A tale of two cities.
We’re going to need a bigger protest.
Yesterday, the neighborhoods in New York were filled with peaceful demonstrations. Astoria, Greenpoint, Bryant Park, Union Square.
The focus is to witness in support of people of color brutalized by a sanctioned systemic racism that methodically and repeatedly murders black people.
At night in the city another issues rises.
A 5th Ave of broken window, SoHo of smashed doors, Macy’s hosting a Free-For-All sales event. Chaos.
At its core, looting becomes about the crushing jackboot of income inequality. The Great Economy is simply a scam to feed the bloated tick of wealth. Wall Street is a digital casino driven by carefully plotted billion dollar raids of a wide-open shorting racket. President Trump’s # 1 policy is Insider Trading scams alerted by his Twitter feed.
The character of these dual protests reflects the character of the issue. Racial Justice is best served by tactical voting on a local scale. A protest of witness. Police chiefs and mayors and committee leaders reforming their local governments. The ballot box is the weapon of choice.
Economic injustice is a multi-arm hydra. The ask is vague. I went down to Occupy Wall Street but I came away confused. It presented as a protest of form without substance. It was more of emotional expression. Valid but also ineffective. No quantifiable change achieved.
Looters are thieves. But what drives them through the window? New York City is a city of stark contrast. Towers of wealth, doorways of homelessness. The shop windows of 5th Avenue are a status tease. You want this. You can’t afford this.
Looting becomes a violent expression of economic inequality. It’s a wakeup call when a person risks their life for a pair of kicks. We witness not in support of robbery, but to understand the causes and desperation of the action.
The day/night dichotomy quickly becomes a twilght of the 1% with their leg on our neck. Anywhere we turn we can’t breathe.
These two pillars of a just society, economic and racial justice, each support the other. There’s no way to solve one without addressing the other. Be slow to dismiss any expression of protest. Be quick to listen.
We are not called to judge. We are called to witness. An expectation of peace can only rise in a field sown with all the seeds of justice.