“Riot is the language of the unheard.”
In the wake of the recent agitations and protests across the world, especially the USA following the George Floyd related racial discrimination, we need to look at and address the core issues rather than adopting the usual blame game methods to maintain calm, gloss over the root causes whilst the cycle continues.
The issue of discrimination is an age-long one, of which black people have been the main victims over the years. Many people led campaigns against the inhumane act but society managed to sustain it and socialized generations to adopt the same practice. Among these people who fought against racial discrimination is Martin Luther King Junior, who is of concern to this piece.
In a speech he delivered in the sixties, themed, “the other America”, the freedom fighter made an analogy between two Americas: the advantaged whom have access to everything, including the system of justice and the other set ridden by racial discrimination, poverty, brutalities among others. He deemed it a total irresponsibility to condemn riots without equally condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that existed in our society that triggers riots.
He added that “these conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention”. He concluded by stressing that a riot is the language of the unheard.
The speech further stated that racism, which he saw as an affirmation that the very being of a set of people is inferior, is still deeply rooted all over America. This statement he made in the sixties is still manifesting today. This should tell you how far racism and its associated negligence has come.
The same old formula with which the root causes were glossed over with much attention focused on the unnecessary issues is still in operation today, and if care is not taken, we will transport the same practice to the next generation.
Until true justice becomes the underlying factor or basis for resolving racial issues, it will be very difficult to convince the unheard to refrain from seeking self-justice. The George Floyd incident must be a game-changer. Let’s end racial discrimination now!