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Old Aug 12, 2011, 12:46 PM   #41
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Here is the same things I was saying, posted this morning in Salon magazine...

I am posting just exccerpts ~

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/20...s_things_worse


With unfortunate timing, one British commentator, Nick Cohen, wrote a piece earlier this month titled "No riots here. Just quiet, ever-deeper misery," arguing that "the wider public remains resigned rather than enraged; indifferent rather than incandescent." The student protests of November and December last year were limited outbursts, no more, many agreed; the establishment consensus was that most people would grumpily carry on even in the face of huge cuts to public services, massive unemployment and more severe austerity measures to come.

So what did happen in Britain last week? Analysis, or rather refusal to analyze, came thick and fast: This was the work of a mindless criminal underclass, of those who merely wanted expensive new sneakers but didnít want to pay for them, and so on. The original trigger for the unrest -- the fatal shooting of a black man from a deprived part of London -- was quickly lost in the storm. Although many have tried to keep the backdrop of serious and long-term police racism and harassment as part of the discussion, reasonable voices have been drowned out in favor of an "act now, think later" approach.

...................
Some of the context is depressingly familiar -- police brutality and racist harassment, massive unemployment, child poverty, lack of social mobility and blatant economic inequality. Many have been keen to paint the recent disorder as mere criminality, unrelated to any political issues or demands -- except the desire to loot electronic goods. Indeed, over the past 20 years or so, it certainly feels like there has been a moratorium on any alternative narratives or motivations -- conspicuous consumption for those that can afford it, massive debt for those who canít, but above all the imperative to spend for the sake of an increasingly uncertain economy.


One particular trend that has certainly increased since the unrest of the early 1980s is steady gentrification, and it has had ever-eroding effects on urban life. The inequalities of British cities, where incredibly the rich live side-by-side with the profoundly dispossessed, are the visual marker of a deeper trend: the pushing out from urban environments of anyone without money, anyone who cannot afford to own property, who cannot find a job, or can find only badly paid menial work. When millionaire politicians -- many of whom have themselves been found guilty of stealing taxpayers' money to pay for second homes and expensive consumer goods -- attack people for theft and criminality, they make it clear once again that there is one rule for the rich and powerful and another for the poor.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 01:24 PM   #42
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I agree with a lot of what you said, but this one point I'm not sure I agree with. I really have no problem with wealthy people having more than they need, whether or not they got it by the sweat of their own brow or by having wise (or lucky!) investments. And I think we get near a very slippery slope when we talk about what people, rich OR poor, "deserve". I think people get into a lot of trouble when they start thinking they deserve to have things without working to get them. In fact, that's what I'm hearing from a lot of these looters and rioters - "I DESERVE this, so I'm going to TAKE it". Nope. If that's their philosophy, they DON'T deserve it.
I don't condone the looting at all. But I do understand the dynamic because it seems to play out in history. It can come from racist issues sometimes, like this England episode and the Rodney King episode and the Watts riots. There was class and race tensions in all these cases because of the cycle of poverty which minorities can face. This is even something Kanye West has addressed, that he was a lucky one to get out of a bad economic future, when so many other people he knew would not be so lucky. That was why soem then called him racist, but really he was saying, "I'm not going to forget what minorities face and the slim opportunities had by so many."

It comes down to ways to even the playing field. I shudder when people say, "oh they are hoodlums" without looking for the 'whys.' Hopelessness is a terrible thing. People need to be treated fairly, equally, and afforded equal opportunities. And saying employers must be equal opportunity is addressing only the final level of the pyramid. How does a poor person aquire the education to land that job in the first place, to place himself or herself in the running for it... And, if a poor person could have job opportunity and educational opportunity, they also need a culture which supports and values economic advancements. There can exist a culture of "you are getting all high and mighty and think you are better than us."

So, in order to level the playing field, we need those things: occupational opportnities, educational opportunities, and a community culture which supports those things.

