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Ferguson

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Posts

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    If everyone in this thread is prepared to agree with the following statement, then I will agree that there is no substantive debate:

    Rioting is bad and it is bad for the people of Ferguson to riot. There is no circumstance where they should riot and if they do riot then each rioter is completely blameworthy for any crimes they commit during the riot in the same way that they would be if they committed those crimes without a crowd backing them. If the rioters break laws then they deserve to be arrested and charged to the fullest extent under the law. The fact that they have a legitimate grievance in no way mitigates their personal responsibility for their actions and it is not a mitigating factor that should be considered in prosecution or sentencing.

    "If everyone agreed with me completely we wouldn't have a debate"

    Yeah, I guess that would be a thing. I went ahead and bolded the parts that I -do- agree with, though.

    Rioting in this kind of situation* is best dealt with by removing the reason for the grievance (in this case, in the event that the cop actual WAS in the right, prove it. There has to be evidence we haven't seen, and lots of it. That wouldn't stop things, but it would help) Prosecuting people might make you feel better but it isn't a deterrent, and it won't stop it from happening again.

    *as opposed to, say, sports rioting.

    qwer12IncenjucarHacksawQuid
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    A lot has happened since I last posted. I am growing concerned that people are still conflating rioting with attacking the police. These are two very different things. To be clear, I have never claimed that I cannot understand the desire of the oppressed to attack the oppressors. My "if you come at the king, you'd best not miss" idea is that, while understandable, it is a really bad idea to try and overthrow a government that you have no chance against, no matter how corrupt it is. But I can understand why someone would do it based on emotion.

    Rioting is wholly separate. It is random, chaotic violence against people (and their property) who have no direct connection to the grievances motivating the actions. I have used variations on the example of the individual taking out his anger over an issue by attacking random people and no one has really addressed it. I would appreciate any arguments for why it is understandable for someone who is, for example, systematically bullied by his peers for decades, to shove a random man in front of the subway, killing him. It is the conversion of outrage and hurt into an attack on an unrelated innocent. Would anyone say that we should have any reaction other than "he should have controlled himself, as people are expected to in ordered to live in society?"

    If anyone sees a difference between a riot and this example, I would be interested to hear it, because in my mind, being in a group does not change anything about this calculus. An unacceptable antisocial impulse is not more acceptable when followed by a multitude instead of one man.

    "Why can't people give a rational explaination for the irrational desire to lash out at their tormentors?"

  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    A lot has happened since I last posted. I am growing concerned that people are still conflating rioting with attacking the police. These are two very different things. To be clear, I have never claimed that I cannot understand the desire of the oppressed to attack the oppressors. My "if you come at the king, you'd best not miss" idea is that, while understandable, it is a really bad idea to try and overthrow a government that you have no chance against, no matter how corrupt it is. But I can understand why someone would do it based on emotion.

    Rioting is wholly separate. It is random, chaotic violence against people (and their property) who have no direct connection to the grievances motivating the actions. I have used variations on the example of the individual taking out his anger over an issue by attacking random people and no one has really addressed it. I would appreciate any arguments for why it is understandable for someone who is, for example, systematically bullied by his peers for decades, to shove a random man in front of the subway, killing him. It is the conversion of outrage and hurt into an attack on an unrelated innocent. Would anyone say that we should have any reaction other than "he should have controlled himself, as people are expected to in ordered to live in society?"

    If anyone sees a difference between a riot and this example, I would be interested to hear it, because in my mind, being in a group does not change anything about this calculus. An unacceptable antisocial impulse is not more acceptable when followed by a multitude instead of one man.

    The bolded is simply untrue, because as the size of the multitude increases, the impulse becomes less "antisocial" and more "prosocial" in the direction of change. If one guy shoots the President because he doesn't like that alcohol is illegal, that's an antisocial impulse; if 20 million people riot because they don't like that alcohol is illegal, that's a movement and society will change to suit their desires. One person fighting the system is an anarchist; many people fighting the system is a revolution. Revolutions are more acceptable.

    Hence the difference between the bullied man and the rioters. Does the bullied man have no recourse and no options? Will committing murder bring positive attention to his cause? These aren't hypotheticals--did Columbine stop high school bullying? Loners with extreme views who take extreme actions are dismissed as nuts by the media and the public. Large-scale movements, like riots, get serious attention, even if there are those, like you, who will dismiss them as irrational.

    "You should control yourselves" is a poor instruction to give to a people who feel oppressed, constrained, and robbed by their government. "Yes, we should," is precisely their point, and taking control of their own lives is precisely their reason for rioting.

