Before people get all riled up about the current state of affairs, we need to look at our Country’s long and intimate relationship with rebellion, riots, and looting. And while there were several slave rebellions (uh… for a good reason…), Caucasian people have certainly had their fair share in creating more than a few of their own.
Colonists were more than willing to take up arms and defend their cause. That spirit has been passed down over several generations.
One of the earliest rebellions recorded was because some people felt like they were not being equally protected from American Indian raids in western Virginia (Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676). But a group of people marched into Jamestown and burned the city and looted the countryside. Granted, its rather ironic since the colonists were the ones that kinda came in and took lands from the American Indians…
Riots, looting, and damn near civil wars broke out from 1765 to 1767 until places started creating circuit court judicial systems.
The Paxton Boys marched on Philadelphia in 1764 because they wanted more American Indian land and protection from raids…. No wonder Ireland is helping the American Indians during COVID…
The Whiskey Rebellion from 1791 to 1974 was because of taxes on distilled spirits, the first time the government put a tax on a domestic product.
In 1898, armed white men stormed Wilmington, North Carolina, burning and rioting. The race riot was due to the progressive nature of biracial city government and businesses.
In 1863, there was a draft riot in New York City over the federal draft lottery. Protestors felt it was a violation of civil rights, as it excluded African Americans and allowed rich men to buy their way out of the draft. It was a violent riot with murder and looting.
And let’s not forget about the massacre of Greenwood in 1921. I wrote about that travesty, which you can read more about here.
“A riot is the language of the unheard.”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Moving into the 20th and 21st Centuries, protests and riots are meant to highlight injustices in the US (with exception to the damned sports wins/losses, which is just ridiculous).
The Stonewall Riots from 1969-70 in New York City started with a police raid on Stonewall Inn. The patrons of the bar refused to surrender, leading to several nights of riots for gay rights. The first gay pride parade in 1970 and the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ movement are the result of this.
Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1960’s and ‘70’s fought for equal rights, freedoms, and opportunities for women. This was dubbed as the second wave of feminism as The Woman Suffrage Movement started in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. (please keep in mind I am only covering the US). Women won the right to vote in 1920, 72 years later. While women have come a long way since then, there is still a long way for us to go (I’m calling for third wave, where women take over all leadership positions…).
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”Margaret Mead
The Civil Rights Movement started in the 1950’s, calling for equal rights for African Americans. There was so many amazing leaders like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Little Rock Nine. Their protests eventually led to the legal end of segregation.
But here we are, some 70 years later, and the legal end certainly did not mean it actually ended. To this day there are “Sundown Cities” in Illinois (and I’m sure other states). The justice system has created a form of slavery through the prison system. And many African Americans fear for their lives every day they wake up.
If you think the rioting and destruction that is occurring is not right, just take a long at history. While I am not saying I condone destruction, you can only push people for so for.
So now I question, when will the American Indians burn the rug which America has swept all their dirty history under?
“No one is free until we are all free.”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.