Riots come out of frustration. Sometimes odd things set them off, like it was a sports event in Russia in Decemeber which set off rioting, but really it was ethnic tensions and class issues. It can appear "surface" ... naughty sports fans... but it is deeper.

I say this with all sensitivity to victims in the riots. In fact, in the Watts riots, my Dad had to go rescue his mom, my Grandmother, because she was white and in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 01:40 PM   #43
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What happened in England had nothing to do with racism, Rodney King, poverty. People who think that are not informed.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 01:42 PM   #44
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I don't condone the looting at all. But I do understand the dynamic because it seems to play out in history. It can come from racist issues sometimes, like this England episode and the Rodney King episode and the Watts riots. <snip>
Riots come out of frustration. Sometimes odd things set them off, like it was a sports event in Russia in Decemeber which set off rioting, but really it was ethnic tensions and class issues. It can appear "surface" ... naughty sports fans... but it is deeper.
I can't agree. Racial issues are not as predominant in Europe as in USA. The protests were made against police brutality, true, but it wasn't first and foremost because the slain man was black, as we've seen similar vigils before for white people killed by police. The difference this time was that some people that were not at all involved with the vigil or the family used it as an opportunity to cause trouble.

Nor do I believe that looting is a way to even the score or trying to deprecate class issues. Greedy opportunists just use the situation to their advantage. Whether you loot depends on your mindset, not on if you're rich or poor.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 01:45 PM   #45
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Nice one Hib.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 01:48 PM   #46
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What happened in England had nothing to do with racism, Rodney King, poverty. People who think that are not informed.
Please, F.P.S.H.OT., tell me, why was there looting?
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 02:03 PM   #47
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What happened in England had nothing to do with racism, Rodney King, poverty.
While I agree that it has nothing to do with Rodney King (and I don't believe anybody said it did) and it only has to do with racism tangentially, I think it does have something to do with poverty. Other than the very small number of people who were just in it for "fun", the majority of people involved in the looting and destruction were the poor and the disposessed, weren't they? Or is this being reported incorrectly? They don't do it because they're poor, there are plenty of good and moral poor people, but doesn't poverty impede opportunity, increase frustration with the status quo and sometimes eliminate hope?

That said, violence and crime is never the correct response, even when one is desperate or frustrated.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 02:04 PM   #48
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Please, F.P.S.H.OT., tell me, why was there looting?
Not FP but the answer seems to be - because they could. Look, there's been a lot of discussion in UK about the reasons for the riots and looting, and nearly everyone agrees it's not about the killing of the one man or even police brutality. Some wants to blame it on the excess spending of government figures, others on unemployment, the increased secularism, poor upbringing, lack of education or the breakdown of family values while others consider it business as usual and point to that street riots are a periodically recurring phenomenon in Britain. Nobody seems to know what or who to blame except that somebody else is responsible.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 02:04 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Rellevart View Post
I agree with a lot of what you said, but this one point I'm not sure I agree with. I really have no problem with wealthy people having more than they need, whether or not they got it by the sweat of their own brow or by having wise (or lucky!) investments. And I think we get near a very slippery slope when we talk about what people, rich OR poor, "deserve". I think people get into a lot of trouble when they start thinking they deserve to have things without working to get them. In fact, that's what I'm hearing from a lot of these looters and rioters - "I DESERVE this, so I'm going to TAKE it". Nope. If that's their philosophy, they DON'T deserve it.
Oh, I meant to also speak to what you mentioned, Rell, about investments and entitlement.

I think certain people are entitled, but my views on that are not really broad. I think veterans, children, and those with disabilities are entitled to a certain standard of living.

And I don't think it is bad per se for people to get rich from luck or investments. But since the 1980's especially, downsizing companies meant the investors became richer while those downsized became poorer. It contributed to the widening gap between rich and poor.

