Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Baltimore incite riots at the top by abandoning ghettos
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake blamed "thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city" for the riots that are happening; and it may seem like she is right to many. However there is much more to that and the people in the best position to implement policies that would make this much better routinely ignore the most credible research into the causes of violence and implement policies that abandon inner cities.
This is another Machiavellian scapegoating tactic, although it might take a little time for some people to recognize the details, especially if they've been relying on the traditional propaganda tactics that the mainstream media routinely produces.
Bruce Gagnon made a similar argument phrasing it simply, ‘Treat Us Like Dogs and We Will Become Wolves’ and he makes a good point. But there are still a lot more things that have to be addressed. One of the simplest problems that would be easy to recognize, if people actually looked into the segregation of many abandoned inner cities, is that they've abandoned them and no longer provide reasonable educational or economic opportunities for them.
The people who control the economy, the media and the political system have cut an enormous amount of funds to education while simultaneously shipping jobs overseas and herding minorities into segregated areas without reporting adequately on the details to the majority of the public in the news. They have repeatedly reported on Brown v. Education implying that the schools have been desegregated although occasionally they report on what they present as relatively minor problems compared to what we had before; but they rarely ever mention San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez which, as Jonathan Kozol demonstrates in his book "Savage Inequalities" virtually reverses Brown v. Education in practice.
They provide an enormous amount of propaganda for the energy companies that indicate how much good they're doing for our economy and how their new technology is so much safer; but they rarely if ever report on the full amount of damage that is being done by theses companies. To find that people would have to go to alternative media outlets, and then they would find that while the richest are making an enormous amount of profits the neighborhoods in many of the poorest neighborhoods are being destroyed and they're paying the prices for this wealth.
Occasionally they provide small hints about the escalating destruction in abandoned cities to those who pay attention but then they go on to distract the majority with an enormous amount of hype. For example when Cleveland kidnappings took place they briefly reported on the local neighborhood which is an abandoned inner city that has been economically devastated. There have been similar stories about Detroit and other cities around the country. In each cases they only discuss the economic devastation briefly and move on. Chris Hedges does a much better job describing this in "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" and there are many more abandoned inner cities where that came from.
The violence that has taken place in many of these abandoned inner cities is largely a result of early childhood education and because the people with the most power often maintain power by holding those accountable at the bottom through force and often using authoritarian methods to control the public that defends violence when it is done by the state but not when it is done by the people in the lower classes. Yet when they use violence to enforce the law they're teaching violence; and the people that the bottom can see that they're not protecting them equally when they give overwhelming preferential treatment to corporations at the expense of the majority of the public as well as minorities who get the worst of it.
It also helps to find people relatively close to the local level in power to take the blame if something goes wrong that are minorities. The mayor is an African American scapegoating other African Americans. But the people that cause the most problems are at the top of the economic well above Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Other examples also demonstrate how violence starts at the top and works it's way down include when a Mom smacks, drags son from Baltimore violence on national TV. Many people might think that she helped reduce violence by getting her son to stop participating in the riots, and to some degree it is true; but this comes at a cost and it indicates what might have been the methods that she used to raise him which may have taught to respond with violence.
Strict authoritarian child rearing methods often start with corporal punishment as a child and lead to escalating violence later in life. In the most extreme cases, this teaches children to blindly obey orders without question and it often prevents critical thinking from developing as well as if could otherwise. I have gone into this in some of my other posts listed below. Fox Butterfield has also traced examples of this in "All God's Children" where he follows the Bosket Family back to the nineteenth century and shows how abuse was passed from one generation to another and actually started with whites abusing blacks on plantations. This continues today in schools where blacks are much more likely to be the target of corporal punishment to control them in many schools.
This mother and many other parents raise their children the same way they were taught as children; and the media reinforces this with an enormous amount of propaganda and so-called experts that tell people this is appropriate while giving little or no time to researchers that have come up with much better work and advise on child rearing that is much more likely to reduce violence later in life. It wasn't always that way a few decades ago they gave Benjamin Spock and numerous other researchers much more opportunities to get their point across. This is almost certainly a major reason for reductions in violence over the last couple of decades. There are still some good researchers doing this unfortunately they don't get attention from the media anymore and the worst education often targets minorities, and makes appeals to emotion.
