of Struggle (which is open to interpretation).
We’re at a critical junction in time. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out in the next few months…