    I would add that the original analogy is flawed in another manner too. The people of Ferguson - and in many other riots, generally speaking - are "bullied" systematically. It's not a single person or a small group of people who are oppressing them - at least in their view - but a societal system that's designed to punish them for their blackness. Minimally, for Ferguson, there's anger and condemnation of the Ferguson and St. Louis area police, of their mayor, of their city council, of the district attorney, of Governor Nixon, and when we couple this with the broader American issue of racism, it arguably goes all the way up to the top and all over the whole country.

    The mention of Columbine is notable. I am not suggesting that Harris and Klebold were particularly rational actors and should serve as decision-making models for the rest of us, but, from their own accounts, they were frequented targeted for bullying not just by "bullies", per say, but by what they perceived to be the general population of the school. From Wikipedia: (spoilered for big)
    One of Harris' last journal entries read: "I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no don't … say, 'Well that's your fault,' because it isn't, you people had my phone number, and I asked and all, but no. No no no don't let the weird-looking Eric KID come along."[14]

    Dylan Klebold said on the Basement Tapes, "You've been giving us shit for years. You're fucking gonna pay for all the shit! We don't give a shit. Because we're gonna die doing it."[41]

    Accounts from various parents and school staffers describe the bullying that has been described as "rampant" at the school.[42] Nathan Vanderau, a friend of Klebold, and Alisa Owen, Harris's eighth-grade science partner, reported that Harris and Klebold were constantly picked on. Vanderau noted that a "cup of fecal matter" was thrown at them.[43] "People surrounded them in the commons and squirted ketchup packets all over them, laughing at them, calling them faggots," Brooks Brown says. "That happened while teachers watched. They couldn't fight back. They wore the ketchup all day and went home covered with it."[10] In his book, No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death at Columbine, Brown wrote that Harris was born with mild chest indent. This made him reluctant to take his shirt off in gym class, and other students would laugh at him.[11]

    "A lot of the tension in the school came from the class above us," Chad Laughlin states. "There were people fearful of walking by a table where you knew you didn't belong, stuff like that. Certain groups certainly got preferential treatment across the board. I caught the tail end of one really horrible incident, and I know Dylan told his mother that it was the worst day of his life." That incident, according to Laughlin, involved seniors pelting Klebold with "ketchup-covered tampons" in the commons.[12]

    Again, this isn't to say that if these things happen to a person, then they should go shoot up their school. But there is very much a distinction between being picked on by one person and being picked on by everybody, and there isn't a distinct line separating them. When we speak of the people of Ferguson, and black Americans in general, is there a single person or a single group of people that that we can identify as the person/people they should be mad at? (Ta-Nehisi Coates' essay on reparations is the answer here.)

  • HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    I wouldn't call their desire to lash out at their tormentors "irrational" at all.

    Ask any kid who was bullied growing up, if you don't believe me.

    SkeithEdith UpwardsJuliusYalljoshofalltradesL Ron HowardN1tSt4lkerArdolTOGSolidfugacityMan in the Mists
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    fugacity wrote: »
    Posting the military in a US city to replace the local constabulary? Are you out of your mind? That is just horribly irresponsible.

    Habeas corpus may be suspended in the case of rebellion. Who says that this need be in the cause of suppressing the rebellion rather than aiding it?

    That is an insane statement. Getting the military to overthrow a city and arrest the local officials is an incredibly bad idea. The organization you want to help is the Justice Department, and they've already said they're investigating the events in Ferguson.

    No. It's not. The Posse commitatas act is how the South won the civil war. Fuck that shit; bring in the Feds.

    I'm really pretty sure that nobody is considering the implications of imposing full-scale martial law anywhere within the US. This is the slippery slope. It's already been so easy to erode so many little freedoms, the minute you post armed soldiers on the street corners to enforce law there is no reason not to go after bigger freedoms.

    The National Guard are not trained to be police, they're trained to be soldiers. And soldiers are trained to react in specific ways. This is a terrible fucking idea.

    Like the freedom to not be shot in the back by a police officer when unarmed and then shot while surrendering? those freedoms?

    And no actually the guard are not trained in that way (indeed our military has better deescalation training than our police now) that you think.
    Polaritie wrote: »
    One of those is expressly prohibited in the constitution.

    WRONG! One is expressly prohibited by the posse comititatus act, which was enacted in 1877 to end reconstruction and return racism and discrimination to the south.