Without a middle class, we lack the structure needed. We need to be able to give people hope. For hope, the youth need a plan. A plan needs structure. And when the middle rung is removed from the economic ladder, all the above come apart.

no middle class = no sound structure = no hope for the poor = no plan = chaos = events of civil unrest
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 02:07 PM   #50
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Nobody seems to know what or who to blame except that somebody else is responsible.
Isn't that always the way?
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 02:09 PM   #51
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And I don't think it is bad per se for people to get rich from luck or investments. But since the 1980's especially, downsizing companies meant the investors became richer while those downsized became poorer. It contributed to the widening gap between rich and poor.
Ah, ok, I see what you're saying. I think I too would have an issue with somebody who got rich from other people's misfortunes, but those who become rich because they invented something cool, worked hard, had a special talent, etc....I don't feel like it's unjust that they have more than most.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 02:18 PM   #52
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They don't do it because they're poor, there are plenty of good and moral poor people, but doesn't poverty impede opportunity, increase frustration with the status quo and sometimes eliminate hope?
I was typing about hope at the same time you were!

And yes, you're right, Rell... I said race is a factor, but the cycle of poverty does not only apply to minorities (of course). But it cannot be ignored that minorities are often the ones trapped in the cycle of poverty. So it needs to be looked at in total.

Here's an interesting article ~

http://newsone.com/nation/casey-gane...-ending-cycle/

"So we see that the causes of riots are often discrimination, poverty, and police brutality. Rather than blaming the poor and disenfranchised who riot, countries should attempt to eliminate the poverty, discrimination and police brutality that cause them. If not the cycle of the poor and discriminated succumbing to violence and chaos will continue and expand."
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 02:19 PM   #53
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Ah, ok, I see what you're saying. I think I too would have an issue with somebody who got rich from other people's misfortunes, but those who become rich because they invented something cool, worked hard, had a special talent, etc....I don't feel like it's unjust that they have more than most.
Yeah, I'm with ya! :)
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 02:20 PM   #54
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Racial issues are not as predominant in Europe as in USA.
Absolutely untrue... it may seem that way because we talk more openly about our issues and we have made policy changes to address them. The chief of Scotland Yard is consulting with William Bratton, who was a very successful police commissioner in both New York and Los Angeles, not only for tactical advice but also for guidance on solving the underlying lack of trust between the community and the police force. Under Bratton's leadership, not only was crime reduced in the two largest American cities, but he directly addressed the underlying racial issues that were exacerbating the crime problem.

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Nobody seems to know what or who to blame except that somebody else is responsible.
Agree! I am not going to claim that I know for certain what is causing the violence in England (although I tend to agree with Hari's Chick)... I've read a lot in the NY Times and have been listening to National Public Radio, and what has struck me is how quickly people on both sides of the issue just want to assign blame. Having lived through "civil unrest" or "riots" (or whatever you want to call it) in the wake of the Rodney King beating, I have learned that it is most important to listen and to try to understand rather than to just react. Reacting is what the police force or those directly affected by the violence need to do... the rest of us should try to keep an open mind. And pray for peace.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 03:50 PM   #55
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I have learned that it is most important to listen and to try to understand rather than to just react. Reacting is what the police force or those directly affected by the violence need to do... the rest of us should try to keep an open mind. And pray for peace.
I love what you say here, Maia.

Here's another very interesting article...

"David Lammy, a life-long resident of Tottenham and its Member of Parliament, talks to Steve Inskeep about the social and economic problems within his community."

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/10/139345...y-30-years-ago

INSKEEP: How would you describe Tottenham?

Mr. LAMMY: Well, you know, Tottenham is a traditionally poor, inner-city neighborhood in the north of London, and it would equate with parts of your downtown areas in your major cities similar to the South Side of Chicago or, you know, Queens in New York, say.

INSKEEP: And racially diverse?

Mr. LAMMY: It is the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in Europe, with people speaking over 200 languages.

INSKEEP: I want to ask a little more broadly about what happened here. I understand that there was this incident involving the police, a tragic incident involving the police. But what do you think made that the spark for a wider disturbance?

