MY SUBJECT TOPIC: I want to discuss Dr. King's statement "Riot is the language of the unheard".
KING (interview): I will never change in my basic idea that non-violence is the most potent weapon available to the Negro in his struggle for freedom and justice. I think for the Negro to turn to violence would be both impractical and immoral.
MIKE WALLACE: There's an increasingly vocal minority who disagree totally with your tactics, Dr. King.
KING: There's no doubt about that. I will agree that there is a group in the Negro community advocating violence now. I happen to feel that this group represents a numerical minority. Surveys have revealed this. The vast majority of Negroes still feel that the best way to deal with the dilemma that we face in this country is through non-violent resistance
I think that we've got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.
So that I would say that every summer we're going to have this kind of vigorous protest. My hope is that it will be non-violent. I would hope that we can avoid riots because riots are self-defeating and socially destructive. I would hope that we can avoid riots, but that we would be as militant and as determined next summer and through the winter as we have been this summer.
OKAY: So in the interview Dr. King says that turning to violence would be impractical and immoral. He also said that those who chose to riot in violence is few and a minority.
HOWEVER: He said that riot is the language of the unheard. This statement is a license to do what he said that he was against.
RIOT DEFINED: According to dictionary
A riot is a form of civil disorder commonly characterized by a group lashing out in a violent public disturbance against authority, property or people. Riots typically involve vandalism and the destruction of property, public or private. The property targeted varies depending on the riot and the inclinations of those involved. Targets can include shops, cars, restaurants, state-owned institutions, and religious buildings.
Riots often occur in reaction to a perceived grievance or out of dissent. Historically, riots have occurred due to poor working or living conditions, governmental oppression, taxation or conscription, conflicts between ethnic groups, (race riot) or religions (sectarian violence, pogrom), the outcome of a sporting event (football hooliganism) or frustration with legal channels through which to air grievances.
While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots typically consist of disorganized groups that are frequently "chaotic and exhibit herd behavior."
Why did I post this: Because violence seems to be the forst response in America to anything we disagree with, injustice we feel, or circumstance we find ourselves. Rioting is not limited to a specific
race, religion, creed, ecomonic status, or gender. There are those prone to be violent and there are those who are easly swayed by the mob herd mentality, who would do with others what they woould never do alone.
We need to educate all people as Dr. King was attempting to educate black people that rioting is not only NOT the answer but a display of chaotic insanity. We wonder why our first responders, police force and other public servants have backed away somewhat. Rioting is the answer. When a spirit of violence blows across a land, people will cast aside moral restraint and common sence and use any reason of disagreement to bring disorder, chaos, and civil unrest.
This is America folks, the land of the free and the brave. Let us not misuse those blood-bought traits to do injustice and lawlessness and then say we had a right to do it. Freedom abused is bondage.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.