    The third amendment has never prohibited using military as police. The idea that it does is a fabrication of the Lost Causers, one of the many lies told in the service of oppression.
    Astaereth wrote: »
    A lot has happened since I last posted. I am growing concerned that people are still conflating rioting with attacking the police. These are two very different things. To be clear, I have never claimed that I cannot understand the desire of the oppressed to attack the oppressors. My "if you come at the king, you'd best not miss" idea is that, while understandable, it is a really bad idea to try and overthrow a government that you have no chance against, no matter how corrupt it is. But I can understand why someone would do it based on emotion.

    Rioting is wholly separate. It is random, chaotic violence against people (and their property) who have no direct connection to the grievances motivating the actions. I have used variations on the example of the individual taking out his anger over an issue by attacking random people and no one has really addressed it. I would appreciate any arguments for why it is understandable for someone who is, for example, systematically bullied by his peers for decades, to shove a random man in front of the subway, killing him. It is the conversion of outrage and hurt into an attack on an unrelated innocent. Would anyone say that we should have any reaction other than "he should have controlled himself, as people are expected to in ordered to live in society?"

    If anyone sees a difference between a riot and this example, I would be interested to hear it, because in my mind, being in a group does not change anything about this calculus. An unacceptable antisocial impulse is not more acceptable when followed by a multitude instead of one man.

    The bolded is simply untrue, because as the size of the multitude increases, the impulse becomes less "antisocial" and more "prosocial" in the direction of change. If one guy shoots the President because he doesn't like that alcohol is illegal, that's an antisocial impulse; if 20 million people riot because they don't like that alcohol is illegal, that's a movement and society will change to suit their desires. One person fighting the system is an anarchist; many people fighting the system is a revolution. Revolutions are more acceptable.

    Hence the difference between the bullied man and the rioters. Does the bullied man have no recourse and no options? Will committing murder bring positive attention to his cause? These aren't hypotheticals--did Columbine stop high school bullying? Loners with extreme views who take extreme actions are dismissed as nuts by the media and the public. Large-scale movements, like riots, get serious attention, even if there are those, like you, who will dismiss them as irrational.

    "You should control yourselves" is a poor instruction to give to a people who feel oppressed, constrained, and robbed by their government. "Yes, we should," is precisely their point, and taking control of their own lives is precisely their reason for rioting.

    I just really fundamentally disagree. Large scale protest? Sure. That's a fine thing to do. But having other like minded people does not justify committing random acts of violence. Rioting is not taking control over their lives. It is being immature and selfish and showing a lack of restraint that is, and should be, completely unacceptable.

    Yes, but you're wrong. At the very least riots work. And well if it works then it's a rational response.

    And since when has being selfish been something to complain about? Whaaat, they care about themselves and the systematic oppression they have been going through so much so that they might be willing to trade stability and wealth in order to end that oppression? What foolish people! They clearly should care about my wealth more than their systematic oppression. So immature!

    wbBv3fj.png
    HacksawKristmas KthulhuEdith Upwardsfugacity
  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    Caedwyr wrote: »
    For the continuing discussion, has anyone here ever played the Civilization games or Alpha Centauri? If you have, think about what causes riots/drone riots in those games and how you go about solving those problems. It doesn't help you prevent/stop riots by telling the rioters they are following the wrong approach, rather you need to make some sort of societal change to reduce whatever is causing the unhappiness effect or build/make available to the rioters some sort of + happiness building to make them happier. Or you just genocide/nerve staple the group of citizens. Surprisingly, on the broad scale of things the riot as a response to unhappiness and the various remedies are decent approximations of human behaviour and the ways of stopping/preventing such behaviour in stressful circumstances.

    So we should build a coliseum in Ferguson? I accept this solution.
    On one level, that could be effective if by a colliseum you mean some sort of publicly accessible to all infrastructure that improves the quality and enjoyment for the residents of Ferguson. It's a papering over the problem approach and would only have a local effect, but it could reduce the likelihood of civil unrest. Bread and circuses have been used in the past as a method of reducing discontent.

    Of course you probably would get a better bang for your buck if you could implement a civilization /nationwide social policy change as Ferguson is not an isolated case.

  • dfsgfdsfdfsgfdsf Registered User new member
    Clearly the regular police force has no idea how to handle this, so I mean93.gif

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Geth, close the thread.

    I think Ferguson discussion is going to take a rest period.

    KalkinoDisruptedCapitalistTOGSolid
  • GethGeth Legion Perseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
    Affirmative Jacobkosh. Closing thread...

    CogDisruptedCapitalist
This discussion has been closed.