I recently heard of a “powerful speech” by activist Tamika Mallory about what is happening now in America. Mallory was one of the organizers of the Women’s March. So, I watched her speech on You Tube. I was flabbergasted. I shook my head as I realized here was someone who was very angry and badly consumed with the “Them & Us” mentality. This wasn’t a speech. It was an angry rant justifying violence because of the violence inflicted on black people.
First, she said white nationalism and white supremacy are running wild, and buildings are being burned because the white supremacists in power would rather see buildings burn than arrest police officers who killed a black man.
She said she didn’t care if Target and Auto Zone were burned down because they weren’t out there fighting for justice for the oppressed.
“Don’t tell us about looting!” she ranted about white people. “Y’all are the looters! It’s what you do! You looted black people! You looted Native Americans when you first came here! We learned looting from you! We learned violence from you! It’s what you taught us!”
I’m not sure which was worse: Mallory’s speech, or the people around her voicing their agreement.
Maybe someone should remind her of the old proverb, “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” but she’d probably say that’s racist.
There is a lot of anger out there, and I’ll bet a lot of people of all colors are angry and confused. What are you supposed to do when you’re upset by the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others and want to do something about it, only to have your offer of support angrily thrown back in your face?
Make no mistake about: the American people are upset. The white nationalism Mallory spoke of isn’t “running wild.” It’s there for sure, but it’s not “cool” anymore. It’s clear that many white Americans reject white supremacy and want to do what’s right for everyone. Many police officers and police departments have decried the attitudes that led to Floyd’s death.
Former Detroit Tigers’ outfielder Willie Horton, who grew up in Detroit and many black Detroiters considered one of their own, lived through the 1967 riots. He said something he’s glad to see in the current protests is they are integrated. Americans of all colors have come together to voice their anger over white supremacist attitudes.
Unfortunately, activists like Mallory are turning off the very people whose support they need. Maybe one of the grown-ups in the room needs to take her aside and have a talk with her.
By the way, speaking of looting and arson, who does she think works in those Target and Auto Zone stores that were looted and burned in Minneapolis? Who does she think shops there and buys what they need there? The black residents do. By looting those stores and burning them down, they are hurting themselves. How smart is that?
When people are angry, they do irrational things. That’s why black residents destroyed their own neighborhoods in Watts in 1965, Newark and Detroit in 1967, and Los Angeles in 1992. It’s the equivalent of banging one’s head on the wall until it’s bloody. The only person you’ve hurt is yourself.
Anger is a powerful emotion. It can accomplish great things when it’s channeled. Mallory and others like her are angry, and they have a right to be. It would be strange if they weren’t angry with all that’s going on. However, they need to channel that anger and use it to good cause.
Anger that isn’t channeled destroys everything around it. Anger that is channeled, however, can move mountains.
I should mention Mallory and others like her aren’t the only ones consumed by the Them & Us mentality. Think of the current occupant of the White House. You know President Donald Trump’s campaign is going to use the current unrest to scare people into voting to re-elect him. They’ll lump the protestors, rioters, Antifa, and Democrats together and tell the American people that it’s either put them in power or re-elect Trump. It’s already started, as when he told those governors they were weak and they needed to “dominate” the protesters.
If this is the best our political parties can do, we need new political parties.