Most people will agree that peaceful protest is preferable but when they enforce this with police violence they're sending conflicting messages. The same tactics that she used to drag him away were probably also used earlier in life to control him and this almost certainly made him more prone to use violence to address the situation. If he sees the police using violence to control him and his mother using violence to control him then they're teaching him that violence is appropriate even while telling him it isn't. The fact that he obeyed his mother indicates that she has almost certainly not always suppressed him the way the police did and other things that she has done during child rearing are almost certainly more effective.
Unfortunately the media is making her out to be a hero without making any attempt to inform the public about how this tactic could be counter productive.
There is an enormous amount of academic work and research that indicates what the contributing causes for these riots and how to prevent them; and they stand up to peer review much better than what the press provides; but they're rarely mention it on the traditional media. Instead they repeat many of the same appeals to emotion and people that don't live in these abandoned ghettos of read about them from more reliable sources have no idea what is going on.
France 24 did a little better than the majority of the traditional press in the United States yesterday by providing some coverage of Carl Nighingale who discussed how segregated the United States has become; but the press in the U.S. doesn't discuss this nearly as well. (I couldn't find a text article of this but it might be in one of these videos, which I don't have audio to right now, Baltimore Burns: State of Emergency Declared After Night of Riots (part 1) and Baltimore Burns: State of Emergency Declared After Night of Riots (part 2)) In the United States in order to get better reporting people need to check non-traditional news outlets, perhaps starting with media like Democracy Now, but on any given subject there are other researchers that do much more extensive work.
The vast majority of the news is based largely on the ideologies of the people controlling the press, not the best research. Only six corporations control the vast majority of the press now.
Also this might be one of the few but growing cases where police are held accountable before it is done, at least to some degree, assuming they don't give them a slap on the wrist after the press moves on to other subjects. However there is still little or no discussion about reforming the economic system or changing the training of police so they don't continue training more to behave in the same manner. This would be another example where people are held accountable at relatively low levels without holding those accountable that create polices that inevitably lead to disasters.
The Mayor, Governor and President were quick to condemn the violence by protesters but very slow to act on the violence by police. They claim that people should be allowed to protest peacefully; however that is exactly what many people have been doing for years and the politicians and media do little or nothing to help them get their views across or address their legitimate concerns.
Is it really that surprising that a lot of people are fed up? Just because the media doesn't acknowledge it doesn't mean the people in these abandoned inner cities don't realize that their protests aren't working to get more than a token amount of reform.
Michelle Alexander claims that some people in these abandoned inner cities refer to them as the "occupied territories;" prior to these riots most people would find it hard to believe but the people living in them almost certainly know why they might use this term. We've had martial law or virtual martial law declared in Baltimore Md., Ferguson Mo., and Watertown/Cambridge Mass. This is becoming semi-routine and it is virtually guaranteed to happen more often if economic inequality continues to increase and we continue to escalate the destruction of social programs that prevent problems from escalating and replacing them with police tactics to intimidate and building more prisons.
The evidence of this isn't hard to find in the alternative media; although some of it is mixed in with extreme exaggerations; but it is almost completely absent from the traditional media until it is too obvious to ignore, which is why many people might be taken by surprise. Even people relying on alternative media outlets might be taken by surprise if they don't do a good job sorting out the exaggerations and hype or appeals to emotion that are often there as well.
See Child abuse leading to escalating violence for additional information in past blogs with plenty of good sources that have done research to back this up.
I have also looked into additional Contributing causes to crime and how to prevent them with some of my own research as well as peer reviewed sources to back that up; unfortunately this isn't available in the traditional press although some of it can be found in good libraries.
The following are several books, from qualified researchers and reporters, about the segregation of abandoned cities and the decline of the education system that is leading to collapse which contributed to this article:
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt By Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco
All God's Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence By Fox Butterfield
Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools By Jonathan Kozol
The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America By Jonathan Kozol
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness By Michelle Alexander