Only Nation of Islam up to the task of Restoring Peace in Baltimore

Only Nation of Islam up to the task of Restoring Peace in Baltimore April 27, 2015

The images are stark, looting, vandalism and a few isolated incidents of violence in Baltimore.  As Americans ask themselves how this can happen it is worth taking a look at the dynamics of protest, the history of agitators taking advantage of peaceful protests and the dialectic that manifest when police engage protesters in a confrontive manor.
Throughout history when police turn their total attention towards peaceful protests patrol officers are no longer engaged on their daily duties of preventing crime.  Across the nation we have repeatedly seen that criminal elements take advantage of this lapse of oversight to engage in criminal acts.  Effectively our system of checks and balances collapses.  Police departments then paint protesters as the perpetrators of violence instead of acknowledging their own dereliction of duty. If they were not so overly concerned with the actions of peaceful protesters these situations would not happen.  In fact, rioters have nothing at all to do with protesters; there is no connection between these groups.
Part of the problem is police establishing “Lines” of officers that resemble a Greek Phalanx manifesting an artificial dialectic of authorities vs. protesters.  Principles of community policing dictate that officers can be more effective if they both integrate with the protesters and remain as protectors of peoples rights to free speech and safety.  In today’s militarized police culture no thought is given to how the police establish an environment of conflict by their very presence in military formation.
As we collectively watched today’s events is became evident from the footage that there was only one group actively attempting to restore order to the streets of Baltimore.  After hours of coverage featuring the actions of this group the mainstream media has finally grudgingly acknowledged the actions of members of The Nation of Islam.  For hours America watched as these well dressed men de escalated looters and helped manifest a return to normalcy in affected communities.
Today we live in a nation where our police could well learn a lesson in de-escalation from the brave souls who so willfully and at personal risk took it upon themselves to make a difference.  Military power will not work when confronting communities who have been oppressed for so long that their youth feel they have nothing to loose. It is courage, compassion, trust and negotiation skills that are needed.  We all owe a dept of thanks to The Nation of Islam for their actions.
Today in Baltimore a community that responded with bricks and trashcans confronted a system that speaks with guns and violence.  Until our nation is willing to hold accountable the system for its violence we collectively are in no place to sit in judgment of those who respond with vandalism and looting. 

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