Mr. LAMMY: Well, look. When a young, black man loses his life at the hands of the police in an area like mine, that is a major, major event, and the community has questions to ask and wants answers for sure. That then turned or escalated into some unbelievable that is now sparking riots across the country. And I think that that is linked, one, to, I'm afraid, a lack of policing. The police have not been able to move quickly to deal with these issues. And we've seen an escalation. We certainly did in Tottenham on Saturday evening, and that is the cry that we're hearing across the country.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 07:00 PM   #56
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Insult you? I was showing a friendly remark. If you join in a thread and have no time to read or see everything that is fine, we all haver other things to do so that is what I was aiming at, not an insult, my goodness why do I have to defend every word to a few women here all the time.

Apart from that, your comment shows you are not well informed.



If that video is your reflection of the UK problems I would call that somewhat short sighted.

You call the victim a thug, well he was not.

The guy Asyraf Haziq you see being robbed was just a student and young kids were after his bike and attacked him, then the others came who you see in the video who robbed him of his wallet and mobile, but he was not involved in the riots at all, he was a victim.

Just for your information. To call him a thug is just sad.
why would I call the kid a thug out of the blue, it was reported he was rioting just like the rest of the thugs in the crowd.

Well, ok, so the major news in the US was not informed, I am sorry for the kid if it is true he was beat up and robbed and not participating, perhaps a poor decision on his part to be in the area, it's not like there wasn't rioting going on in front of him, turn yourself around and go the other way... The narration of the film said he participated in the riots and that thug turned against thug, I am not short sighted... You apparently believe to be correct what you see and read in the news....

You said that you were not surprised originally by the lack of info I stated back in post#7, your reply to my post seemed worded as a put down to me, perhaps you did not mean it to be, but what I read in words was a put down, again a put down by calling me short sighted, perhaps the news rushed it a bit here and were not informed, I just called it as I saw it..... Just like you do with news you receive in the Netherlands on what is happening for us first hand in the US.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 07:08 PM   #57
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I can't agree. Racial issues are not as predominant in Europe as in USA. The protests were made against police brutality, true, but it wasn't first and foremost because the slain man was black, as we've seen similar vigils before for white people killed by police. The difference this time was that some people that were not at all involved with the vigil or the family used it as an opportunity to cause trouble.

Nor do I believe that looting is a way to even the score or trying to deprecate class issues. Greedy opportunists just use the situation to their advantage. Whether you loot depends on your mindset, not on if you're rich or poor.
Fantastic points made hibgal! I did not know the race of the the gang member slain....
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 07:15 PM   #58
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Well said, Rell and hibgal.

It is not for me to decide who deserves what. On a related note I will say that a sense of entitlement becomes no one and helps no one.

Violence is NEVER the answer.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 07:52 PM   #59
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i cant believe some people are saying this has NOTHING to do with race..the looters and alot of people have simply jumped on the band wagon and maybe that has very little to do with race, but the original (peaceful) protest and perhaps some of the bigger escalations stem from the institutionalised racism deeply within the police, government and even society.. This is just a spilling over. Before anyone says how dare i say their is deep seated racism in the police and authorities, just look at the news of the world scandal to see how deep the corruption ran (and runs) into the police force and even right up to David Cameron..is it Such a stretch? really?? if something is so corrupt, so wrong it is RIDDLED and frought with rot and contaminated..That permeates and trickles right down to the lowest, street levels..

Even British MP's are warning this could turn into a race war, already their are whites attacking whites, blacks attacking whites, all sorts attacking Asians/Indians..Sure some of it is loooting/violence for the sake of it but ALOT of it is based on prejudice and division..THATS WHY YOU HAVE GANGS OF 15 WHITE KIDS beating up an Indian guy or robbing a store, and then similar gangs of BLACKS doing the same thing together..

I saw an interview with a black teenager who was set upon and was sarcastically apologising for being a "black kid" where he lives..

I guess people that are so quick to judge and be experts on this should go and spend just an hour there amongst it all and see for themselves what is going on

Stop hey whats that sound..
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 08:00 PM   #60
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You make a very good point CWW!
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